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2004-01-19
Washington, D.C. Wal-Mart's PAC Is Number One in Political Donations

The money you spend on cheap underwear at Wal-Mart, could end up paying for elected officials in Congress who spend much of their timing covering their butt. According to the Arkansas News Bureau, Wal-Mart was the second largest corporate donor in the 2003-2004 electoral political cycle, second only to the investment firm Goldman Sachs. Research compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics reveals that Wal-Mart's Political Action Committee (PAC) spent the most of any PAC, $1.028 million, on political candidates. In past year's the Wal-Mart PAC was not even in the top 20 donors, but now they are the Number One PAC in the nation. In the 2002 cycle, Wal-Mart was 44th, with $1.1 million in contributions; in 2000 Wal-Mart ranked 128th with $457,050; in 1998, the retailer was 356th with $135,750. Wal-Mart has decidedly Republican tastes, shoveling 84% of their donations to the Grand Old Party. In 2003, Wal-Mart made PAC contributions to 49% of the sitting membes of Congress, or 191 members. On Wal-Mart's gift list was Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, who each received $10,000. In addition to direct contributions to politicians, Wal-Mart spent $440,000 on its own company lobbyists in the first six months of 2003, and another $240,000 on outside lobbyists. "They've really geared up (their Washington presence) a lot in the last three or four years," Rep. John Boozman ( R-AR) said. Boozman, who represents Wal-Mart's home district in Arkansas, got a check for $10,000 contribution from Wal-Mart last year. "They realize that the federal government is so intrusive and affects so much that they feel like it's vital that their views are known when policies form," he said.


What you can do: Small merchants and individual citizens cannot match Wal-Mart PAC contributions to Congress. Our money as Wal-Mart shoppers is converted into PAC donations to maintain the best Congress money can buy. Just another reason, perhaps, not to shop at Wal-Mart. For similar campaign contribution stories, search this database by "political action committee" or "Congress."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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