Alice Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, is Tony Bennett's best friend, if campaign contributions are any indication. Walton, No. 17 on the Forbes billionaire list, just made a $200,000 contribution to Bennett's re-election campaign.
While she lives in Bentonville, Ark., Walton has a history of bankrolling education-related politics here in Indiana. She's given almost $1.7 million to the Terre Haute-based American Federation for Children Action Fund over the past two years. That group, in turn, gives much of its money to Hoosiers for Economic Growth, which supports Republican candidates supporting anti-union education measures.
Wal-Mart, of course, has a long history battling organized labor.
So, if you're wondering why billionaire Alice Walton has an interest in Indiana schoolkids – well, it's not so much the kids as who might some day try to organize them.