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

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

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 »

Event Calendar

« »

July

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

  • A week at Midtown

    Can a dive bar be reborn?
  • Plan for the homeless echoes Gillam Park history

    It's a dumping ground, again.
  • Repulsed

    Regardless of the spectrum of your religious beliefs or lack of, does alluding to any religious icon or symbol of any religion [when writing of] the joys of double-finger penetration inspire any of your readers to any form of greatness?

Most Recent Comments

 

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