Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wal-Mart Issue Now Washington-Style Brawl

There is no candidate. There are no ballots. There won't be an Election Day. And yet it may be the hottest, highest-stakes political contest in America today. It's the campaign against Wal-Mart.

A year-old effort to force the nation's No. 1 private employer to change its business practices has evolved into a Washington-style brawl: tens of millions of dollars spent by Republican and Democratic political consultants using polling, micro-targeting, ads, e-mails, direct mail, grass-roots organizing and strategic "war rooms" to ply their trade in the corporate world.

Their fight involves some of society's most vexing trends, including the rising cost of health care, the painful realities of globalization and the waning relevance of organized labor.

"Our opponents have organized the likes of a political campaign against us," said Bob McAdam, vice president of corporate affairs at Wal-Mart. "It would be nonsense for us not to respond in a similar fashion."

Wal-Mart's main opponents are the Service Employees International Union, which started Wal-Mart Watch, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which funds a separate campaign called WakeUpWalMart.com


FULL STORY

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