HIGHER MORALS, COST OR FEAR, YOU PICK…

What caused New York state senate democrats to return a check for $15,000 to Walmart. Did someone grow a pair and say no to corporate influence? Was a decision made that the check wasn't big enough? Or, my choice, was the grief just not worth it? From the New York Post:
State Senate Democrats have bowed to pressure from furious labor leaders and returned a controversial $15,000 campaign contribution they received from Walmart, The Post has learned. The action came just days after last week's disclosure in The Post that the Democrats had accepted the cash from the union-resisting Arkansas-based retail chain, which is believed to be interested in putting its first city store in Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson's Brooklyn district. Sampson controls the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. "I can confirm that the money was returned. That's as far as I'm going to go on it," said Democratic spokesman Eric Blankenbaker. The July 15 contribution, to the Senate Democrats' little-noticed "housekeeping" account, had been denounced as "blood money" by Retail and Wholesale Workers Union President Stuart Appelbaum and other union activists. It was also seen by government reformers as further evidence of the Legislature's "pay to play" culture that led Senate Democrats earlier this year to offer labor leaders special "advisory committee chairmanships" for $50,000 a piece.
So, why weren't those checks returned? The Neighborhood Alliance comments:
[T]he real issue that should be addressed, in our view, is what the impact of a Walmonster might be on the East New York community-and that's the question that should be addressed by a senate hearing on the issue. But kudos to Stu Appelbaum and the RWDSU for their advocacy on this: "The July 15 contribution, to the Senate Democrats' little-noticed "housekeeping" account, had been denounced as "blood money" by Retail and Wholesale Workers Union President Stuart Appelbaum and other union activists." It's about time that we had it out on the Wal-mart to NYC question. We have throttled the retail giant in a number of different site fights-and we've found that there is no widespread clamor for the store. In fact, neighborhoods don't want all of the disruption and devastation that the Walmonster brings in its wake-just ask Tottenville and Monsey, NY.
But the U.S. Supreme Court said such checks are OK, right? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.HI

3 Responses to “HIGHER MORALS, COST OR FEAR, YOU PICK…”

  1. UncleBob says:

    It’d be more fun if they cashed the checks and donated them to a worthwhile charity.

  2. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Bob,

    That could be, but a lot of charities have rules about accepting tainted money.

    I really wish there was a way to take all money out of politics, but if I knew how to do that, I’d be a genius. My best idea is to make any contribution greater than $100 totally transparent by having the donor’s name and address posted in real time to a website instead of the 90-days later silliness we have now.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

    • UncleBob says:

      It’d get messy, but a 100% anonymous donation can’t be returned. You know those stories where the main organizer of some small-time ‘good works’ charity wakes up to a basket of cash on their front porch? Yeah…

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