Travelers who currently fly in and out of Little Rock, Ark., do so by using Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
If an Arkansas state senator has his way, the airport will no longer be named for the state’s most famous political couple.
Republican Sen. Jason Rapert has proposed SB 430, which would not allow any publicly funded airport from being named for a living person or who served in public office in the 10 years prior to the structure’s completion.
Rapert believes the Clinton name should be removed from the airport because they were alive when the facility — formerly known as Adams Field — was renamed in 2012, and each held a federal office.
Rapert’s legislation does not mention the Clintons by name, but he’s more than happy to reference them when talking about why he wants to change the name of the state’s largest airport.
“You have a president who was impeached for having an affair with an intern in the Oval Office and then disbarred,” Rapert said.
Rapert said he had heard from “several” people across the state who expressed their “discomfort” with naming the airport after the Clintons.
The senator first discussed his plan in November. He posted a poll on his Twitter account to see if there was support for changing the airport’s name. Of the more than 7,300 votes he received, 53 percent were in favor of the idea.
The mayor of Little Rock disagrees with Rapert’s proposal.
“The naming of this airport as it is doesn’t have any negative impact on our state or on our city,” Mayor Mark Stodola said. “As a matter of fact, I think it is the opposite.”
An official affiliated with the airport thinks the Clinton name should remain.
“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.
Rapert admits his proposal isn’t likely to be approved.
“But we can prevent this sort of thing in the future,” he said.
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