Waltons Add More Money To Benton County Liquor Effort

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Tom and Steuart Walton each contributed $37,000 in September to Keep Dollars In Benton County, according to a monthly financial report filed Monday with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

The September amounts bring the total contributions from the two Walton heirs to $274,500 each, the report shows.

The two Waltons, who are Sam Walton’s grandsons, each gave $9,000 on Sept. 4 and another $28,000 each on Sept. 24.

Keep Dollars in Benton County is the group attempting to win approval on the Nov. 6 general election ballot of a question that would allow retail alcohol sales in the county.

A recently formed group attempting to defeat the issue, Citizens United to Preserve Benton County, only began raising money late last money, said John Gore, committee chairman. He said the group will file an Ethics Commission financial report next month based on the funds it raises in October.

Both groups are raising money this month for their public awareness and advertising campaigns leading into next month’s election. 

Through Sept. 30, Keep Dollars in Benton County had raised $599,000 and spent $588,455.22, leaving a balance of $10, 544.78, the report shows.

Most of the money Keep Dollars in Benton County raised through the summer went to National Ballot Access, the Georgia company paid to collect enough signatures from registered voters to place the alcohol sales question on the ballot.

Keep Dollars in Benton County submitted 56,635 signatures to the county clerk on July 12 for certification. The group submitted extra signatures expecting some to be rejected as invalid.

County workers finished verifying the required 41,171 signatures on July 23, and no one challenged the signatures in circuit court, clearing the question to appear on the ballot.

The 41,171 signatures needed to put the issue before the public is 38 percent of the 108,346 voters registered in Benton County on June 1.

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