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Lisa Hammersly

Stories by Lisa

State donor's cash in several war chests

updated: 01/18/2015 3:11 a.m. Comments 7

In the past 15 years, more than $1.2 million in campaign gifts to candidates for Arkansas' most powerful political offices have originated with one man: Fort Smith nursing home owner Michael Morton.

Electronic finance filings by candidates gain favor

posted: 12/28/2014 4:32 a.m. Discuss

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson and two Arkansas legislators say they'll push for new state laws in January to make it easier for the public to learn who is bankrolling the state's biggest political campaigns.

Issue 3 already leaving a mark

posted: 11/16/2014 5:30 a.m. Discuss

Arkansas voters surprised almost everyone Nov. 4 when they endorsed a constitutional amendment that bars state political candidates from accepting campaign money from corporations.

Outsiders funding Senate contest

posted: 11/02/2014 2:51 a.m. Discuss

More than $2 of every $3 donated directly to the campaigns of Arkansas' U.S. Senate candidates have come from people and interests outside the state, according to an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette review of federal campaign contribution records.

Political gifts filed on paper shrouded

posted: 10/26/2014 3:10 a.m. Comments 2

More than $7 million in campaign donations flowed into Arkansas' U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor and Republican Tom Cotton over the past 15 weeks.

Governor's race sees big donors

updated: 10/19/2014 3:33 a.m. Discuss

A Tennessee-based housing and resort developer -- along with his companies, executives and family -- is the largest donor so far to Arkansas' gubernatorial race between Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross.

2 state families at top of donors to Pryor, Cotton

posted: 09/28/2014 3:33 a.m. Comments 4

Members of two of Arkansas' wealthiest families -- Stephens in Little Rock and Murphy in El Dorado -- are among the largest contributors so far to the state's nationally important U.S. Senate contest between Democrat Mark Pryor and Republican Tom Cotton.

Campaign-finance files onerous

posted: 08/17/2014 3:35 a.m. Discuss

Arkansas ranks as one of the most difficult states for the public to learn who's donating campaign money to candidates for state office -- especially in the biggest, most-talked-about races.

States offer options for switch from paper to online

posted: 08/17/2014 3:08 a.m. Discuss

In 2006, Louisiana's system for disclosing candidates' campaign contributions to the public looked a lot like Arkansas'.

What U.S. experts, state officials say

posted: 08/17/2014 3:07 a.m. Discuss

Here's what other state officials and national experts say about Arkansas' hard-to-access campaign contribution and spending reports: "Most people involved in politics, either covering it as a journalist or working on campaigns, know that to get any information about a candidate's finance reports, you have to look at the report as it's been scanned in from the printed version. It's not searchable. It doesn't take advantage of the technology that's available." State Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock

State grade low on finance reports

posted: 08/17/2014 3:06 a.m. Discuss

For at least a decade, national studies have awarded Arkansas low marks for its campaign-finance reporting practices.

Hogs foundation's gifts, grants fall off

posted: 06/17/2014 3:19 a.m. Comments 2

Contributions and grants to the Razorback Foundation -- the money raising arm for University of Arkansas sports -- dropped by more than $10 million last fiscal year, to $25.8 million, according to the nonprofit's most recent Internal Revenue Service report.

Testimony on UA files to yield no prosecution

posted: 06/03/2014 5:06 a.m. Discuss

Conflicting testimony under oath to legislators last September by the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville's chancellor and the school's former spokesman doesn't measure up to grounds for prosecution, according to a letter released Monday by 6th Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

Nursing homes pile cash on court races

posted: 05/18/2014 4:26 a.m. Discuss

Fort Smith nursing home operator Michael Morton and his companies have contributed $113,000 to candidates for the Arkansas Supreme Court -- more than 25 percent of reported donations from all sources, according to a campaign finance analysis by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

2nd panel to look at UA unit

posted: 01/06/2014 2:28 a.m. Discuss

A second joint legislative committee will take a shot Tuesday at identifying mistakes that led to millions in overspending by the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s fundraising division.

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