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."


But that's actually an understatement.  That's only what they've contributed to "Rosemead Neighbors (sic) Against the Recall" between August 4, 2006 and September 4, 2006.  $200,000 in just one month.  During the same period, they also contributed about $8,500 directly to Mayor Gary Taylor.  Meanwhile, "No on Rosemead Recall" reported about $5,100 more in expenditures than they had cash to pay for.  And, earlier this year, so-called "Rosemead" PRIDE had expenditures of about $21,739 more than they had in cash on hand.  That's about $27,000 in spending that we have to assume Wal-Mart's going to pay for after the election.  That is in addition to the $40,000 Wal-Mart gave to so-called "Rosemead" PRIDE last summer, the $15,000 they gave to so-called "Rosemead" PRIDE in February 2005, and the nearly $60,000 they made in so-called "independent" expenditures to influence the March 2005 election.


Add it all up.  That's about $350,000 they've poured into Rosemead elections in the past 19 months.  That's more than THREE TIMES the "huge" amount of money that Gary Taylor says unions and our local elected officials have contributed to our side of the conflict.  And how much more will Wal-Mart dump on our city between September 4 and September 19?


And if they win, are there any decisions that will be made in Rosemead City Hall without first checking with the boys from Bentonville, first?


Come on, folks.  We need to Save Our Community from these outsiders who are trying to buy control of our city.  On September 19, 2006, Rosemead voters need to tell Wal-Mart that their city is not for sale!


[edited 9/16/2006]

And how much in Union expenditures?

Gary Taylor recently claimed that unions had contributed "over $100,000" to affect Rosemead campaigns (actually, he needed to add cotributions from state senator Gloria Romero and state assemblywoman Judy Chu) to get his figure.  But note that he has previously claimed that unions spent $82,000 to affect the March 2005 election.  That was a campaign that did not even involve Gary and Jay.


So, do some math.  That means no more than $20,000 in union contributions in the current recall campaign, versus well over $275,000 in Wal-Mart spending to fight the recall.


Why does Gary Taylor keep trying to demonize the unions that have contributed less than $20,000 in the campaign against him but he sees nothing wrong with accepting about fourteen times that amount in support of his own re-election?


Can you say, "hypocrisy"?


Toss another $100,000 on the barbie

Wal-Mart contributed an additional $100,000 to "Rosemead Neighbors (sic) Against the Recall" on election day.  So now it's the $450,000 (and counting) question.