It’s an old story, the outsized-influence of the Waltons’ outsized fortune in influencing politics, particularly when it comes to education.

Here’s another installment from Georgia. It’s convoluted but boils down to this. A candidate for governor was recorded telling another candidate that he’d supported an education bill he’d previously opposed — to increase the amount of money rich people could direct of their tax payments to school vouchers — so as to prevent Walton money from pouring into the race for one of his opponents.


He voted for a bad bill. He’s in the runoff. No Walton money materialized for the challenger who didn’t make the runoff. The Walton forces didn’t comment.

Maybe the candidate made it all up. But he sure enough was caught on tape talking about caving on a bad bill merely because he FEARED Walton retribution.  The candidate caught making the comment is Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor with Brian Kemp. Cagle viewed Kemp as an easier target than Hunter Hill.


From the Atlanta Journal Constitution;

The measure passed the House last year but stalled in Lindsey Tippins’ committee. Cagle even boasted in the recording that he and the senator had “beat it to a pulp” in previous years. Clay Tippins wanted to know what led Cagle to “hurt” his uncle this year by pushing the bill through despite his opposition.

“Why? You turned on him,” Tippins said. “And there are reasons for that. Why did you have to have it?”

“Exactly the reason I told Lindsey, that you need to listen to,” Cagle said. “It ain’t about public policy. It’s about (expletive) politics. There’s a group that was getting ready to put $3 million behind Hunter Hill.”

Pressed by Tippins, Cagle identified the group as the Walton Family Foundation, which backs charter school initiatives across the nation. Hill, a former state senator who finished in third in the primary, is an outspoken supporter of school choice efforts.

“Oh, no. If he got $3 million from the Walton Foundation, he’d have been money,” Tippins said. “That makes him formidable.”

Anybody who thinks this dynamic isn’t at work at the Arkansas Capitol hasn’t been paying attention.