The Kerry campaign had planned to run advertising in the fall but decided against it when poll numbers were not encouraging.  This prompted the Democratic Party of Arkansas to launch its own effort; under the direction of chairman Ron Oliver the party raised about $130,000 in two weeks to run an independent ad campaign.  Radio ads featuring Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.), former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, and former Senator and governor Dale Bumpers ran starting October 20; one featuring former President Bill Clinton started airing October 25.

Bill Clinton: This is Bill Clinton.  Four years ago, when I left office, America enjoyed unprecedented prosperity-rising middle-class incomes, declining poverty, a budget surplus, respect and cooperation in the world.

Republicans have reversed our policies, with huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, massive tax giveaways to drug companies, no bid contracts for favored firms like Halliburton.  As a result, we've gone from surpluses to deficits-the first four years with job losses in over 70 years, declining incomes, rising poverty, exploding health care costs and lost coverage.

We haven't had the funds to invest in Homeland Security priorities, like checking containers in ports and airports for weapons of mass destruction, or for adequate equipment for our troops.  We've cut 500,000 kids out of after school and 140,000 unemployed workers out of their job training.

This election offers a big choice.  America and Arkansas can do better.  I hope you'll join me in supporting the Democrats November 2nd.

Dale Bumpers: Hello, this is Dale Bumpers.  Most of us were taught as children that we had a solemn duty to leave the world better than when we came into it.   But the current Republican administration has mortgaged our children's future to the point that it has become virtually impossible for them to honor that principle.

Think about this: It took 190 years for this nation to accumulate the first trillion dollars in debt.  And this administration has added a trillion dollars to that debt in just four years.  Worse yet, a big portion of it was to give a whopping tax cut to the richest people in America.

Instead of giving hope and promise to those we love most, this administration chose to honor the rich.  Our national debt is so huge now, we're having to depend on the Japanese, the Chinese and other nations to help us finance it.  Foreign investments in helping us finance our debt have increased 76 percent in just the past four years.

This is Dale Bumpers.  Please join me on November 2nd to change the direction of our country. Let's keep faith with our children.

Dale Bumpers: This is Dale Bumpers.  This message is not about politics; it's about simple arithmetic.  Think about this: in 1945, there were 42 workers for every Social Security beneficiary.  Today, there are only 3.4 workers for each beneficiary, and the number is still declining.

Some changes in Social Security are obviously in order, but this administration wants to privatize Social Security - that is, allow workers to invest some of their contributions in things like the stock market, and pay that much less into the fund that we use to pay Social Security benefits today.

So ask yourself this question: Where would the money come from to pay today's beneficiaries?  Nobody seems to have an answer.  Social Security needs to be fixed, but privatization is not a solution.  On the contrary, it would be a disaster.

You can keep this from happening.  Join me in voting Democratic on November 2nd.  This is Dale Bumpers.

Wesley Clark: This is General Wesley Clark.  I grew up in Arkansas, spent my life in the Army, lived all over the world.  But my heart has always been right here, in our state.  Today we're hearing a lot about this upcoming election, and it's confusing.  So here are some facts you can use to decide for yourself.

Fact: The current administration's cut by half the funding to state and local governments for emergency responders.  That means we're not getting what we need to train and equip the men and women we count on in a crisis.

Fact: The current administration's cut funding for the successful COPS program.  That means police departments here in our state are being shortchanged and stretched thin.

After over 30 years defending this nation in uniform, I know the importance of democracy.  We all have to do our part, use our freedoms-and that means vote this November 2nd.  The stakes have never been higher.  Thanks for listening.  Vote Democratic.

Rodney Slater: I'm Rodney Slater.  The current administration in Washington has begun to use the word "liberal" a lot.  This is not the first time they've resorted to using that label.

The Republicans called Franklin Roosevelt a "liberal" when he proposed Social Security and rural electrification, and they fiercely opposed both.

They called Harry Truman a "liberal" when he said the military must be integrated, and when he called for universal health care.

They called Lyndon Johnson a "liberal" when he proposed Medicare and civil rights, and they called Medicare "socialized medicine" and resisted it.

Of course, like a broken record, they called John Kennedy and Bill Clinton "liberals."

Think where the nation would be without these great programs instituted by some of America's greatest presidents, Democrats all.  Programs that make us stronger are what America's all about.

If you agree, please join me November 2nd in voting for change in this country-Democratic change.  Thank you.