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2006-02-26
Peoria, IL Politician Promises Not To Spend Money At Wal-Mart

Spending political campaign funds at Wal-Mart apparently doesn't play well in Peoria. Paul Mangieri, a Democratic running for Illinois state treasurer, promised this week to stop spending any more campaign money at Wal-Mart, after his opponent pointed out that Mangieri had spent $1,300 at the "anti-union company that routinely ships American jobs overseas." Mangieri's opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, characterized Mangieri's spending at a Wal-Mart in Galesburg as a "slap in the face to the working men and women of our state." At first, according to the Peoria Journal, Mangieri tried to discount the charge, telling the newspaper, "I think we're into the silly season now. My opponent is just jealous because I've been endorsed by the (Illinois) AFL-CIO and just about every other union and he has been endorsed by none. He's the son of a millionaire. His idea of discount shopping is going to Gucci." But when Mangieri learned that the union was, in fact, not pleased that he was patronizing Wal-Mart, he said he would stop shopping there. Mangieri spent his campaign money on supplies, promotional items, food and parade candy between 2002 and 2005. "If it's of concern on any level," Mangieri said, "we will ensure that not only will we buy 100% American-made products, but we will only purchase from union stores." Mangieri said he would donate the same amount of money to organizations aimed at helping Wal-Mart workers unionize, a suggestion endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO. "Of course we're disappointed that any dollars were spent at Wal-Mart by a candidate we endorsed, but that was a couple of years ago and we're hopeful he won't do it again," said a spokeswoman for the union. Giannoulias told reporters that he does not shop at Wal-Mart.

What you can do: This story suggests how local residents could have a little fun with their local candidates. Ask them to sign a pledge not to spend any of their campaign funds at Wal-Mart or the other big box stores. If they are running for local office, ask them to spend their money with local businesses.










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

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