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1999-02-19
Menomonee Falls, WI. Home Depot Harassment.

We reported last June (see 6/21/98 newsflash) that Home Depot had run into serious troubles in 3 Wisconsin communities: Waukesha, Brookfield, and Menomonee Falls. Home Depot couldn't find a home anywhere in these towns. Our latest report from Menomonee Falls reveals that Home Depot has admitted to organizing people locally to phone village officials who voted against Home Depot's plans to build a store there.Village President Joe Greco and Village Board member Mike McDonald say that a telemarketing firm hired by Home Depot was relaying as many as 40 calls a day to their homes. "In my 17 years in office, I have never seen a tactic like this, Greco said. "It bothered me that they would use those kinds of tactics, I think, to harass public officials." Last October, the Menomonee Falls Village Board took Home Depot off the hook because the site they chose near an existing shopping center would generate too much traffic. Apparently Home Depot then decided to increase the phone traffic into the homes of the officials who rejected the company. "We don't view it as a form of harassment at all," said Home Depot spokeswoman Kelly Hays. "They are elected public officials. The idea was to get factual support to counter the claims of Joe Greco that no one in town supports the project." There is no word on how much money Home Depot paid to general this citizen response.

What you can do: Unhappy with any decisions made by your local officials? Contact the Home Depot office on Paces Ferry road in Atlanta. They might be willing to help your group "organize" public opinion by lending you their telemarketers. Remember: Home Depot recently spent nearly half a million to lobby voters in Toledo, OH for a zoning change for the company. Similar public education campaigns are coming soon to a community near you.










 
 
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