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Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Three Stooges Redux: Jim Walton, take back that Rapert money

Posted By on Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 8:52 AM

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  • The Walmart 1 Percent
A group that targets Walmart and its billionaire heirs turns its attention to Arkansas politicians again.

The Walmart 1 Percent is dedicated to providing information about how the Waltons are "dismantling middle class jobs, distorting our democracy, and leading a campaign to undermine public education."

The Waltons have spent millions, with more to come, to elect people who'll reliably ratify their agenda — in Arkansas, currently, the chief project is an attack on real public schools in favor of quasi-private charter schools and, eventually, pure voucher programs.

The Waltons must bed down with some pretty skanky partners to accomplish this mission. Sometimes too skanky even for Walton aims. You'll recall that Jim Walton asked for — and received — his campaign money back from Loy Mauch, one of a trio of extremist neo-Confederates who were expected to be part of the Republican takeover of the Arkansas legislature. Thanks to attention here and elsewhere to the group dubbed the Three Stooges, the Republican House majority was the slimmest possible, 51 members.

Now we have an addition to the Three Stooges. (Shemp, as Michael Cook has suggested.) That would be Sen. Jason Rapert whose extremism has hardly been secret since he joined the legislature. But thanks to newly uncovered video of an incendiary anti-Obama speech he gave to a Tea Party group and his proposal to force probes into the vaginas of women seeking abortions, his extremism is getting new attention. The Walmart 1 Percent is calling on Jim Walton to repudiate Jason Rapert as he repudiated Mauch. With Rapert now a solid pro-Walton vote, I don't think anyone should hold their breath. The website writes:

Now we find that Jim Walton and his wife Lynne have contributed $3,000 to extremist Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway) since December 2010, according to financial reports filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Rapert is on the hot seat this week for his anti-gay and anti-choice positions — and for using racially-tinged language to attack President Obama at a rally in 2011. Walton is a member of Walmart’s Board of Directors as well as Chairman and CEO of the Walton-owned Arvest Bank. He is the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

Rapert invited national scrutiny last week by pushing radical anti-choice legislation through the Arkansas State Senate. Rapert’s bill could effectively outlaw abortions after six weeks and force women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to submit to a vaginal probe.

The Nation posted a 2011 video of Rapert bragging about his extreme positions on a range of issues. As The Nation put it:

Rapert proudly declares himself a birther and attacks the state Supreme Court for knocking down a ban on gay adoptions…

But what really got Rapert in trouble was this racially-tinged attack on President Obama, captured in the same video of his speech to a rally of supporters:

I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!

Need we say it? Jim Walton, it’s time (again) to ask for your money back.

NOTED: Rapert insists he was not talking about black people, but political minorities, in that Tea Party speech. He did make clear his distaste for what he imputed was a foreign-born president sympathetic to Muslims rather than real American Christians. Needless to say, it was a majority, not a minority, that gave Obama re-election.

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