Walmart

Hooray for Hillary Clinton's Ties to Walmart

Sen. Sanders, however, seems to think that voters will be horrified to learn of Alice Walton's support for Clinton.

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Senator Bernie Sanders is emailing supporters highlighting the fact that his opponent in the Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton, is being supported by "enormous checks from people like Alice Walton (yes, Wal-Mart)." And it is true. Federal campaign finance records show that Walton, of Bentonville, Arkansas, gave Hillary Clinton's campaign $2,700, and then wrote another check, for $353,400, to the "Hillary Victory Fund."

The support for Clinton's campaign represents something of a political shift for Walton. Previously, her large donations had mainly gone to Republicans. The Federal Election Commission records show she donated a total of $200,000 in 2011 and 2012 to a committee backing Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, and a total of $2 million in 2004 to a group supporting President George W. Bush's reelection. Additional contributions of more than $150,000 in the past dozen years have gone to groups supporting Republican candidates for the House and Senate.

Sen. Sanders seems to think that voters who view Walmart as the embodiment of evil will be horrified to learn of Walton's support for Clinton. Maybe some voters will indeed recoil at the news. But as an optimist and as a supporter of free markets, I view it as a hopeful sign that Clinton is returning to her senses about Walmart.

"Returning" is the key word, because there is a substantial history here. As the New York Sun reported in a 2006 editorial, when Clinton's husband was an Arkansas politician and she was the real breadwinner in the family, she served, between 1986 and 1992, as a member of Walmart's corporate board of directors. By 2006, when Clinton was serving as a United States senator from New York, she returned a $5,000 contribution from the Walmart political action committee, explaining via an aide that she had "serious differences" with the company's practices.

Now, a decade later, with Clinton running for president, Walmart's money—or at least Alice Walton's—is acceptable anew to Clinton and to her ostensibly independent victory fund.

Whatever the reason for Clinton's reversal—or for Walton's—it would certainly be good for the country if presidential candidate Clinton were to learn some things from Walmart. The company and the Walton family have ideas on topics like wages, health care, education, banking, the Second Amendment, and even the environment.

On health care, the $4 generic drugs available at Walmart's pharmacy are a fine example of how free-market, private-sector capitalist competition, rather than top-down government-imposed price controls, can make medicine affordable for patients.

On education, the Walton Family Foundation says it has supported a quarter of the 6,700 charter schools in the U.S. and it is investing in what it describes as "the high-quality choice movement." That's a counterweight to the Clinton campaign's backers in the teacher unions. Those unions too often see charter schools as threats that siphons money away from schools that employ unionized teachers.

On the Second Amendment, anti-gun activists have publicly called on Walmart to stop selling guns and ammunition in its stores. The store has voluntarily stopped selling some models of rifles, but it continues to sell handguns and other weapons, evidence that businesses are best left to their own judgments on these matters to respond to customer sentiments and demand without congressional interference.

On banking, the extensive financial services that Walmart offers its customers—not only check cashing, but also bill-paying, tax preparation, and a "bluebird" financial account that claims to offer the "benefits of banking without all the fees"—demonstrates how non-bank firms are filling a market gap. Rather than forcing banks with regulations to provide these services or subsidizing the banks with bailouts, why not let the free market work?

On wages, Walmart has been raising pay even without a congressionally mandated increase in the federal minimum wage. And on environmental issues, Walmart has been taking a range of steps—using closed freezers instead of open ones, and putting skylights in stores, using sunshine to save on lighting bills—because they make financial sense, not because they were forced to do so by government rules.

So yes, Sen. Sanders is trying to scare his supporters with emails linking Clinton to Walmart. To the non-socialists among us, such a connection is not so much scary as it is at least somewhat reassuring.

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38 responses to “Hooray for Hillary Clinton's Ties to Walmart

  1. No.

    She’ll just take money from anyone. She’s proven that already.

    1. Exactly. She’ll take the money and if it later benefits her to screw over Walmart big time, she’ll do so with no remorse. The person is a fucking sociopath. How anyone cannot see that is beyond me.

      1. And if she protected them when being consistent would require she “screw them over”, the cry would be that she’d been bought. So I guess she (and politicians in general) can’t win.

    2. Duh. This whole article is pointless.

    3. I have a plan to end Clinton’s campaign. We’re gonna need like $30 worth of nickles, a box, a stick, and some string…

  2. view it as a hopeful sign that Clinton is returning to her senses about Walmart.

    I take it as a sign that Hillary can be bought and paid for. She is the ultimate ‘capitalist’.

    With huge amounts of ‘crony’ thrown in.

  3. It certainly will give Donald Trump another reason to bash her: “Crooked Hillary takes Wal-Mart money earned selling shoddy goods from China…they stole our jobs…etc.”

    1. Corrupt Hillary is a real dumb dumb! Sad!

      1. It sounds like Sad! is the quintessential Trump expression.

        1. I thought that’s what Jeb! Was changing his official campaign logo to.

  4. Ira Stoll views it as a hopeful sign that Clinton is returning to her senses about Walmart.

    Hillary Clinton isn’t returning to her senses about anything. She’ll maintain focused on whatever achieves power. If Walton (Walmart) happen to not be in her crosshairs because there’s no benefit to Clinton, then lucky for Walmart. If Clinton discovers political power to be gained by putting Walmart back in her crosshairs, then it’s all over for Walmart. Ain’t democracy grand?

  5. Last time I walked into Wal-Mart they had their wares for now hiring posted. Every position was at least $12.

    It’s insane how that could ever end up the poster child for “evil corporation whose employees live in cardboard boxes”, but hey, facts can get in the way of a good narrative.

    1. Does it even matter? Oil companies! The Koch Brothers! Walmart! These idiot leftists don’t even know the least thing about what they’re shrieking about. You just give these idiots a shiny object to attack. Look, Walmart! Walmart is the cause of ALL of your problems! Attack! It’s that simple.

    2. To lazy to do research, but I recall quite a long time ago hearing that Wal-Mart actually invests in lobbying for minimum wage increases, because they pretty much already pay the proposed rates, so all it does is make their competition spend more money on labor.

  6. Yeah, hooray for Hillary’s ties to Walmart.

    You know the solution to money in politics is to take the influence away from politicians to the point that somebody would just laugh if a pol asked them for money.

    She’s selling influence and Walmart is buying. I just don’t think that’s a good thing.

    1. Under a powerful regulatory government, someone has to buy influence.

      I can’t think of any single entity I’d rather have Hillary Clinton in its pocket than Wal-Mart, which has done more material good for the average American citizen than every politician in American history.

      1. Unfortunately, Walmart’s corporate governance seems to be going the same way as every other major corporation: leftward. There’s a difference between trying to steer the wagon you’ve been forced on, and gleefully jumping onto the wagon.

  7. So after browsing todays Reason headlines all I can say is Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure the derp can be contained.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know what happened to it either. I once submitted some actual articles about the concepts of liberty to Reason and they were dismissed. Too busy telling people what they must think I guess. Circling the drain.

      1. I started reading Reason about 4 years ago. I couldn’t see a stupid puff piece of Clinton getting published at the time. Now I barely bother to come back here. Welch and Soave are the only ones writing substance.

  8. To the non-socialists among us, such a connection is not so much scary as it is at least somewhat reassuring.

    The whole “politicians are lying crooks ergo they are secret libertarians” spiel has worked so well before (see Obama in 2008)

  9. Knowing Clinton, the chances of this being a situation of “Walmart believes she will and/or is paying for her to to favor them through additional regulation” surely outweighs the chances of this being a situation of “Walmart believes she will and/or is paying for her to to favor them through increased market freedom.”

  10. Alice Walton, who seems to be something of a drunk, has never had any role whatsoever in Walmart management.

    Turning a “decimal dust” (on her books, anyway) contribution to Hillary into an “OMG! Walmart” moment is exactly the sort of stupid I expect from Bernie.

    I wonder how many Walmart shareholders have written checks to Bernie, anyway?

  11. RE: Hooray for Hillary Clinton’s Ties to Walmart: New at Reason
    Clinton might be returning to her senses about the Walton family business.

    What?
    Hitlelry sucking up to billionaires just to get elected?
    I’m shocked, I tell you.
    Shocked!

  12. Makes sense that Dems hate cheap shit.

    They only like free shit.

  13. Don’t laugh—I think Hillary MIGHT actually be the most free market-friendly candidate left.

    You can kind of see it in the debates. She’ll start rolling her eyes at Sanders and say something defending free markets as enriching the nation (True story! That’s happened a few times), the crowd isn’t having any of it, and then she’ll about-face because she realizes, “Holy shit—These people straight-up hate money.”

    I have a feeling she’s a closet friendly to free markets, or at least less constrained markets compared to her competitors.

    It really is remarkable how hating all businesses has become mainstream for Dems. I mean, hell, even one of the guys involved in the origins, Big Short incident said something along the lines of, “There’s nothing sinister happening on Wall Street. It’s people selling money and capital to other people.”

    1. Cronyism =/= Free Markets. Cruz was willing to spit on the cronyism of the Corn-huskers when he desperately needed their votes. Hillary doesn’t hold a candle.

  14. Can this author juggle diddling Alice Walton and Hillary Clinton simultaneously? Apparently so. We’re just not sure why we should care.

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  18. I’m through with sticking up for Walmart if they’re going to support the POS clinton.

  19. uptil I looked at the bank draft saying $8885 , I didn’t believe that my mother in law woz like they say truly taking home money in there spare time at their laptop. . there great aunt haz done this less than 17 months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there home and bourt a great Renault 4 . see

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  20. It’s shit like this that highlights what a deranged demagogue Sanders is.

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  22. uptil I saw the bank draft four $8760 , I be certain …that…my sister woz actually bringing in money part time from there labtop. . there neighbour had bean doing this 4 only about eighteen months and resently cleard the depts on there home and bourt a top of the range Chrysler ….

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  23. I think Walmart is one of them to support Clinton financially. She will take money from walmart and others companys. Get Publix app for Publix online ordering to get latest deals and benefits from the market.

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