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Campaign watch

The money just keeps rolling in from the motel/billboard fortunes of Dean V. White. State Superintendent Tony Bennett reports another $50,000 contribution from White, whose son and daughter-in-law recently donated a combined $35,000. The elder White, a Merrillville resident, gave Bennett’s campaign $25,000 in June and $50,000 in March.

Bennett’s campaign also reported a $50,000 contribution from Eli Broad, who sold his retirement savings business to AIG for $18 billion and created a foundation that invests heavily in education reform.

Education historian Diane Ravitch identifies Broad as a member of the “Billionaire Boys’ Club,” along with Bill Gates and the Walton Family – donating millions to shape public policy in their own interests.

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