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Here are the 11 people connected to Preferred Family Healthcare/Alternative Opportunities who each gave Gov. Mike Beebe's re-election campaign $2,000 on the same day, Aug. 26, 2010.

Their $22,000 total arrived two days after former Rep. Eddie Cooper, D-Melbourne emailed lobbyist Milton "Rusty" Cranford that he'd heard Beebe would lift a moratorium on new competition for existing Medicaid providers like Alternative Opportunities. Both men held positions with the company.

The donors, according to Beebe's campaign finance report, were:

Cooper, who also served as an Alternative Opportunities regional executive and director on the company's board.

Karen Cranford, Rusty Cranford's then-wife. She filed for divorce in 2016, and the case is pending. Her attorney, Brian Burke, declined to comment.

Tom Goss and Bontiea Goss, a married couple who were, respectively, Alternative Opportunities' chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Their attorneys, Chris Plumlee of Rogers and Melanie Morgan of Kansas City, released a joint statement in response to emailed questions.

"Like many others, Tom Goss and Bontiea Goss provided campaign contributions to then Governor Mike Beebe during 2010, although they have never communicated with Governor Beebe about the [outpatient mental health] moratorium in Arkansas," the attorneys said.

Marilyn Nolan and Dr. Keith Noble, the nonprofit's chief executive and clinical director, respectively. Both pleaded guilty to federal charges. Their attorneys didn't respond to emailed questions.

Alex and Geoff Goss, who were Tom Goss' sons, then in their early 20s. Alex Goss died in May 2011. A message left at a number listed for Geoff Goss was not returned.

Steven Harter, chief executive of Alternative Opportunities' affiliate in Branson. Harter said he couldn't remember specifics about the reported contribution, including whether he made it, how much he gave or why.

Michele Meggers and Wes Robbins, who worked for Dayspring Behavioral Health when Alternative Opportunities acquired the for-profit in 2007. Meggers declined to comment, and messages left at a number listed for Robbins were not returned.

At the time of the Beebe donations, Rusty Cranford and his lobbying firm, The Cranford Coalition Inc., had already given the governor's campaign $3,000 combined -- in March and May of 2010.

Another Cranford lobbying firm, Capitol Hill Coalition, gave the governor $1,000 on Aug. 31, 2010.

In a September interview, Beebe said he did not remember the donations, didn't know who the Gosses were at the time and strongly rejected any inference that the campaign cash influenced his decisions.

SundayMonday on 12/02/2018

Print Headline: 11 same-day donors to Beebe


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