[Update at 0600 on 13 April: Anti-Walmart Union Stays Quiet as Hillary Gets Big Donation From Heiress Alice Walton] I've known about the connections between Walmart and the Clintons since the beginning and if there is one reality in the 2016 Democratic Party race, Hillary Clinton has never met a wealthy donor she wouldn't suck up to. Walmart heiress Alice Walton fits Hillary's bill perfectly. Marlena Fitzpatrick Garcia, reporting in Hillary Clinton Received a Massive Donation From Walmart Heiress for Alternet writes:Hillary Clinton’s campaign finance records show the wealthy Walmart heiress, Alice Walton, donated $353,400 to Clinton’s “Victory Fund.” The six-figure donation contrasts Clinton’s campaign messaging as a workers’ ally. Walmart stands out for its oppressive labor practices and corporate greed behavior. Before that Alice Walton contributed $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary political action committee. The former first lady and secretary of state has been endorsed by multiple labor unions [Their leadership, not the rank-and-file, JH] including Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the National Education Association. “One of the greatest issues of the coming election for president of the United States and perhaps the most burning issue for progressives in this nation is the involvement of corporate money and how it corrupts the system,” the Daily Kos said in a January article titled "Hillary, Walmart and the Revolving Door.” Unlike many other elected officials, Clinton has refused to publicly denounce Walmart over the company’s pay scale and anti-union policies. She gave her critics ammunition when campaign treasurer Jose Villarreal attended a fundraiser discussion and dinner hosted by Ivan Zapien, Walmart's vice president of corporate affairs in Mexico. Zapien, who previously served as the company’s top lobbyist in Washington, maxed out in personal contributions to Clinton's campaign last year. Bernie, however, is a different story.
Bernie Sanders has called out the Walton heirs and Walmart’s labor practices as a prime example of how greedy corporate behavior harms workers and costs billions in tax dollars. Forbes estimates that despite Walmart being one of the wealthiest corporations in history, the company costs taxpayers roughly $6.2 billion per year due to substandard wages. As a result, many workers depend on public assistance to meet basic needs. “Today Walmart is the largest private sector employer in America. Yet many, many of their employees are forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing that you pay for through your taxes because the Walton family refuses to pay their workers a living wage,” Sanders said.Clearly, the union leadership is selling out their constituents. Seems like a good time to hold union elections as well. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.