Two mentions of a presidential candidate endorsement crossed my desk this morning that, while I sure she is glad to have the nod, Hillary most likely wishes the leg-up stayed under the radar. The first comes from the far-right propaganda machine, The Reason Foundation. Headlined Hooray for Hillary Clinton's Ties to Walmart, reasonista and editor of Future of Capitali$m, Ira Stoll ledes:
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.The New York Sun picked up Stoll's column and was kind enough to include a Colbertesque photo of Stoll Since Stoll puts Bernie, and not Hillary in his lede, he hopes to taint Hillary just enough so that the Democratic Socialist (code for Stalinist fellow traveler) Bernie will get the nomination and be easily trounced by Trump, Cruz, Kasich or the Audio-Animatronic figure of Ronald Reagan borrowed from the Hall of Presidents. Sadly, since Bernie polls better than any of these (although the vigor of Reagon's animatronic does make it the hardest to beat) Stoll's hit piece only helps the Senator from Vermont. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.