In Bentonville, dark money injects politics in school board race | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, September 17, 2017

In Bentonville, dark money injects politics in school board race

Posted By on Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 9:58 AM

click to enlarge unnamed.jpg

Amy Gillespie,
who's challenging incumbent Brent Leas for a seat on the Bentonville School Board, has pledged to run a race for the board based on school issues.

But her past political activism, including in favor of a non-discrimination policy for Bentonville school employees (opposed by Leas), has been made an issue in the race by a shadowy independent group mailing fliers opposing her candidacy.  Two are shown here.

What is the CAAFGBPS? I haven't yet found a registration form for the independent expenditure group that is taking responsibility for these, but I may have been hampered by not knowing what the acronym stands for. When independent groups raise $500 to support or oppose a candidate, they must file reports with the secretary of state. Unfortunately, even when filed, the state law doesn't require disclosure of those who make contributions to such committees. Rep. Clarke Tucker's effort to close that loophole was killed by House Republicans.

Some $8,000 has been raised by the candidates themselves for this race, with Leas — whose Twitter account identifies him as a 'servant of Jesus" — enjoying money from Conservative Arkansas and Gillespie reporting a contribution from Progressive Women of Arkansas.

Some might see an association with, say, the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality a badge of honor. More voters, the CAAGFBPS apparently believes, are likely to disagree.

Glllespie's "liberal" activism has even drawn direct criticism from another school board member, who's endorsed Leas. Closer to the point of the race is Gillespie's criticism of Leas for joining in a surprise vote to spend $2 million on a football stadium following a tax election in which voters were led to believe no football stadium work was in the offing. Gillespie argued that the district has other, greater needs to address. Perhaps football versus classrooms also breaks down as a conservative/liberal fault line.

UPDATE from Gillespie

"I didn't actually ask Tom Cotton about healthcare. I asked him how the RAISE Act, which seeks to limit the number of green cards issued, would effect renewals for those already legally in the country, paying taxes and contributing to our economy. "

image1.jpg

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Russians celebrated Trump's inaugural; guests included French Hill's contact

    The Washington Post recounts how influential Russians celebrated Donald Trump's inauguration a year ago, expecting good things to come from their support of Trump's election. The crowd included a Russian who'd made contact with U.S. Rep. French Hill and whose activities are now under special counsel investigation.
    • Jan 21, 2018
  • Benton County officers shoot man with gun

    The State Police reports the shooting of a man in a Gravette pointing  a gun at Benton County officers.
    • Jan 21, 2018
  • The Women's March open line

    Women were on the march around the U.S. today and that included with vibrant crowds in Little Rock and Fayetteville.
    • Jan 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case

    Twelve of the lawyers facing punishment by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith for moving a class action case against an insurance company out of his court to a state court where it was speedily settled have filed their argument against sanctions.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Lawsuit filed over settlement in forum-shopping class action case

    The lawyers facing disciplinary action by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith over their settlement of a class action lawsuit against the USAA insurance company have a new legal headache.
    • Jun 21, 2016

Most Shared

  • Pot and politics

    The politics of medical marijuana in Arkansas will be an interesting story as it evolves.
  • The Oval outhouse

    One thing all Americans finally can agree upon is that public discourse has coarsened irretrievably in the era of Donald Trump and largely at his instance.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Paywall progress

    • Don't know why you doubt that I had staff at one time, silverback66. State employees…

    • on January 21, 2018
  • Re: The Women's March open line

    • "This one simple error of fact indicates to me the book [by Michael Wolff] was…

    • on January 21, 2018
  • Re: The Medicaid charade explained

    • Apply for a low interest Business/Personal loans to pay your bills or start your own…

    • on January 21, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation