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September 30, 2006

Wal-Mart: The Empire Strikes Back [Jack M.]

And this time, it's personal.

It appears that Wal-Mart has had about enough of being demonized by the left in this country for the grave sin of providing quality goods to American consumers at low prices.

So Wal-Mart has decided to take some action to show those hippy, agrarian, land reformers who's boss after all:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. yesterday launched a voter registration drive aimed at its 1.3 million U.S. employees in what it describes as the largest such effort by a private company.

The kickoff was held in Iowa, a key battleground in the upcoming midterm elections. Workers at Wal-Mart's roughly 3,800 other facilities across the country also received registration forms yesterday. Although the world's largest retailer said it does not want to influence how its workers vote, David Tovar, director of media relations, said the drive was prompted by recent criticism of the company by politicians.

Heh. And Grand Moff Tarkin didn't want to influence the course of the rebellion by blowing up Alderaan.

Wal-Mart is working with Democratic strategist Charles Baker of the law firm DLA Piper and Republican strategist Terry Nelson, founder of Crosslink Strategy, on what it has dubbed the Voter Education Program. The company has prepaid postage for voter registration forms in Iowa and several other states. It is also allowing workers whose shifts do not give them three hours to visit the polls to take paid time off to vote. Before the elections in 2004, they received two hours of unpaid time off.

Wal-Mart sent letters to 18,000 Iowa employees in August criticizing Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Govs. Tom Vilsack of Iowa and Bill Richardson of New Mexico -- all Democrats -- for participating in a bus tour arranged by Wake Up Wal-Mart, which is funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Similar letters were sent to workers in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Well, my only criticism of this effort is why they bothered to send 18,000 letters about 4 candidates who will be lucky to get 18,000 votes between them on Iowa's caucus night.

Then again, maybe they hope that these letters will create a strange disturbance in the Democrat's party platform discussions as a couple of these jokers are running for the VP slot.

In any event, regardless of which side of the political divide you are on voter registration is a good thing, right?

Some activist groups questioned the retailer's motives, citing Wal-Mart's policy of banning voter registration drives conducted by outside parties from its stores.

"If Wal-Mart is truly interested in promoting a just democracy, then customers and employees should be included in registration activities," said Edward A. Hailes Jr., senior attorney with Advancement Project, a national civil rights group organization that works on voting issues.

Ahh, yes. Voter registration drives are as evil as Darth Vader and the Dark Side of the Force unless they are placed in the hands of committed liberal activists to run.

For the life of me, I can't imagine why Wal-Mart would want to keep their customers from being harrassed by a bunch of clipboard wielding moonbats.

Can you?

I'm just sorry that the guy is characterized as "questioning the motives". Had he only "questioned the timing" I could have done a whole Joshua Micah Leia Skywalker Cougar Mellancamp Boutros-Boutros C3P0 Akbar Marshall riff.

Anyway...may the force be with you Wal-Mart!


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posted by Ace at 02:39 AM

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