Costco and Wal-Mart in Political Fight

Jul 20, 2004

By George Anderson

A Bloomberg report says Costco and Wal-Mart are not only competitors in retailing but in national politics, as well.

Wal-Mart, according to the report, gives more money to Republicans than any other company. The company and its top executives are strongly in the Bush/Cheney camp.

Costco’s chief executive, Jim Sinegal, is a Democrat and the company is backing Senators Kerry and Edwards in their attempt to take back the White House.

Amy Bonkoski, an investment adviser at National City Corp.’s private-client group said it’s easy to see why the two companies have divergent views on what election outcome would
be best for their businesses and America.

“Wal-Mart is extremely strong in Republican strongholds; they are a red-state retailer,’ she said. “Costco is stronger in Democratic states. Costco is a friend to labor. Unions
hate Wal-Mart.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the involvement of retail companies in political campaigns? Are either
Wal-Mart or Costco risking a backlash should their preferred candidate fail to win the White House?

We can understand Wal-Mart’s support for the President considering all the “nice” things the Kerry campaign has had to say about the company.

We’re a little less certain, however, why Costco is going out on limb with Kerry/Edwards. After all, if there is one thing the President understands it
is payback. Just ask Ann Richards, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein.

George Anderson – Moderator

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