Walmart Continues To Try and Buy New York’s Love

Rather Than Coming Before The City Council or Community Board, Walmart Resorts To The Only Strategy It Knows, Spend $$$$

NEW YORK – As Walmart continues to avoid answering hard questions to New Yorkers, the company has been spending significant amounts of money in political contributions and political-style advertising to try to buy New Yorkers’ love. Today, the company announced a charitable contribution in another attempt to buy their way into New York City.

An analysis of Walmart’s New York State lobbying data from the New York State Commission on Public Integrity shows it spent $1.85 million on lobbying (including political-style advertisements) in the first four months of 2011. In 2007 through 2010, the company spent $335,385.

A similar shift has occurred in political contributions. An analysis of data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, shows that between 2003 and 2010, Wal-Mart contributed $562,877 to statewide candidates in New York. Overall contributions have grown dramatically each election cycle in advance of the company’s efforts to expand into New York City, beginning with a mere $4,020 in 2004 and reaching $273,000 by 2010.

The mega-retailer can’t boost its flagging U.S. sales unless it expands into the nation’s largest cities, so it’s trying to break its way into New York with new store formats and new products, and most importantly– a new image.

“Walmart can’t be trusted. The company is embracing progressive values in its public relations campaign to avoid tough questions about its history of alleged discrimination and putting local mom and pops out business.,” said Stephanie Yazgi, spokesperson for Walmart Free NYC. “Walmart’s convenient contribution won’t distract New Yorkers from its track record: the company is facing the largest gender bias class-action lawsuit in U.S. history, it has sold more guns than any company in the United States, and it failed The Human Right Campaign’s national LGBT scorecard.”

Walmart Lobbyist Spending[i]

Lobbyist 2007 2008 2009 2010 2007-10 2011
Law Offices of Claudia Wagner LLC $32,000 $22,500 $54,500
Patricia Lynch Associates $65,000 $65,000 $62,834 $61,752 $254,586
Manatt, Phelps and Phillips LLP $22,500 $22,500 $30,000
Philip Serghini $620 $203 $2,976 $3,799
Walmart Stores $1,756,853
The Wright Group $24,000
Hodes and Landy $30,000
York Group Associates $16,000
Total $97,620 $65,203 $65,810 $84,252 $335,385 $1,856,853