Mike and Walmart

Here’s something rather new to the city scene: a Moveon.org-style volunteer group (it appears) that’s raised some money to air a slick anti-Walmart spot.

The 60-second ad The Politicker previewed shows a guy observing glum workers and grim fluorescent lighting, as a voiceover reads a litany of anti-Walmart complaints: “What does Walmart really cost? Small business destroyed. More traffic. Union busting.” You get the idea.

It ends with: “Tell Mayor Bloomberg that Walmart is a bad deal for New York.”

The group behind the ad, whose Web site is here, seems only to have enough money to air it on NY1 (311 operators breathe a sigh of relief here), but the issue is an interesting one for the Mayor. He isn’t a guy with a lot of core beliefs that resist any compromise — he happily switched parties; seems, like a lot of people, conflicted on the Iraq war; raised taxes; took a middle position on gay marriage; and backed anti-abortion pols.

But, understandably given his background, he has some very strong views on government meddling in the private sector. And so he’s taken some hits for refusing to — as he sees it — play the demagogue, and use city contracting, for example, to push companies toward gay rights; he doesn’t like the idea that his government should be deciding which stores set up shop in New York City.

Anthony made much of this stance of the Mayor; Freddy, as the Neighborhood Retail Alliance’s blog notes, has been relatively quiet on the issue, but it probably represents a political opening for him, if one complicated by the support of some of his Bronx allies for big-box stores up there. Mike and Walmart