Whacking Wal-Mart

Hillary’s recent FEC filing revealed that she returned a $5,000 campaign contribution to the political action committee of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  

Last week, Sen. Clinton had publicly criticized the company for not providing enough health benefits to all their employees.  However, from 1986 to 1992, she was not only First Lady of Arkansas, she also sat on the Wal-Mart board of directors.  Back then, the Arkansas-based company and the Walton family had longstanding ties to the Clintons.  

But these days the Democratic base considers Wal-Mart to be the evil empire, and Hillary has changed her tune (although her constituents might disagree with her stand: a recent Quinnipiac University poll of 1,072 New York City registered voters found that 51% support Wal-Mart opening stores in the city, while just 37% oppose, and 63% of union households said that they would shop at a Wal-Mart if one was built in their community).  

An aide says her sudden principled stand is due to Mrs. Clinton having "serious differences" with the company’s practices, these differences obviously include health care, and probably Wal-Mart’s non-union shop.  

Another reason Hillary might not like Wal-Mart is because the retail giant refuses to sell morning-after pills in their pharmacies, and in fact was recently sued in Massachusetts and urged by a coalition of women’s groups, including NOW, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, to change their policy.  

Interestingly, Hillary didn’t mind using Wal-Mart to sell thousands of copies of her memoirs back in 2003-2004, and she had no problem visiting Wal-Marts across the country as part of her book tour to help to hawk "Living History."   

Maybe two years ago, Wal-Mart’s part-time employees all had golden parachutes, "Solidarity Forever" played over the Muzak system, and the store’s pharmacists happily dispensed emergency contraception to schoolgirls.