Out-of-state donors at play in local race
Whose voice is going to be heard?
My family and I have lived in Bentonville for 18 years. My children grew up here, and there is now a granddaughter who was born here. This community, this small but growing town, has been and is our home. Despite seeing the population double, it has retained its small-town charm.
Change is inevitable. As a community changes, the people who reside in the homes on tree-lined streets and in three-story apartment buildings should have the loudest voice about its direction.
Last month, I read an article on NPR.org that talked about the unequal and unwanted impact outside money has on local elections. Montana has a third of Arkansas' population, but over $95 million was injected into its Senate race -- easily more than either party candidate had raised themselves.
That made me think about the local run-off election for a seat on the Bentonville City Council coming up Dec. 1. I looked at the "Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Reports" for both candidates.
What I saw stunned me. A full 59% of the campaign donors for Gayatri Agnew reside outside of the state. A resounding 100% of the donors to Jeff Matkins call Arkansas home.
Will the voices of Bentonville residents be heard over the cacophony of noise coming from outside money?
J.C. Crumpton, Bentonville
Take on candidates sparks two reactions
I've recently experienced two different reactions to my feelings about the recent presidential election. These different reactions were from two friends who I had worked with in a volunteer capacity for many years. Before I go on, let me say that I voted neither for Trump or Biden, choosing to instead vote for the Libertarian candidate. Trump's immense ego, constant lying and immature and ineffective leadership style led me to not want to see him in the White House for another four years; and Biden's choosing of Harris as a running mate scares me. Now, on to the point of this letter.
I had over the months leading up to the election made it known that I was not a Trump supporter. One friend essentially said we were no longer friends because of this, while the other friend said we could disagree but were still friends. Unfortunately, this diametrically opposite reaction is all too common in our country today. Friends are no longer friends, family members are fighting with one another and worst of all demonstrations have become violent. And over what? The outcome of an election. A sad tale in the United States of America.
Pete Rathmell, Garfield