Friday, June 16, 2006

The Bronx Wal-Mart

As the organizing work of the Alliance and its allies continues in the Bronx the rumors keep persisting that the giant retailer has its sights set on the city's poorest borough. In today's NY Daily News the paper is reporting on the grass roots effort and the gyrations of some of the Walmonster's putative supporters who are attempting to distance themselves from the retailer's radioactivity.

Of course the Wal-Mart flack believes that the opposition is "a small minority of special interests" who "stand in the way of choice." We guess that he doesn't read his own public opinion surveys that show that the store is generating the king of similar negative ratings that our current president is trying desperately to raise.

What's most interesting in the story is the reporting on the booty capitalist effort to sow support with cash. For instance, even though it doesn't have a store in the Bronx the retailer joined the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, no doubt embarrassed by this hand-out, is scheduled to vote today to terminate the Wal-Mart membership. As the Alliance's Matt Lipsky says, "We fear Wal-Mart is giving-and will keep giving-money to create support for itself."

Which brings us to old friend Frank Garcia and his Bronx Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We have already commented on our suspicions that Frank is looking for ways to promote the company. With all of the heat being laid on him, however, Frankie from the Bronx is shucking and ducking-"people are spreading rumors about me," Garcia said. We can just see Garcia burning those travel vouchers to Bentonville.