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Campaign watch

Billboard advertising magnate Dean White has made a $50,000 campaign contribution to state Superintendent Tony Bennett.

Forbes magazine this week released its list of the 1,000 wealthiest individuals. White tied with Herb Simon, the shopping mall mogul, as the 719th wealthiest, with net worths of $1.8 billion each. They join Gayle Cook, widow of medical device-maker Bill Cook, and Colts owner Jim Irsay on the list of Hoosier billionaires.

White also gave Bennett $50,000 in 2011. He has contributed $325,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence.

White's son, Bruce White, was appointed to the Purdue University Board of Trustees last year by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

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