La. PAC Used to Funnel $3M in Out-of-State Billionaire Cash into 2015 BESE Election Disbands


In 2015, six out-of-state billionaires from four families contributed a combined $3M to influence the outcome of Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) election.

shocked-dollarFor the October 24, 2019, primary, out-of-state billionaire spending totaling $2.1M was as follows:

  • John and Laura Arnold (Texas): $625K
  • Michael Bloomberg (New York): $800K
  • Eli Broad (California): $250K
  • Alice Walton (Arkansas): $200K
  • Jim Walton (Arkansas): $200K

In all cases, the funnel used to bring this $2.1M into Louisiana’s October 24, 2015, state board of ed election was Louisiana businessman Lane Grigsby’s Empower Louisiana PAC.

For the October 24, 2015, election, Grigsby used the money to purchase ads in support of corporate ed reform candidates James Garvey, Sandy Holloway, Holly Boffy, and Tony Davis and in opposition traditional ed supporters Mike Kreamer and Lottie Beebe.

The October 2015 BESE election resulted in six ed-reform wins and two runoffs, which were decided in a…

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