OPINION: What is wrong with the AG, and alas, our governor?

Two major revelations occurred last week affecting our Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the Attorney General Tim Griffin.

Both occurred on the set of separate television interviews.

Our governor on "Face The Nation" explained to the national TV audience that she will be our state's leader by saying in response to a question, "... over the next seven years as governor."

That slip of the tongue was a surprise to many. Sanders currently has a four-year term and must stand for a re-election bid to fulfill her promise for "... another seven years."

Then poor Attorney General Tim Griffin, in an impromptu Little Rock television interview, was clearly befuddled, dumbfounded and rather upset thrashing about for some sort of clarity in an answer while the image of a smooth, corporate style legal mind evaded his personality for at least a made for TV moment.

The Attorney General, head of the state's largest legal team all working for the state of Arkansas, has seemed to be a poor substitute for a leader or even a manager of such an office filled with lawyers.

He finally decided, he said, on one proposed constitutional amendment to deal with Arkansas' outright ban on abortions without regard to rape, incest or the physical well-being of the mother.

And in doing so, in this moment of perhaps legal clarity by this staff, he apparently lost most of his conservative core of supporters.

This truly rattled him as a politician so desperately in need of those hard right-wing members of the anti-abortion crowd who have but one item on their agenda and Griffin has let them down.

This no holds barred sect of fundamentalists most are likely the core of the same majority in our state which has secured Donald J. Trump the March 5 nomination against any others on Arkansas's primary election GOP ballots.

As quickly as AG Griffin tried to take to the airwaves defending his office allowing the Arkansas abortion amendment. Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Family Council, released a scathing statement.

"This is a radical amendment legalizing abortion in a way Arkansans have never seen before," Cox said in the news release. "It writes abortion into the Arkansas Constitution. It erases virtually all of Arkansas' pro-life laws, and it allows abortion on demand without restriction through the first eighteen weeks of pregnancy."

I would urge anyone wanting to see the actual language of the proposal to read it online before aping Cox's quotes as gospel.

Griffin, in this rare outburst of angst, tried to say with as much angst as he could must do his job on things he "did and didn't like," when it came to the law. That argument does not hold water such as a screen door holds back the wind.

On another front, the Arkansas Legislative panel in a voice vote with some objections sent on to the Legislative Council a pay raise request from Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to continue paying the former Secretary of Corrections Joe Profiri, an Arizona recruit by Sanders to manage the state's prisons, as a special adviser in the Governor's office.

Porfirio's pay before the Board of Corrections fired him was $210,000.13 plus a housing incentive.

His new pay as "extra help" on the Governor's staff is $201,699.89 a year -- more than the Governor makes ($158,739). That is still more than the Governor's chief of staff makes ($160,000).

And what will Profiri be doing while in the Governor's office? "He will be advising the governor on matters involving corrections," said Jim Hudson of the State Department of Finance and Administration quoting statements from the governor's office.

Hudson went on to say that "... Sanders is comfortable with Profiri's salary level."

While AG Griffin may succumb to emotional and professional "melt downs" when faced with hard, pressing questions from the media, we all know our governor, with training in the hottest press seat in Washington D.C., knows the landscape. Are both our individual officer holders lacking respect and decorum and in fact, inviting division among Arkansans on purpose?

Time will, as the old saying goes, tell us all.

Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several Northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected].