How Walmart Money Corrupts Local Politics

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/p2w2NH-uH

mnemonic link here:  http://urlet.com/sierra.fill

SIOUX FALLS, SD –

With a little more than a month before the city vote, a group has come forward in support of a south Sioux Falls Walmart store.  But the group, which initially appears to be a grassroots-type, citizen-led local organization, actually started in Arkansas.  According to a finance report, Walmart contributed $250,000 to it.

On April 8, voters will decide whether to support a rezoning plan.  A Yes vote will allow Walmart to begin construction on a new supercenter at the corner 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

A pro-Walmart group called Building a Better Sioux Falls has sent letters to people who live in the city, encouraging them to support a south side Walmart store in April.  They are signed by five Sioux Falls residents.  Some of the names are familiar, including Representative Hal Wick and former lawmaker Gene Abdallah.  Darryl Nordquist and Diane Derry also signed their names.

Derry works at Henry Carlson Company, the contractor for the Walmart going up in the city’s northwest corner.  She said Building a Better Sioux Falls approached her employer and asked if any employees would sign the letter.  She and a coworker both signed on.  Nordquist said he was also approached to lend his support.

Brady Mallory: Who’s, uh, who’s heading this group?  Is there one person in charge? Nordquist: I don’t; I don’t know the answer.

Building a Better Sioux Falls’ finance report lists an Arkansas man named Ryan Irsik as the group’s chair.  Irsik is also Walmart’s Senior Manager of Public Affairs and Governmental Relations.  The report shows the campaign is paid for by a quarter million dollar contribution from Walmart Stores Inc.  KELOLAND News contacted Irsik, but did not get a call back.

the rest of the story from KELO ND:

http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/who-is-behind-new-pro-walmart-group/?id=160359

a copy of the form:  http://www.southdacola.com/blog/2014/01/building-a-better-sioux-falls-via-bentonville-ar/

and http://www.southdacola.com/blog/category/walfart/

also http://www.argusleader.com/article/20140217/NEWS/302180007/Walmart-puts-up-250-000-ballot-fight  this is attempt by Walmart to defeat two citizen ballot initiatives that would block construction of a new walmart.

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