Walmart Ending Membership in Conservative Group

Walmart GunsBy Jessica Wohl

ROGERS, Ark. -- Walmart Stores (WMT), the world's No. 1 retailer and the biggest seller of firearms in the United States, is dropping out of a U.S. conservative advocacy group that has been a lightning rod over voting and gun laws.

Walmart said late Wednesday it is suspending membership in the American Legislative Council (ALEC), which the retailer joined in 1993.

ALEC sparked controversy recently because of its involvement in voting laws and in "stand your ground" gun laws, including the one under scrutiny in the Florida killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.

A coalition of liberal advocates targeted the group for its support of the self-defense laws.

ALEC, which serves as a forum for corporations and mostly Republican state lawmakers and lobbyists to discuss model legislation, has been criticized by liberals for promoting laws that require photo identification to vote.

ColorOfChange, a liberal advocacy group for black Americans, has said the voting laws put the poor and minorities at a disadvantage.

In April, ALEC said it was abandoning the committee that worked on "public safety and elections" to focus on the economy. Despite the change, Walmart decided it was no longer focused on the same issues as the council.

"Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC's decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission 'to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets,'" Maggie Sans, Walmart vice president of public affairs and government relations, said in a May 30 letter addressed to ALEC's national chairman and executive director.

"We feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide. To that end, we are suspending our membership in ALEC."

Sans, who is also giving up her role as secretary of ALEC's private enterprise board, did not specify the issues that caused the split.

Walmart has benefited from ALEC campaigns involving taxes, commerce and technology.

"While we are disappointed in Walmart's decision, we understand the unique pressures they are under," said spokeswoman Kaitlyn Buss.

"However, as we announced in April, ALEC is solely focused on limited government, free-market solutions in the states that create jobs and improve the economy."

ALEC believes its member companies are being targeted with campaigns that produce "manufactured outrage and the facade of grassroots support," she added.


Walmart is the latest group to back away from supporting ALEC, including Coca-Cola Co (KO), Kraft Foods Inc (KFT), McDonald's Corp (MCD), Procter & Gamble Co (PG) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Walmart's announcement comes as it grapples with recent allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit and a management decision to squelch an investigation -- a likely subject at the annual shareholders meeting on Friday.


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surffmaster

You need photo ID to live anymore. What is the fuss, unless you think you won't be able to double dip at the ballot box any more as they are so fond of doing in Chicago?

June 07 2012 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Setanta

ALEC, which serves as a forum for corporations and mostly Republican state lawmakers and lobbyists to discuss model legislation, has been criticized by liberals for promoting laws that require photo identification to vote...................now EXACTLY WHY are THEY having problems with a REQUIREMENT for a state issued ID to PROVE WHO YOU ARE when stepping up to vote ?
you need a STATE ISSUED ID to collect your welfare........cash a check......get INTO MANY BUILDINGS....buy booze.......etc....etc....so what's their problem ?
now don't even ATTEMPT to state that THIS PLACES A BURDEN......HOW ? the STATE ISSUES THEM FOR WELFARE to freeeeeeeekin begin WITH....and ANY senior citizen MUST PRODUCE A PHOTO ID to cash their checks,deposits /withdrawals---etc etc
so EXACTLY WHAT'S THEIR PROBLEM ?
LOL.

June 06 2012 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
a500amiga

"to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets" hah what a joke. Jefferson was no advocate of "free markets" as understood by these guys. He opposed the central bank, fought against central government expansion, supported strict balanced budgets, and supported tariffs as the prime source of revenue and opposed any form of trade treaties and foreign commitments.

June 03 2012 at 2:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ballright

So... You're saying blacks are not capable of acquiring photo Id's? Because they have no money, is that it? or too stupid perhaps? who is the racist, the one who claims they are incapable, or the one who says all regardless of skin color should provide photo proof of who they are before casting votes?

On another note, I bet ya the ones you point to and say see I told you so they can't afford it, I bet you have a pretty fancy iphone in their pocket. Not to mention their plasma flat screen tv.

June 03 2012 at 1:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
David Racette

If you really believe in something, strong enough to join other , wht let outside pressure cause you to change your mind. Your not that committed to begin with. WAL-MART , Me I am ready to die for what I believe in. America, Free from, people who would bring us down. with too much goverment and socialism,and commies. and Professional Politicans.

June 02 2012 at 6:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
johnny

Need to lose that worthless prez,TY! Slowly taking our rights away,eh,not mine!!!!!!!

June 02 2012 at 1:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

The money behind this reportedly from George Soros.

He is behind a complex inter-related radical leftist organizations intent on attacking a free America.

June 02 2012 at 12:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mesears12

It is astounding to me how GOP Republicans call Liberal's or Progressive's pushy. Republican's are absolutely blind when it comes to anything that isn't what Fox news told you to think, and then your ready to get loud and obnoxious without really knowing the truth. Democrats are for equal pay for women, everyone should have good health care. We believe in taxes yes, but we believe in FAIR taxes. Not where just the 99% pay, but for Equal taxes, even for that almighty 1%, who also get loop holes enough they can get refunds. Why taxes, because we think our children should have good education, college bound if they choose without going into debt for 30 years. We believe in keeping police on the street, and first responders there and equipped to respond. We believe in keeping the EPA strong because we don't want to wind up years down the road having to pay $10 for a gallon of water. There are other forms of energy (my gosh look what has been done with modern technology, it can be done) without ruining our land and water. We believe in decent roads, safe bridges, the postal service (which would be in fine shape if Rep.s hadn't made it so they have to keep 75 years pension in advance). Can't you see Democrates should be proud because we care about not only ourselves but you too. We believe in America for All not just the Rich and Powerful.

June 01 2012 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mesears12's comment
democracks0

Heres another liberal who suffers from a severe case of Foxophobia and thinks Fox News rules the world.

Meaningless liberal ranting from an Obamite.

June 02 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
milsamuel

I am tired of hearing how making a person show ID is surpressing their right to vote. Let's see it is A LAW that you either have a STATE ID OR DRIVERS LICENSE to CASH A CHECK, USE CREDIT CARD, TRAVEL TO FOREIGN COUTRY, GET A PASSPORT, BANK, ETC... Everyone that is 15 and above including those of voting age have some form of State recognized ID it is not an inconvience to have to show proof of who you are unless you have something to hide!!!! Here in Ohio we have to show proof of ID before we vote and I find it funny that no blacks, whites, mexicans, asians,etc... had any problem in showing proof here to vote except in cases where there was intent to defraud.

June 01 2012 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to milsamuel's comment
gop4ever3

How true, why I remember just recently in Ohio that evil 86 year old WWII vet who had voting fraud on his mind was turned away at the poll becasue he did not have the proper I.D., and just a couple of states away in Tennessee that horrible 96 year old woman who was most certainly going to take a stab at voter fraud was stopped dead in her tracks at the polls as well. Keep up the good work GOP!!!

June 01 2012 at 11:12 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gop4ever3's comment
democracks0

Obamites will fight to the bitter end to make sure people do not have to show an ID in order to vote. Liberals love to play the age card the race card and every other card they can throw out of the liberal deck of cards concerning the ID issue.

Liberal/Obamite/Acorns want to make sure that dead people, illegals and Mickey Mouse will be able to vote for Obama as many times as they want to in 2012.

June 01 2012 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
Christopher Columbus

Wal-Mart just made a big mistake, doing something in the favor of the liberal traitors, who will take our rights, & put the chains on us all, even their own supporter. So anyone out there about to go & vote for any of them again, you are evil, has issues, you have absolutely no moral compass & are not a real American, obviously, either is Wally... Him & all the Rich people, like Oprah, Tyler Parry, Bill Gates (know Tyler Parry is nowhere near Gates or Oprah’s wallets but) but anyway, they think their smarter than everyone else, & can only be saved themselves by helping the rest of us all escort these cheese ball out of the White House, in Nov. Or else Obama ghetto happy ass will take all their money. & it’s a racist thing huh? Well then I don’t understand, Hilary Clinton’s the same way, if not worse.

Go Mitt, then we can get everyone back to work. Everything they said about Bush is BS.
You would think all those people would have all their priorities in order, with being a wealthy person. How do they not know, this kind of thing happened in Cuba, right before Vidal Castro took over. I would like to see him & all his goons impelled; those Muslim Brotherhood’s think their scary? They might all think twice with a ram-rod up their hailed leaders, ying, yang’s.
What can I say? The idiots will all get what they have coming to them.

June 01 2012 at 5:52 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply