Profile: Jackson T. Stephens (with Mary Anne)

Chairman, Stephens Group Inc. <br>Little Rock, Arkansas

Photo: Getty Images

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In the late 80’s, billionaire financier Jackson T. Stephens and his wife Mary Anne were described as “Mr. And Mrs. Republican in Arkansas.” And little has changed.

Stephens founded Stephens Group, one of the largest investment firms off Wall Street, with his brother, the late W.R. “Witt” Stephens. And both became power players in Arkansas politics — just on different sides of the partisan divide. Witt Stephens was a die-hard Democrat and influential supporter of Bill Clinton during his rise to prominence. Jackson Stephens chaired former President Bush’s 1988 campaign in Arkansas and helped organize his inaugural.

Stephens attended the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he met and became friends with a midshipman from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. Still, that friendship didn’t extend to political support. Stephens was an outspoken backer of President Ronald Reagan. In a rare interview in the early 80’s, Jackson declared that Reagan was giving the country “exactly what we need. Some of us call it tough love.”

Lately, it’s been Stephens’ son, Steve Stephens, who has been making waves in Arkansas politics. Through much of 2001, the younger Stephens was rumored to be considering challenging Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2002 Republican primary. He eventually dropped the idea, but not before angering some Arkansas Republicans, who openly wondered whether the Stephens family were drifting away from the party.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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