Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Wal-Mart greeters like Dems: Obama, McCaskill, Waxman

August 1, 2008 |  3:57 pm

Evidently, some Wal-Mart employees didn’t get the word about the McCain-TBA ticket.

They’re still giving their cash to Democrats, even though, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed, the retailing behemoth from Bentonville, Ark., is trying to persuade its store managers and department supervisors to vote Republican.Wal-Mart logo broadens campaign donations to Democrats

The low-price leader has waged running battles with unions, and fears that a Democratic administration and Congress could impose laws opening the way for the greeters, clerks and others at the global empire Sam Walton built to organize unions. Of course, official Wal-Mart spokespeople deny any such push.

But a cursory review of donations at the Federal Election Commission shows that Wal-Mart and its employees show a significant amount going to Democratic candidates and political action committees.

Donors identifying their employer as Wal-Mart gave $33,877 to Democratic candidates -- including $7,337 to Barack Obama. They gave $55,761 to Republicans, including $7,250 to John McCain.

The company clearly is playing both sides, unlike in the past. Data compiled by Congressional Quarterly show that Wal-Mart’s political action committee gave 52% of its money, or $460,500, to Republicans and 48%, or $425,200, to Democrats in 2007-2008 election cycle.

A decade ago, more than 90% of its money went to Republicans.

Prominent recipients include some mentioned as Obama’s potential running mates: Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Evan Bayh, and, of course, former Wal-Mart board member Hillary Clinton.

California’s Democratic congressional caucus also collects Wal-Mart bucks: Henry Waxman, Xavier Becerra, Laura Richardon, Loretta Sanchez, Ellen Tauscher, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Thompson and Dennis Cardoza.

-- Dan Morain