Pro-Liquor Faction Crushes Opponents In Fundraising

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The group that led the effort to allow retail alcohol sales in Benton County crushed the anti-liquor faction in fundraising leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

Keep Dollars in Benton County, which supported alcohol sales and pushed for the measure to be on the November ballot, raised $660,667. Much of that money came from Sam Walton’s grandsons, Tom and Steuart Walton, who each contributed $299,500.

The group opposing the liquor initiative, Citizens United to Preserve Benton County, raised $1,265. Its largest contribution, $500, came from Centerton First Baptist Church.

(The anti-liquor group’s chairman, John Gore, is shown in the photograph with this story, having a microphone attached to his dress shirt before taping a recent segment of The City Wire show at 5NEWS in Fayetteville.)

The figures above are from the final reports the groups were required to file with the Arkansas Ethic Commission before the Nov. 6 election. Citizens United to Preserve Benton County only began collecting funds a few months ago, while the pro-sales faction that benefited from the Waltons’ contributions raised money for much of the year, records show.

Voters approved the measure by 51,487 (65.44 percent) to 27,193 (34.56 percent), records show.

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