Hot Spring County business and community representatives rallied Friday in Malvern to urge defeat of Republican Rep. Loy Mauch for the embarrassment he’s brought to the area for remarks sympathetic to slavery and critical of public education.
“Loy Mauch’s radical views on slavery and against public education have no place in Arkansas, especially the House of Representatives,” said [former state Rep.] Mike Burris. “Our area has been clouded by terrible press due to Loy Mauch’s radical statements that is creating a negative sterotype among national business leaders.”
The group said businesses and industry would be unwilling to locate in an area represented by someone with such radical beliefs.
Democrat David Kizzia of Malvern is opposing Mauch, who the Republican Party of Arkansas has continued to embrace. GOP Chair Doyle Webb has predicted Mauch will win and has defended his “freedom of conscience” in the things he’s written and said over the years.
Mauch got further national attention today from a union-backed website that focuses on Walmart issues that had earlier highlighted Walton heir Jim Walton’s campaign contribution to Mauch. Walton subsequently asked for his money back and sent a copy of his letter to Mauch to the Arkansas Times. The website is skeptical that Walton could just be learning about Mauch’s views, given how long he’s written publicly on neo-Confederate passions. Wrote The Walmart 1 Percent:
The fact is that Mauch’s espoused opinions on education are pretty extreme as well. Here’s a sampling:
“Public education was forced upon the South during Reconstruction to complete the aim of the radical socialists, which was to destroy Southern conservatism.”
“Public education is one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto.”
Desegregation of American schools “was never about education, but rather the post-American, despotic federal government coercing its will by using the military to execute the whims of a tyrannical judiciary.”
So are these the views on education that Jim Walton meant to support with his campaign contribution to Mauch? He and his family are major funders of efforts to undermine public schools, of course, but these views seem beyond the pale even for corporate-style education reformers. Jim Walton’s support of Mauch specifically for his “education reform” positions might give us more of a window into the Waltons education agenda than Jim would have liked.