| LITTLE ROCK, Ark
LITTLE ROCK, Ark Feb 23 The largest and busiest
airport in Arkansas would no longer be named after the only
president and first lady from the state if a bill introduced in
the legislature on Thursday succeeds.
The legislation would prohibit public buildings or civil
works from being named for anyone living or who served in public
office in the 10 years prior to the structure’s completion.
The bill makes no mention of former President Bill Clinton
or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for whom the
Little Rock airport was re-named four years ago - as Bill and
Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field - but its author
does not hesitate to identify its target.
“You have a president who was impeached for having an affair
with an intern in the Oval Office and then disbarred,” said
state Sen. Jason Rapert, the bill’s author and one of the
Arkansas legislature’s most outspoken conservatives.
President Clinton was impeached in 1998 by the U.S. House of
Representatives, which accused him of obstructing justice by
lying under oath about a sexual relationship with a White House
intern, Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted in a Senate trial
the following year.
Hillary Clinton served as attorney to the city’s airport
commission during her husband’s tenure as governor of
Arkansas. At the conclusion of her husband’s presidency she won
a Senate seat in New York.
She was appointed secretary of state by President Barack
Obama, who defeated her for the 2008 Democratic presidential
nomination. Clinton won the nomination last year but was
defeated by President Donald Trump.
Rapert, whose Senate district does not include Little Rock,
said he introduced the legislation after “several Arkansans
across the state” had expressed to him their “discomfort” with
naming its largest airport after the controversial Clintons.
He conceded his legislation might not win approval.
"But we can prevent this sort of thing in the future," he
City officials have defended re-naming the airport, although
"I think the name of the airport is appropriate and I
support retaining it," said Meredith Catlett, a member of the
terminal’s governing commission.
(Reporting by Steve Barnes in Little Rock; Editing by Robert