|Walmart Bribery Causing Second Thoughts|
|Bill Hudson | 5/2/12|
|Back to the News Summaries|
|On Sunday, April 29, The New York Times published an interesting article about several bribery scandals involving the Walmart Corporation — the world’s largest discount retailer, and the company planning to locate a new store here in Pagosa Springs, in the Aspen Village commercial subdivision.|
Walmart has been welcomed with open arms by the Pagosa Springs Town Council and Town manager David Mitchem.
The reception in many large cities around the U.S. has not been entirely warm, however, according to Sunday's Times article by reporters Stephanie Clifford and Steven Greenhouse.
“In Los Angeles, a Walmart building permit is getting a once-over. In New York, the City Council is investigating a possible land deal with the retailer’s developer in Brooklyn. A state senator in California is pushing for a formal audit of a proposed Walmart in San Diego. And in Boston and its suburbs, residents are pressuring politicians to disclose whether they have received contributions from the company,” the reporters wrote.
“All of it, in the past week.”
The Mexican government has begun official investigations into a Walmart subsidiary’s dealings with local officials.
“Walmart has worked hard in recent years to polish its reputation and give elected officials, community groups and shoppers a reason to say ‘yes’ to their stores, especially as it pushes aggressively into big — and historically hostile — cities. Now, the revelation of a bribery scandal involving the retailer’s Mexican subsidiary is giving critics a new reason to say no,” reported the Times writers.
In Los Angeles, opponents of a proposed Walmart store were using the bribery scandal to supplement an appeal they have filed that would rescind the project’s building permit.
The Times reporters quoted Dorian T. Warren, a political science professor at Columbia who is writing a book about Wal-Mart’s efforts to expand into Chicago and Los Angeles.
“There definitely is a pattern of giving campaign contributions to politicians who support what they want,” stated professor Warren. But because the Mexican accusations include bribing local officials, “when you take that to the context of New York or Los Angeles, it’s going to make it harder for politicians to accept campaign contributions from Walmart.”
As far as the Daily Post can determine, there have been no accusations here in Pagosa Springs that officials have been bribed by Walmart to smooth the way for the Aspen Village project.
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