Governor Sanders’ column reads like a 500 word admiration requirement for a state commission application.
Thoughts and prayers to any Arkansan who ventures to read the governor’s list of accomplishments from her first 100 days in office.
The column touts the passage of her signature legislation like the LEARNS Act, the criminal justice bill, and the newly passed state income tax cuts. But Sanders forgot to include all the dirty details of how she executed her legislative priorities.
Take, for example, the much-critiqued unfolding of the LEARNS Act: not only did Sanders come under fire for opaque bill drafting that left out lawmakers and education stakeholders, the policy push came with a hefty amount of executive branch arm twisting. Remember when Sanders’ staffers bullied public education administrators or when the governor threatened to withhold district funding for unsupportive lawmakers? And according to one caucus member, Sanders even threatened to find candidates to primary GOP legislators who were considering a “NO” vote on LEARNS.
Sarah Sanders began her tenure as governor with unlimited GOP rapport. But by session’s end, the governor’s nasty tactics had taken their toll. Lawmakers across party lines were tired, beleaguered, and ready to get the 94th General Assembly over with.
Sanders put her legislative agenda above collaboration and substantive problem solving. As a result, her team is on a clumsy public messaging campaign to celebrate the private takeover of a public school and defend her strange and shallow legislative vetoes.
She has used her power to silence opposition, suppress dissent, and target those who challenge her big, bold plans — both publicly and privately. Perhaps this is a more accurate representation of her first 100 days in office.