Todd Kunioka's blog

The $350,000 Question: Has Wal-Mart Bought Control of Our City?


This story appeared in the September 12, 2006 San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  The story begins:


"Wal-Mart has poured a record $200,000 into the campaign effort to keep two City Council members from being ousted in a recall election next week, campaign finance records show."

An Inconvenient Truth

Jay and Gary are seeking to retain their seats on the Rosemead City Council.  But they have to contend with some inconvenient truths:

                                 ROSEMEAD    Alhambra   Montebello   El Monte

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . ."

The ground campaign continues.  We are fielding what I think are pretty good numbers of walkers (won't say exactly how many walkers--no sense giving Wal-Mart and their sock puppets anything more than I need to).  In fact, I would be willing to bet real money that it's been at least thirty years since Jay and Gary had as many people walking for them as we have walking for us.

The difference is that we're going up against the world's largest retailer.  That's what has so many of us worried.  If it were just us going up against Jay and Gary, this would be a slam dunk.  But they've sold their souls to Wal-Mart.  And, much as I might despise Wal-Mart, it's true that they'll take care of the ones they own.

Big Story in 8/30 San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Headline:  "Wal-Mart to open in 'early fall'"

Sub-headline:  "Recall efforts may not stop Supercenter"


Of course, personally, I'd be thrilled if we could keep the Supercenter from opening.  Wal-Mart has been absolutely flaunting the mitigation measures and conditions of approval that they agreed to when the city council majority gave them permission to build.  They have shown themselves to be a bad neighbor, and a neighbor who can not be trusted to keep their word.  In violating the conditions of approval, the new city council would be fully within its rights to yank the approval.  Or they could choose another way to hold Wal-Mart accountable for their actions.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer Files Amicus Brief

California's Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Save Our Community's suit that challenged Wal-Mart's sham environmental impact report of last year.  The case is currently pending before a California state appellate court.

That's big news for us because now it means that the travesty perpetrated on Rosemead residents when our city council ratified a flawed and incomplete environmental impact report has now been recognized at the highest levels of California's government.

Great Turnout on Kick-off Weekend!

Julie has already sent out an e-mail to our members this, but for those of you not already on our e-mail list, let me tell you that the first weekend of our precinct walking was a huge success.  The clubhouse was packed on Saturday morning, where we got a rousing send-off from many of our local elected officials.

I understand we had a steady stream of walkers passing through the area on Sunday, as well.

Yard Signs!

Both Polly Low and Victor Ruiz have yard signs available to support their respective campaigns.

e-mail if you want one.

"Let them eat cake!"

At the last city council meeting, Paul S. stood up and spoke very eloquently on the issue of the many local residents who take recreational walks in southern Rosemead and South San Gabriel.  The route that Paul has been taking for the past 18 years (I think that's what I heard him say) is the same route I used to take when I lived down there:  north on Delta, east on Rush, west and then south on San Gabriel, east on Rush, then back up Delta.  As I recall, it's about 3 3/4 miles for the whole circuit, and it took just over an hour to complete.  It used to be a nice and safe walk because you didn't have to cross any busy streets in your whole circuit.