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    'Ask the Speaker' segment off-air

    11:18 PM, Feb 1, 2010   |    comments
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    Every Monday night at 10 p.m. we normally bring you a popular segment here on Today's THV.

    It's called "Ask the Speaker" with House Speaker Robbie Wills.

    It's something we've been doing since the last legislative session. But last Monday was our last segment with Wills.

    With Ask the Speaker, we provided you with a venue to question your state leaders.

    It's part of our effort to hold the powerful in Arkansas state government accountable.

    Every Monday, Wills talked about anything from the state lottery to the state budget, answering as many questions from you as we could fit in.

    But this all changed last Wednesday when Wills announced he was running for U.S. Congress.

    At a press conference in Faulkner County, Wills formally tossed his hat into the ring for Arkansas' second district, the seat being vacated by Rep. Vic Snyder.

    Because Wills is now running for public office, we decided to take the Ask the Speaker segment off-air.

    "The reason we did away with the segment was really an ethical issue," says THV News Director Chuck Maulden.

    "We did not want to expose Speaker Wills to the audience and give him an unfair advantage over the candidates who weren't having a segment every Monday night on our air. So it was really just an ethical issue. We said, 'In all fairness to other candidates, we have to take him off the air,'" says Maulden. 

    There are others in the race. Wills is a Democrat, and in the May primary, he'll be going up against state Senator Joyce Elliott.

    Tim Griffin, David Meeks and Scott Wallace are running on the Republican ticket.

    We may bring the Ask the Speaker segment back, but only when the house speaker in Arkansas is not running for public office.

    Again our goal is also to bring transparency to what we do, letting you in on how we cover the news. If you've ever wondered about something on our broadcast, email THV anchor Dawn Scott at thvinsider@todaysthv.com.

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