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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Colorful Politician

Richard Carroll is a member of the Green Party... he's a white man who's married to a black woman. And oh yes: he's from a red state.

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From the March 1 issue of Ballot Access News:

Richard Carroll, the Green Party's state legislator in Arkansas, is quickly becoming one of the best-known politicians in the state. On January 29, the Arkansas Times ran a story on him which revealed that he works a night shift in the Union Pacific Railroad's shop in North Little Rock, so that he can attend the legislature in the daytime. His job with the railroad consists of helping rebuild locomotives that have been damaged in derailments and accidents.

Then he got more publicity on February 11 when he introduced HJR 1009, to repeal Article 19, section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution. That currently says, "No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court." If HJR 1009 passes, the voters would then vote on whether to approve the change. The bill is currently in committee. The only other states that have similar laws in their constitutions are Tennessee and Texas. Also, South Carolina's constitution says no atheist can become governor.

Carroll got still more publicity in February when he was denied membership in the legislature's Black Caucus. Carroll is white, but his wife is black, and he lives in a black majority district, and he says he supports the legislative agenda of the Black Caucus. It took the Black Caucus several weeks to decide that he may not join.

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