“For years, Congressman French Hill has sold out Arkansans to the highest bidder and Joyce Elliott is the right candidate to hold him accountable and send him packing,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos said. “Congressman Hill and Joyce Elliott couldn’t be more different. On issues from health care to prescription drug costs to corporate tax cuts, Hill has catered to Washington special interests at every turn. Elliott has spent her career helping working families and her focus in Congress will be no different. She will fight for lower health care costs and better education for all Arkansans.”
To: Interested Parties
From: Sarah Guggenheimer, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: March 3, 2020
Subject: The Case Against French Hill
In the past few years, Congressman French Hill’s carefully crafted façade of the old-fashioned moderate has been utterly shattered as he repeatedly sided with corporate special interests and Washington insiders, pursuing an agenda that ignores and actively sells out the Arkansans who elected him.
Hill’s “yes” vote to pass Washington Republicans’ bill to dismantle our current healthcare system in 2017 was just the start of Hill’s repeated votes to harm or dismantle the Affordable Care Act – even though health care is consistently rated the most important issue for swing voters. Between his repeated votes to destroy the Affordable Care Act, his recent vote opposing lowering prescription drug costs, and his silence on Trump’s budget that would impose devastating cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, his identity as a proud member of the Washington sell-out club is fully crystallized.
More importantly, Hill has met his match in State Senator Joyce Elliott whose entire career has been dedicated to serving her community. For thirty years, Joyce was a teacher, working to give others access to the same educational opportunities for which she credits her success. As a State Representative, she was voted one of Arkansas’s Ten Best Legislators by the Arkansas Democratic-Gazette. Twice. And since 2008 she’s been a State Senator serving her district with a commitment to her constituents, standing in stark contrast to Hill who is bankrolled to the tune of nearly $900,000 by corporate special interests.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
KATV: “Well, the Second District Congressional race just got interesting…
“During her legislative years, she has been a fierce public-school supporter, pro-choice and women’s rights advocate, reformer of the prison system, health reform proponent, and led on many efforts to improve children’s welfare and civil rights. Elliott also co-sponsored and passed legislation to support highway funding, teacher pay raises, and economic development incentives. She is the chair of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus.” [KATV, 11/12/19]
Arkansas Democrat Gazette: “…Elliott has built up a prominent profile in the state Senate, where she has advocated for a return of the state-run Little Rock School District to local control, as well as for better conditions for state prisoners and revised sentencing laws…Describing herself as a ‘walking example of a preexisting condition’ who had donated one of her kidneys, Elliott said the focus of her campaign would be on health care and access to good education.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 11/12/19]
Arkansas Times: “The millionaire former banker [Hill] has been an unrelenting foot soldier for the interests of plutocrats since his election to Congress, one of Wall Street’s biggest buddies.” [Arkansas Times, 2/7/2020]
French Hill: Out of Touch and Out of Step in Arkansas
HILL’S HEALTH CARE RECORD MAKES ARKANSAS SICK
Hill’s vote in 2017 to rubberstamp Washington Republicans’ reckless plan to repeal coverage for the more than 300,000 Arkansans with pre-existing conditions in his district proved one of his biggest liabilities in the 2018 election. And since then his record has only grown worse.
Not only has Hill repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and support lawsuits that would do the same, but now he’s voted against lowering prescription drug costs by an average of $1,920 per family.
Hill either doesn’t think his constituents will notice his consistent votes to rip away their health care, or he’s just so blinded by special interest checks that he doesn’t care.
Either way, Hill will be forced to defend an indefensible health care record while Joyce Elliott is focused on protecting coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, lowering prescription drug costs for families, and building on the Affordable Care Act so that every American has access to quality, affordable health care.
WALL STREET AND WASHINGTON, NOT MAIN STREET
Congressman Hill is deep in the pockets of Washington’s biggest corporate special interests, having taken nearly $900,000 from them throughout his career.
That sum becomes even more jarring considering how little support he receives from actual small donors. In his most recent filing, only .73% of his donations were from small donors while he received $9,000 donations from banks.
With this donor history it makes sense why Hill has such a pro-Wall Street record – they’re the ones funding his campaign.
Since taking office Hill has voted multiple times to weaken protections for consumers, including siding with companies like Equifax who compromised consumers’ privacy and have tried to dodge responsibility, and voted to nullify a rule to ensure financial institutions provide advice in the best interest of consumers. After taking thousands from payday lenders, Hill voted to weaken regulations on payday lenders– even though payday lenders routinely target service members and their families. And of course that’s on top of his vote for a massive handout to big corporations that blew a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit.
The one thing Hill and Joyce Elliott have in common is that they both draw on their background for their focus in government. As a former banker, Hill has made it his mission to serve their interests no matter the cost. Meanwhile as a 30-year educator, Elliott has made it her mission to improve education for Arkansans and will continue to do so in Congress.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
Clarke Tucker’s strong performance in 2018 and Frank Scott’s victory in the Little Rock mayoral race in 2018 suggest this race can be competitive with the right candidate. And Joyce Elliott is that candidate.
This district is over 29% college educated, over 21% African American, and has a strong suburban presence. Elliott has the ability to consolidate Democrats, African Americans, and women to flip this seat and become the first woman in nearly one hundred years and the first African American since Reconstruction to represent this district.
Already, Elliott has proven herself a formidable fundraiser, able to keep up with Hill’s fundraising despite his heavy reliance on corporations.
Her compelling message, strong name recognition, and the resources to define herself in this race will put this district in play.