Wal-Mart political power scandal in the USA

This video from the USA is called WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price — teaser trailer.

From Socialist Worker in the USA:

Buying friends and influencing politicians

Elizabeth Schulte reports on the latest scandal at Wal-Mart–and shows that the retail giant is far from the only corporate offender when it comes to buying political influence.

May 30, 2008

THE HEADS of retail behemoth Wal-Mart knew they’d found a great way to buy influence in Washington–by using a company employee charity trust to increase donations to their political action committee (PAC).

But when they described the process at company management meetings, they never thought the video would end up on the Internet.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) unearthed the tapes and released them at the end of April, after Flagler Productions, the video production company Wal-Mart hired to film its management meetings, made the tapes public. The videos provide a seldom-seen glimpse into how corporations like Wal-Mart buy political power and influence.

According to the scheme Wal-Mart was encouraging its managers to take part in, for every dollar they gave to the Wal-Mart PAC, Wal-Mart would give two to the Associates in Critical Need Fund, a tax-exempt affiliate of the Wal-Mart Foundation that is supposed to provide support for employees or their dependents during medical or extreme hardships.

“I like to call it a two-fer,” smirked company spokesperson Jay Allen during a 2001 meeting in Houston.

“Wal-Mart is not, by federal law, allowed to contribute to the Wal-Mart PAC,” Wal-Mart executive Tom Coughlin tells the management audience. “You are. I am. But Wal-Mart is not.” Since that time, Coughlin resigned after accusations that he misappropriated as much half a million dollars in reimbursements and the improper use of gift cards. He later pled guilty on federal charges to defrauding the company. …

What else to read

The Center for Public Integrity‘s report, “Wal-Mart’s ‘PAC mentality'”, details how the world’s-largest retailer transformed its once-tiny political action committee into one of the nation’s biggest corporate PACs.

A story on Dan Rather Reports, “Wal-Mart goes to Washington,” features video of the 2001 Wal-Mart managers’ meeting.

The Huffington Post’s David Nassar details the latest Wal-Mart scandal in his piece “Wal-Mart plays politics with charity.”

Detailed information about the amount of money corporations and industries contribute to candidates and political parties is available at the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

3 thoughts on “Wal-Mart political power scandal in the USA

  1. Posted by: “frankofbos” FrankOfBos@yahoo.com

    Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:43 pm (PDT)

    Kid Glove Treatment for Walmart after They are Caught Risking Kids Lives – Bush History,11/01

    Walmart gets the kid glove treatment after being caught illegally
    putting kids lives in danger by giving them dangerous work, like using
    chain saws. The ‘penalty’ assessed by Bush’s labor department looks
    more like a gift to insure Walmart won’t be caught again and won’t be
    fined. Perhaps Walmart’s status as a big time GOP donor means that
    Walmart’s needs are more important than keeping kid’s safe


    Poor George’s Almanac: 365 Reasons to Fight Against McBush’s 3rd Term!


  2. Pingback: Naomi Klein on Obama and Chicago Boys economics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Sandra Bland arrest cover-up, Texas policeman says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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