Opposing Wal-Mart was already a pretty easy position to take in New York City Democratic politics, but thanks to The New York Times‘ report of an extensive bribery scheme on the part of the company in Mexico, and similarly extensive efforts to cover it all up, that position just got a whole lot easier.
At a press conference earlier today, a plethora of officials, including three top tier mayoral candidates, blasted Wal-Mart for its various sins. And each of them emphasized that they do not want the superstore within the boundaries of New York City, thank you very much.
Declaring Wal-Mart’s corporate boardroom a “crime scene,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer “wished them luck in their upcoming criminal investigation” and stated, “They’ve disgraced the United States of America.”
“We’re not here today to say no to big business, we’re here today to say no to bad business, and that’s what Wal-Mart is,” former Comptroller Bill Thompson contended. “You go back and look at the history of Wal-Mart: child labor allegations, discrimination against women, [and] discrimination against seniors. That’s Wal-Mart.”
“Wal-Mart is one of the biggest reasons why middle class is in decline in this country,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said. “These are bad guys. They are bad actors. They do not belong in New York City.”
While Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a candidate for congress in Queens, took an even sharper tack and called for the Justice Department to investigate political and charitable contributions Wal-Mart has made in New York, just in case they’ve been bribing government officials like they did in Mexico.
“We know they know of price of buying government favors in Mexico and I think all of us are deeply concerned that they may know the price of buying government favors in the United States and possibly New York,” he said. “I think that the Justice Department should examine very, very closely those who have accepted contributions from Wal-Mart.”
Update: Wal-Mart’s communications team requested a quote favorable to them also be present in this post. Here’s one from company spokesman Steve Restivo:
“Our track record as a good corporate citizen is well known and in large cities like New York, residents continue to choose to shop and work at Walmart. As a result, we continue to evaluate opportunities here to make access to our stores more convenient for customers.”
Watch the Wal-Mart hate bonanza below: