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Arkansas college stood to gain from taxes on pot Rx; trial focuses on Ecclesia financial woes, ex-senator’s proposal

By Doug Thompson

This article was published April 20, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

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Tiny Ecclesia College in Springdale has been the recipient of $717,500 in state grant money, through 11 different state legislators. The Bible-based school has about 150 students.

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FAYETTEVILLE -- Ecclesia College, a private Christian school, stood to gain money from taxes on legalized medical marijuana in an early draft of a proposed constitutional amendment by then-Sen. Jon Woods of Springdale, according to legislative working papers made public in federal court late Thursday.

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Print Headline: College stood to gain from taxes on pot Rx; Kickbacks trial focuses on Ecclesia financial woes, ex-senator’s proposal

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Comments on: Arkansas college stood to gain from taxes on pot Rx; trial focuses on Ecclesia financial woes, ex-senator’s proposal

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RBear says... April 20, 2018 at 6:35 a.m.

Reading through this article, I'm appalled at the behavior of Woods and others in this sham of a deal. Ecclessia needs to be shut down. It is not financially viable and the efforts of Woods and others to prop it up at taxpayer expense is disgusting. As the details are coming out in the trial, it makes me and probably others wonder what other shady deals are being concocted over in the Gray Dome.

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shortfinger1001 says... April 20, 2018 at 7 a.m.

Beware of anyone wearing his religion on his sleeve.

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BOLTAR says... April 20, 2018 at 7:13 a.m.

If I wanted to become the world's biggest hypocrite, I would first have to become exceedingly religious.

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TimberTopper says... April 20, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.

And to think there are those that don't understand the reasons behind the separation of church and state. No church or church entity should receive any type of funding from any government, be it cash or a plot of government owned ground, to place a religious marker on.

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JMort69 says... April 20, 2018 at 9:16 a.m.

UNBELIEVABLE!! Every current legislator, including Bob Ballinger, Bart Hester and Cecile Bledsoe among others, who sponsored grants to this ridiculous place was vehemently opposed to medical marijuana legalization. And, now, we find that Woods wanted part of the money to go to Ecclesia and into his pocket. Is there no level of hypocrisy to which these so-called "Christians" will not sink? And to think they thought the Walton Foundation would work with this podunk junction place is laughable. That meeting was also arranged by a legislator. And, don't worry RBear, from what I hear from good sources, all of the various schemes under investigation by the feds will show up publicly soon. Including one involving Medicaid in Arkansas, which is far greater monetarily than this one. I hear up to 1/3rd of the entire legislature could be involved. The fact is, our legislature is a den of thieves, none of whom have the decency to step aside before they are booted out. Of course, we can't expect decency from people like these now can we?

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Whippersnapper says... April 20, 2018 at 9:48 a.m.

Folks can be exceedingly hypocritical without being religious at all. Anybody who espouses honesty and integrity and supports Trump is a good example (this includes many religious folks, but is not exclusively limited to religious folks). Anybody who believes that guns are inherently bad and people shouldn't have them but trusts the government (of the people, by the people, and for the people) to have them is a hypocrite.

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RBear says... April 20, 2018 at 11:20 a.m.

What floors me is the lack of comment from those in here on the right about this case. They'll rant all day and night about innocuous issues in DC, most of the time with little fact or context. But when something involves a) legislators from the Republican Party and b) a religious institution that is is clearly about as shady as they come, crickets.
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Just shows how hypocritical they are on their stances. What's funny is it's right in the backyard of some of the most hypocritical. I'm guessing a few of them will vote FOR Ballinger for state senate even though he's wrapped up in these dealings. "I know he's a crook, but at least he's against the gays."

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JMort69 says... April 20, 2018 at 1:39 p.m.

Ballinger is counting on these willfully blind, one issue voters. I heard that, in the Washington Co. debate with incumbent Bryan King, all Ballinger did was attack. His history is using social issues to divide and conquer. He flaps his phony religious robes and incites fear in the most gullible among us. His supporters are panicked as well. Desperation makes you defensive, and they certainly are. I hear that some of his most ardent supporters, when confronted in person, say they "can't make a comment" on his potentially illegal involvement in this mess. Apparently, none of his supporters can. I am an Independent, but I'm voting in the Repub. primary in order to ensure that Ballinger doesn't make it to the general election. I urge other voters in the 5th Senate District to vote in the Republican Primary too, whether that is your party or not. You can vote in the general election for whomever you choose. But, we need to unite to see to it that Ballinger does not make it that far. Time to put country, state and ethics above parties.

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Whippersnapper says... April 20, 2018 at 2:41 p.m.

Hey RBear,
I for one have made numerous comments about the despicable nature of these individuals and the GIF program as a whole. The pork slush was a major problem when it was Nick Wilson and his cronies running it in the 90s, and it is a major problem today. Any spending programs that are not overseen by elected officials having to go on the record via legislation are problematic. This is why the A&P commissions all over the state have become corrupt sources of self-dealing and nepotism - they are the only funds in state law whose expenditure has virtually no oversight and no ethics rules.

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JMort69 says... April 20, 2018 at 3:52 p.m.

This is not a "right" or "left" issue, this is a right or wrong issue.

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