How Walmart Money Corrupts Local Politics

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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:

a copy of the form:


also  this is attempt by Walmart to defeat two citizen ballot initiatives that would block construction of a new walmart.

Counties With Walmarts Have Higher Crime Rates

The Mysterious Link Between Walmart And Crime  A new study finds that where Walmart builds, crime rates stagnate.

The latest addition to the world of Walmart scholarship is not a mark in the company’s favor. A recent study in the British Journal of Criminology links the appearance of Walmart stores to less of a decline in crime rates, compared with similar counties where Walmart didn’t move in.

Overall, there was a sharp decline in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s. It also happened to be a period of growth for Walmart. Looking at more than 3,000 U.S. counties, the researchers, from the University of South Carolina and Sam Houston State University, found that where Walmart expanded, crime rates tended to stagnate, where they otherwise would have been expected to fall.

“If the corporation built a new store, there were 17 additional property crimes and two additional violent crimes for every 10,000 persons in a county,” according to Scott Wolfe, the study’s lead author. His study doesn’t argue that Walmart causes higher crime rates, but the statistics may reveal a pattern in the places the company chooses to build stores. “There is something unique about the counties that Walmart selects,” Wolfe said in a press statement. For one thing, the company tended to expand in counties that already had higher than average crime rates.

Suicide At Las Vegas Walmart. Life is Cheap

Man kills himself at Las Vegas valley Wal-Mart


A man shot and killed himself inside a Wal-Mart near Nellis Air Force Base early Saturday morning.

Las Vegas police said the man walked into the sporting goods area of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 4350 N. Nellis Blvd. near Las Vegas Boulevard about 6:15 a.m. with his own gun

Walmart Workers Strike in Maryland

Walmart Workers Strike In Maryland, Making Nine Strikes In A Month

By Bryce Covert

Walmart Workers Strike In Maryland, Making Nine Strikes In A Mon

Walmart StrikeCREDIT:  UFCW International Union’s Flickr

Walmart workers walked off the job at two stores in Maryland on Tuesday, one in Columbia and another in Laurel, and are expected to strike at another store in Landover Hills. The strikes come a day after one in Miami and makes nine strikes total for the month of November.

Walmart Could Give Every Worker a Five Buck Raise

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Josh Eidelson in

Wal-Mart could afford to hike every U.S. employee’s hourly wage to at least $14.89 an hour just by not repurchasing its own stock, according to a new report from the progressive think tank Demos.

“We find that if Walmart redirected the $7.6 billion it spends annually on repurchases of its own company stock, these funds could be used to give Walmart’s low-paid workers a raise of $5.83 an hour, more than enough to ensure that all Walmart workers are paid a wage equivalent to at least $25,000 a year for full-time work,” authors Catherine Ruetschlin and Amy Traub write in the Demos paper, “A Higher Wage Is Possible: How Walmart Can Invest in Its Workforce Without Costing Customers a Dime.” Demos, whose funders include unions, is releasing the paper Tuesday morning.




Walmart illegally disciplined and fired employees over strikes and protests, the National Labor Relations Board said on Monday.

In addition, the board’s general counsel said an inquiry found evidence that a Walmart spokesman, appearing on national television, had unlawfully threatened employees who were considering taking part in the protests.

Walmart Supply Chain Truckers Stage 1 Day Strike in Los Angeles

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It’s not just Walmart’s in-store workers who are demanding better pay. Up and down the Walmart supply chain workers are fighting back. Today, truck drivers who transport goods from the Port of Los Angeles to the Costco, Forever 21 and the retail behemoth’s stores are staging a surprise strike.

Josh Eidelson in Salon: