Stephanie Orman Calls Out “Dark Money” Influencing Bentonville Political Race

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Orman calls on small town political leaders to join her in denouncing interference from Washington D.C. PACS on local races.

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The RSLC is pumping major funding into Bentonville in order to gain control of our local community.This outsider group with east coast money lacks local credibility and provides no transparency into who is funding this particular investment and what their agenda is.

In a recent press conference, Bentonville City Council Member and Candidate for Bentonville Mayor, Stephanie Orman, calls on local government officials, community leaders, and residents to join her in denouncing major out of state PAC (Political Action Committee) influence in small town Arkansas races. This type of political funding known in the media as “dark money” is untraceable money that comes from Washington D.C. funding organizations. These organizations are not required to clearly disclose donors for local campaign support, unlike what is done for corporate and personal donations over $50. Additionally, these organizations have no legal spending limit on each campaign.

Orman calls attention to the issue because of the recent PAC funding focused on the Bentonville, Ark. Mayor’s Race. The Republican State Leadership Committee, Inc. (RSLC), a PAC originally registered in Washington D.C. but, just as recent as September 2018, registered in Arkansas, has disclosed that they have spent $41,587 on candidate Jim Webb’s campaign, producing many fliers, billboards and Facebook's ads to support the candidate. This is in addition to the $38,639.10 Jim Webb has disclosed he put into his campaign to date. This could put this campaign spend at an all time high for the Bentonville Mayor's race. (https://financial-disclosures.sos.arkansas.gov//CFISAR_Service/ReportsOutput/02/5a986adc-880f-4b6d-bd18-4dbc81276fa8.pdf)

“The RSLC is pumping major funding into Bentonville in order to gain control of our local community.”, Stephanie Orman says. “This outsider group with east coast money lacks local credibility and provides no transparency into who is funding this particular investment and what their agenda is. This and other out-of-state organizations must be stopped and I am calling on local government officials, residents, and community leaders to join me in denouncing the agenda-lead involvement of these organizations.”

This is not the first time the Republican State Leadership Committee has been called out for their practices. Arkansas Supreme Court Justice, Courtney Goodson has filed a lawsuit against the their attack ads, claiming that they are factually inaccurate. This suit has been escalated to the federal level. (https://www.apnews.com/609f2d22c390465a9619d4d16b28ef37)

In 2011, the RSLC was in the spotlight for a potential alleged misconduct related to possible collusion with a party leader in Alabama. (https://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/republican-state-leadership-committee-memo-109680)

Organizations like these are also used to uncap the maximum support that can be made to a candidate. To put that into perspective, an individual can donate up to $2,700 per candidate, per election and PACs can donate $5,000 directly. PACs that provide "support" to candidates without collusion have no cap on their spending.

Focused on being “the Community’s Mayor”, Orman pledges to create a responsive, collaborative, and transparent local government. She aims to increase public access to the administration and address community concerns with open and frequent communication with residents, both in-person and by leveraging social media platforms, as well as develop a City ScoreCard to assess community engagement and drive transparency in her administration’s success. This announcement underscores her focus on transparency in the negative issues that can impact the great town of Bentonville.

To view Stephanie Orman’s press conference see her post of Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OrmanforBentonville/videos/248244252518416/

To find our more about her campaign, visit: https://ormanforbentonvillemayor.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/OrmanforBentonville/

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