U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election campaign has adopted a line of attack against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter that was first advanced by a group she previously said had no connection to her campaign.
Lincoln, locked in an increasingly bitter struggle with Halter for the Democratic nomination for her Senate seat, said previously she had no connection to the group Arkansans for Common Sense, which ran an ad accusing Halter of trying to privatize Social Security when he ran that agency under President Bill Clinton. ...
“When corporate millionaire Bill Halter was a commissioner of the Social Security Administration in 2000, he wanted to invest Social Security revenues in the stock market, claiming his plan would strengthen Social Security,” the mailer reads, adding that this would have endangered over 600,000 Arkansans who receive Social Security benefits.
In a statement today, Halter’s campaign said again, as it did in response to the Arkansans for Common Sense ad, that Halter’s comments in 2000 were in reference to a proposal by Clinton to invest a small portion of the Social Security Trust Fund in the stock market.
I can give a much better reason for criticizing Halter for his work as Acting Commissioner. He did nothing as the Hearing Process Improvement (HPI) debacle was causing Social Security's hearing process to collapse. HPI was only being implemented as the Clinton Administration was ending. It was immediately apparent that HPI would be a calamity. Halter was only Acting Commissioner after the inauguration of George W. Bush but how was the Bush Administration going to punish him for taking action on HPI -- fire him? The Bush Administration has much responsibility for the hearing backlog that Social Security has now but so does the Clinton Administration. Social Security was in free fall during the transition between Clinton and Bush. In an emergency, real leaders take action. That was an emergency and Halter sat on his hands.