Wal Mart families respond to Democrat attacks

Yesterday I posted  about "mainstream" Democrats Barak Obama and Jonathan Edwards joining the unions in attacking one of America’s premier companies, Wal Mart. Not everyone agrees with their anti-free market actions and words. From the Working Families for Wal Mart website:
WASHINGTON, DC — Catherine Smith, interim chairwoman of Working Families for Wal-Mart, issued the following statement today regarding Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards’ union-sponsored attacks on Wal- Mart:
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"As a lifelong Democrat, I am disappointed that instead of leading, some politicians in my party are attacking a company that does more to help working families than perhaps any other private institution in America. Wal-Mart saves working families money, creates quality jobs in areas where they are needed most and is a corporate leader on environmental sustainability efforts. They are attacking the wrong company. On behalf of the 150,000 Democrat, Republican, and Independent volunteer members of our organization, we urge all of our elected leaders to pursue the work that we have elected them to do, and most importantly to get the facts about Wal-Mart, a company that is creating needed jobs and saving working families money every day."
I know several people that work for Wal Mart, and they genuinely like their jobs. Nobody forces anybody to work there. Nobody forces anyone to shop there. Imagine that- willing employees serving willing customers- What a concept! Perhaps someone ought to clue in Obama and Edwards on the truth. More from the WFWM website:
According to an October 2006 poll conducted by Democratic pollster Thom Riehle for Working Families for Wal-Mart (margin of error + 3.1), two-in-three voters (68 percent) would disapprove of a candidate making Wal-Mart an issue in the campaign.
Additionally, Riehle found many of the key target groups for the union leadership’s anti-Wal-Mart campaign are turned off, not turned on, by the campaign: 64 percent of Democratic voters disapprove, as do 66 percent of those who hoped Democrats would take control of Congress in the 2006 elections. 72 percent of those in union households disapprove of the premise of this anti-Wal-Mart campaign.
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Perhaps this is why during the 2006 election cycle, Connecticut gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano was the only candidate for statewide office who attempted to turn Wal-Mart into a significant campaign issue. But even in heavily Democratic Connecticut, and in a strongly pro-Democratic year, DeStefano’s attacks were resoundingly rejected, and he was defeated by the second-largest margin of any Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the country.
It still boggles the mind to watch prospective presidential wannabees participate in an all-out assault upon an American icon like Wal-Mart. It kinda reminds me of South American tin horn dictators and despots attacking whatever industry they are about to "nationalize". Is this what Democrats would have the government do? Why not just seize companies like Wal-Mart and force them to give whatever they deem necessary to to poor, oppressed workers? "Oh, come on Doug…"

What others are saying about the strategy of attacking Wal-Mart:

  • John Zogby, the pollster, argues that focusing too much on Wal-Mart "means no net gain", because union voters already favour the Democrats and the party must seek other support if it is to recapture the White House in 2008. "When are the Democrats going to talk to Wal-Mart shoppers?" he asks. (Financial Times, August 17, 2006)
  • Pollster John Zogby, who has conducted polling for WakeUp Wal-Mart, said Democratic critics of the retailer risk alienating swing voters and appearing to be captives of union interests. "It’s not the slam dunk issue that Democrats think it is," Zogby said. "Americans don’t hate corporations and they don’t hate Wal-Mart." (abcnews.com, August 16, 2006)
  • "The message comes across, don’t shop at Wal-Mart, don’t you realize what they’re doing, aren’t you stupid? And I don’t think that people like to be referred to as stupid if they’re just trying to find good buys." (John Zogby, National Public Radio, "All Things Considered," September 3, 2006)
  • "Put bluntly, the war against Wal-Mart Stores is a war against the poor, and it’s shocking to watch a major political party carry it out…Sixty-two percent of adults recently surveyed by Democratic pollster Thomas Riehle said they "disapprove" of "Democratic candidates making Wal-Mart an issue in November’s election." (Investor’s Business Daily, Editorial, August 18, 2006)
  • "…attacking Wal-Mart makes for bad politics. It is part of a long-term pattern of Democrats playing populist, but picking the wrong political fights….Should Democrats really be against the company where middle America shops?" (James Crabtree, New Democratic Network, The Guardian August 18, 2006)
  • "The gusto with which even moderate Democrats are bashing Wal-Mart is bound to backfire. Not only does it take the party back to the pre-Clinton era, when Democrats were perceived as reflexively anti-business, it manages to make Democrats seem like out-of-touch elitists to the millions of Americans who work and shop at Wal-Mart…Denouncing the retailer may make sense if the goal is to woo primary voters, but it’s disastrous way to reach out to the general electorate. Or to govern, for that matter." (Los Angeles Times, Editorial, August 23, 2006)
  • "…In fact, I can’t think of a worse strategy than focusing the wrath of the party on Wal-Mart. It’s a path to defeat, one that continues the party’s failure to define itself around anything resembling a plan and a vision…It brings up the worst of the old lefty imprint…It sends a scare message to the millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs the Democrats need to win." (Adam Hanft, The Huffington Post, August 26, 2006)
  • "Are we supposed to believe that Washington politicians care more about the middle class than Wal- Mart does? At least Wal-Mart saves working people money. …They should make an ally of Wal-Mart, not an enemy to be pilloried for cheap political gain." (Philip Gailey, Editor of Editorials, St. Petersburg Times, August 27, 2006)
  • "For all of labor’s criticism of Wal-Mart, 73 percent of union households told Pew that Wal-Mart was a good place for their families to shop." (Richard Vedder, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times August 27, 2006)
  • "Even though we are not in a recession, and even though the presidential primaries are more than a year away the DLC crowd is pandering shamelessly to the left of the party – perhaps in the knowledge that the grocery workers union, which launched the anti-Wal-Mart campaign, is strong in the key state of Iowa. For a party that needs the votes of Wal-Mart’s customers, this is a questionable strategy…By beating up Wal-Mart and forcing it to focus on public relations rather than opening new stores, Democrats are harming the Americans they claim to speak for." (Sebastian Mallaby, Columnist, Washington Post August 28, 2006)
  • "But much of the political criticism of Wal-Mart is shallow and, if followed, undesirable…There may even be political pitfalls to the crusade. By Wal-Mart’s estimate, 85 percent of Americans shop during the year at the chain; in opinion polls it generally receives high ratings. People are voting with their pocketbooks." (Robert Samuelson, Newsweek, September 4, 2006)

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Working Families for Wal-Mart
P.O. Box 3556, Washington, DC, 20078-3211, www.forwalmart.com