Another Walmart questioner — in the Arkansas legislature even! During stockholder meeting week! | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Another Walmart questioner — in the Arkansas legislature even! During stockholder meeting week!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 7:09 AM

bpvr7spiqaaimpe.jpg

Sen. Jason Rapert
of Conway commented positively on Twitter last night about the mailer above, which is being circulated by a group opposing the petition effort to call wet-dry elections in Faulkner, Saline and Craighead Counties. Walmart is part of the retail coalition pushing this effort as well as a statewide effort that has just begun. The mailer — likely the work of beer sellers in Conway County, which benefit hugely from next-door Faulkner County being dry — contains arguments that could have been crafted by one of the unions trying to organize Walmart workers.

Beer sale profits will just go to Walmart corporate headquarters, the postcard says. Many Walmart workers are on public assistance. Corporate execs make huge salaries — the CEO pay of $23 million is 1,000 times that of the median Walmart worker.

Rapert commented on Twitter:

Some interesting points being made on this postcard. I wish Sam Walton was still around....

Criticism of Walmart is normally forbidden in official Arkansas, especially during Walmart stockholders meeting week. It's an expensive, choreographed pep rally that makes employees and stockholders feel contributing team members, as opposed to just tools of the Walton heirs who control the majority of stock. The media might make a mention or two of public protestors who turn out on the sidewalks outside Walmart meeting places during stockholder week, such as those protesting Walmart's use of inhumane pork producers . But you have to look hard for coverage in mainstream media of how U.S. taxpayers subsidize executive pay at Walmart. Or for reports on how Walton Family philanthropy is a multi-billion-dollar tax shelter to enhance profits and control of the Walton heirs, who themselves don't contribute much to the charity.

Maybe Rapert and the Conway County booze boys should pick up some of these other reports and circulate them, too.

AND SPEAKING OF WALMART: The New York Times today chronicles the departure of high-level executives at the company since reporting began of a bribery scandal in the company's international division. Cause and effect? That is the suggestion. The exodus of eight high-level employees included former CEO Lee Scott and Tom Mars, the former Arkansas State Police director who rose to executive vice president and general counsel.

While the circumstances surrounding each executive’s departure are unclear, a pattern has emerged. At least eight of Walmart’s most senior executives in Mexico, India and Bentonville, Ark., have left the company since the latter part of 2011, when Walmart learned of The Times’s investigation. In the same two years, the company has revamped its global compliance program. In a move that swims against the current of Walmart’s corporate culture, the company has increased its compliance staff by more than 30 percent, to 2,000 people, in that short time.

Other changes the company has made — including mandating that any potential foreign corruption violations be reported to corporate headquarters and the board — may make it more difficult for senior executives to plead ignorance in the future.

It is in Walmart’s interest, particularly as it negotiates with federal prosecutors, to show how it has strengthened its compliance efforts.

Jason Rapert wishes Sam Walton was still around. Three of his children are and they still call the shots through their Walmart stock ownership. Rapert could buy a share of stock, plunk himself down in the audience in Fayetteville Friday and start asking questions: Beer in Faulkner County; taxpayer subsidies of executive pay; tax shelters to dodge estate taxes; animal cruelty; foreign bribery. It's a good list.

PS — Rapert received $4,000 in campaign contributions from the lobbyists for the Conway County alcohol sellers.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Also on the legislative agenda: Implanted microchips

    Also in the bill hopper today, legislation by Rep. Stephen Meeks to prohibit employers from implanting microchips in employees without their written consent and prohibiting making implantation of a chip a condition of employment.
    • Jan 16, 2019
  • The legislative shop of horrors: Kim Hammer's campus speech bill

    The latest in the parade of horrors in legislative bill filing is a proposal by Sen. Kim Hammer that purports to protect free speech on campus. Its point is to usurp control of campuses as a reaction to the widespread, but not particularly well-supported belief that liberal political correctness is running rampant on campus.
    • Jan 16, 2019
  • Wednesday: Headlines and the open line

    A legislative outrage leads the daily video roundup. Here's the open line.
    • Jan 16, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Greenbrier's paddling of student protester goes worldwide

    The paddling of Greenbrier High School students who joined in te national school walkout Wednesday has produced headlines worldwide.
    • Mar 17, 2018
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation