Does Jim Walton think public schools are a Communist plot?

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We recently wrote about a $500 campaign donation that Jim Walton—youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, member of Walmart’s Board of Directors, and Chairman and CEO of the Walton-owned Arvest Bank—sent to Arkansas State Rep. Loy Mauch, and called for Walton to withdraw his donation and publicly reject Mauch’s extremist neo-Confederate views.

The Arkansas Times reported last week that, according to a Walton family consultant, Jim Walton wrote Mauch on October 22, asked for hiWhich of Loy Mauch's extreme views on education attracted Jim Walton's support?s contribution to be returned, and received his money back. “The contribution was made because of your support for education reform in Arkansas,” Walton’s letter reads. “Since making the contribution, however, I have learned about some of your views on other issues[,] with which I disagree.”

Let’s set aside for a moment that Jim Walton (well, or his consultants) must not have done much background research if they were unaware of Mauch’s repugnant opinions about slavery and the Confederacy, which were covered in a November 2010 Arkansas Times profile of Mauch and which he outlined in about 50 letters to the editor to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette between 2000 and 2010. (Summary: slavery must not have been such a terrible thing since the Bible doesn’t specifically say it was terrible,[1] Abraham Lincoln was a terrorist[2] and a war criminal,[3] and secession “is the only cure for this country’s destructive addiction to socialism.”[4])

The fact is that Mauch’s espoused opinions on education are pretty extreme as well. Here’s a sampling:

  • “Public education was forced upon the South during Reconstruction to complete the aim of the radical socialists, which was to destroy Southern conservatism.”[5]
  • “Public education is one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto.”[6]
  • Desegregation of American schools “was never about education, but rather the post-American, despotic federal government coercing its will by using the military to execute the whims of a tyrannical judiciary.”[7]

So are these the views on education that Jim Walton meant to support with his campaign contribution to Mauch? He and his family are major funders of efforts to undermine public schools, of course, but these views seem beyond the pale even for corporate-style education reformers.  Jim Walton’s support of Mauch specifically for his “education reform” positions might give us more of a window into the Waltons education agenda than Jim would have liked.


[1] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 15, 2003.

[2] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 13, 2001.

[3] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 14, 2005.

[4] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 18, 2009

[5] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 4, 2006.

[6] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, September 16, 2006.

[7] Letter to the Editor by Loy Mauch, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 14, 2007.

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