Huffpost Politics

Walmart's Mixed Signals: Giving More Money To Dems

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Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart was warning employees that a Democratic win in November would be bad for workers.

But the Rothenberg Political Report finds that Wal-Mart is also helping Democrats out:

Wal-Mart's PAC was moderately active during the 1998 and 2000 election cycles -- dishing out $894,000 over four years -- but ramped up its political giving in 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics Web site. The corporation gave $1.4 million that cycle, and boosted its contributions to more than $2.7 million in both the 2004 and 2006 cycles.

In an age where taking money is synonymous with doing someone's bidding, more and more Democrats, including party leadership, are cashing Wal-Mart's PAC checks. Apparently Wal-Mart is not the devil it once was.

Through June, Wal-Mart's PAC had contributed to 86 House Democrats this cycle, amounting to just more than one-third of the Caucus. That's more than the 77 House Democrats Wal-Mart supported in 2006 and the 62 that received PAC money in 2004. ...

Fifty-two percent of Wal-Mart's total candidate giving this cycle has gone to Republican candidates, because the Senate giving is still heavily Republican. It's still a marked change from 2006, when it was 68 percent Republican and 2004 and 2002 when Republicans received 78 percent of Wal-Mart's candidate contributions.

Many of the Democrats who've benefited from Wal-Mart's largess still oppose the company on important legislation.