"Now, normally [for] lieutenant governor, it's ceremonial. They bring their family into the office. They take pictures. They may go make a speech," said Beebe. "We've seen [the] lieutenant governor intentionally go away so that the president of the Senate, who's next in line, can have a ceremonial day as governor -- and then the speaker of the House. Usually it's just ceremonial. No lieutenant governor tries to do anything weird."
That is, according to Beebe, until this past legislative session.
Now, as you may recall, back in February, Governor Mike Beebe headed out of state, leaving a controversial gun bill on his desk which he had decided not to sign. Now, the bill would have become law anyway, but Lt. Governor Mark Darr -- the acting governor while Beebe was away -- took it upon himself, putting pen to paper in what would become his now famous -- or infamous, depending on how you look at it -- bill signing.
"We had a bill that I was going to let become law on guns, and it was sitting there," explained Beebe. "It becomes law in five days -- one way or another -- unless I veto it, and I had no intention of vetoing it, and [Darr] took advantage of the opportunity to sign the bill."
So, what does Beebe think nearly three months later?
"I thought it was kind of -- I thought it was inappropriate," said Beebe, adding that the last time a lieutenant governor did something like that, laws were changed. That, of course, was when former lieutenant governor Jerry Jewell pardoned a prisoner when the governor was out of the state.
"He signed it. It would have become law anyway. It was just kind of superfluous," added Beebe. "
It brought some publicity to him. Some good -- I guess -- for him and a lot bad."
Hear more from Governor Beebe on the issues most important to you all week long right here on KNWA as part of our exclusive series with the leader of the Natural State.