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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.

Photo by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A listing of nursing home owner Michael Morton's largest contributions.

How we did it

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reviewed a computer database of contributions from nursing home owner Michael Morton of Fort Smith and companies he owns or operates, as listed in the Arkansas secretary of state’s office.

The gifts were dated from October 1999 through October 2014.

The contributions were compiled by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, a Helena, Mont., nonprofit. The nonpartisan group tracks virtually all campaign contributions of statewide, legislative, judicial and other candidates in major races in all 50 states.

Arkansas is among a handful of states that still do not require candidates — at least those for statewide and legislative offices — to file campaign finance reports into electronic databases. The state requires only paper filings. The Montana nonprofit hires workers to transcribe the paper reports into electronic formats available to the public.

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Print Headline: State donor's cash in several war chests

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Archived Comments

  • TuckerMax
    January 18, 2015 at 5:48 a.m.

    Wood probably returned hers because it was unspent anyway. Ask that.

  • Goad
    January 18, 2015 at 8:59 a.m.

    They need to all return it. The record shows with Maggio what is expected. Rutledge especially needs to return the 88k.

  • PopMom
    January 18, 2015 at 10:58 a.m.

    The Arkansas Times reported that Leslie Rutledge laid off quite a few staff members. I've not seen anything about that in the ADG. I suspect that Rutledge will be the key to revival of the all but dead Democratic Party of Arkansas.

  • NoUserName
    January 18, 2015 at 11:24 a.m.

    and your implication with laying off staff members is...?

  • nwar
    January 18, 2015 at 12:26 p.m.

    Wow - Morton really threw a lot of cash at Rutledge. Maybe he is interested in having an Attorney General that spends all of her time and energy filing frivolous lawsuits against the Obama Administration than having her investigate Arkansas nursing homes that abuse and neglect their patients?

  • PopMom
    January 18, 2015 at 1:24 p.m.

    NUN,

    Perhaps, she is downsizing the staff to save money or she is punishing her enemies or making room to hire some of her friends. Maybe, she did not think that these people were qualified, but it seems that she should have made that decision after she held the job for a while. I would think the press would like to ask her the reasons.

  • carpenterretired
    January 18, 2015 at 9:48 p.m.

    If this guy is making enough money off a cot and three hots a day for old folks to spend that kind of cash on politicians he got a good deal going and come to think of it a lot of that money must be from Medicaid so he may be one of those rich guys who does very well off tax payers.

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