Favorite

Follow the charter money 

The New York Times reported recently about heavy campaign contributions to New York legislative candidates by players in the charter school debate there. That prompted us to take a look at followthemoney.org for spending by the wealthy businessmen leading charter school promotion in Arkansas.

Walmart heir Jim Walton, whose family has pumped millions into so-called education reform, has contributed $41,700 to more than three dozen legislative candidates in the 2010 cycle, including a $1,000 contribution to former teacher union leader Rep. Linda Pondexter Chesterfield.

Other backers of the school reform lobby created to push charter schools (and the group leading an attack on the Little Rock School District for its objection to some charters) include Jackson T. Stephens Jr., who's given $4,000 to legislative candidates, and former Murphy Oil CEO Claiborne Deming, who's given more than $5,600 to legislative candidates. Most of his slate – Lenville Evans, Curren Everett, Johnny Hoyt, Linda Tyler and John Paul Wells – turned up on Walton's list as well.

Luke Gordy, paid lobbyist for rich men, gave $1,000 to Gov. Mike Beebe.

Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman made no financial contributions, but his in-kind contributions to the cause turn up frequently in the pages of his Arkansas newspapers, from editorials to news coverage.

GOP squabble

The Executive Committee of the state Republican Party will get a report this Saturday on a simmering dispute arising from the contested election that saw Rep. John Burris succeed Rep. Bryan King as leader of the House Republican caucus.

Nobody wants to talk on the record, but the controversy revolves around the decision of new leadership in April to shift the caucus PAC's roughly $35,000 bank account to a new bank in Little Rock and to establish procedures that would end a practice of Republican Party executive director Chase Dugger writing checks from the account as directed by caucus leader King. All oversight is now in the hands of a committee of legislators.

King, who hasn't returned calls, apparently wasn't happy to learn that the old account was closed and a check written by Dugger to transfer the money without his knowledge. The Republican Party, whose past history includes a few bookkeeping mishaps, isn't anxious to have even a minor dispute break in the open and detract fromwhat they believe will be a banner election year.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Brant Collins named Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal

Event Calendar

« »

March

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Suffer the immigrants

    Since the election of Donald Trump, undocumented immigrants and the groups that work with them in Arkansas are dealing with a wave of fear.
  • Never enough for the NRA

    Also, execution dates draw near, no justice and more.
  • Arkansas treats children of same-sex couples differently from other kids

    With the legislature refusing to correct the law, the fight is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Workers lose

    The Republicans' House Bill 1405 (on its way to the governor as this is written) would reduce a worker's eligibility to receive unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks.
  • Testing, testing

    Junior, that peach-fuzzed philosopher of Maple Street, who stands now head and shoulders taller than the mother who birthed him 17 years and change ago and eye to eye with his old man, got his ACT test results in the other day.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation