by Max Brantley
I still don't know how the Billionaire Boys Club yesterday turned Sen. Mary Anne Salmon into the pivotal vote for the bill to take the cap off charter schools. But having won that victory in committee, Sen. Gilbert Baker wasn't about to let any opposition form. The bill wasn't on the Senate calendar today, but he pulled it out for a vote and it passed 22-10. Sneaky Gilbert.
It was perhaps only coincidental that it was Walmart day at the Capitol, with festivities including a free breakfast, lunch and Governor's Mansion reception. Of course, every day is Walmart/Walton day at the Capitol. Its billions are powering the charter school onslaught. I wonder if all those 22 senators would have voted "aye" if Walton money was dividing their local school district into one for haves and another for have-nots? Any Walton-financed charter schools in Conway, Greenbrier or Vilonia yet, Sen. Baker?