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Tapes Show Hillary Was Loyal Wal-Mart Exec

From a shocked and outraged ABC News:

Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions

Tapes Reviewed by ABC News Show Clinton As a Loyal Company Woman

By BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER and RHONDA SCHWARTZ

Jan. 31, 2008—In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world’s largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers.

Clinton has been endorsed for president by more than a dozen unions, according to her campaign Web site, which omits any reference to her role at Wal-Mart in its detailed biography of her.

Wal-Mart’s anti-union efforts were headed by one of Clinton’s fellow board members, John Tate, a Wal-Mart executive vice president who also served on the board with Clinton for four of her six years.

Tate was fond of repeating, as he did at a managers meeting in 2004 after his retirement, what he said was his favorite phrase, “Labor unions are nothing but blood-sucking parasites living off the productive labor of people who work for a living.”

Wal-Mart says Tate’s comments “were his own and do not reflect Wal-Mart’s views.”

But Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and other company officials often recounted how they relied on Tate to lead the company’s successful anti-union efforts.

An ABC News analysis of the videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions

A former board member told ABCNews.com that he had no recollection of Clinton defending unions during more than 20 board meetings held in private.

The tapes show Clinton in the role of a loyal company woman. “I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,” she said at a June 1990 stockholders meeting

“We’ve got a very strong-willed young woman on our board now; her name is Hillary,” said Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton at a 1987 stockholders meeting in describing Clinton’s role in pushing for more women to be hired in management positions.

Critics say Clinton’s efforts produced few tangible results, and Wal-Mart is now defending itself in a lawsuit brought by 16 current and former female employees…

Sen. Clinton has recently sought to distance herself from Wal-Mart.

In a campaign speech last year in New Hampshire, Sen. Clinton said, “Now I know that Wal-Mart’s policies do not reflect the best way of doing business and the values that I think are important in America.”

Her Senate campaign returned a $5,000 contribution from a Wal-Mart Political Action Committee, although ABCNews.com discovered another $20,000 in contributions from Wal-Mart executives and lobbyists.

Clinton spokesperson Howard Wolfson said, “There is no basis to return” the money.

According to the New York Times, Sen. Clinton “maintains close ties to Wal-Mart executives through the Democratic Party and the tightly knit Arkansas business community.” The May 20, 2007 article also reported that her husband, former President Clinton, “speaks frequently to Wal-Mart’s current chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr.” and held a private dinner at the Clinton’s New York home in July 2006 for him.

President Clinton defended his wife’s role on the Wal-Mart board last week after the issue was raised by Sen. Barack Obama in a CNN debate.

His wife did not try to change the company’s minds about unions, the former Arkansas governor said.

“We lived in a state that had a very weak labor movement, where I always had the endorsement of the labor movement because I did what I could do to make it stronger. She knew there was no way she could change that, not with it headquartered in Arkansas, and she agreed to serve,” President Clinton said…

This information has been out there for decades now.

Funny how it too Mr. Obama’s playing of the Wal-Mart card to jar the memories of our watchdog media, such as it is.

Probably some 20 year old intern who has a thing for BHO decided to look into it.

(And of course they couldn’t be bothered to note that up until very recently the Clintons still owned Wal-Mart stock.)

She knew there was no way she could change that, not with it headquartered in Arkansas, and she agreed to serve,” President Clinton said.

And yet this self-same woman is now telling us there is nothing she can’t do.

Still, the videotape ABC has unearthed is quite entertaining in its own right, as are some of the photos they have lifted from it:

On the campaign trail, President Bill Clinton has defended Hillary’s role on the Wal-Mart board even though he said she knew there was no chance of changing the company’s stance on unions.

In a written statement, Sen. Clinton’s spokesperson said, “As President she will fight alongside labor to promote the economic growth of America’s middle class.” He said Clinton believes Wal-Mart workers should have the right to unionize and bargain collectively.

Clinton’s Senate campaign also returned a $5,000 contribution.

Although there is no mention of it in her official biography, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton served for six years on the board of Wal-Mart, the huge retailer criticized by many for its treatment of workers and its strident opposition to unions.

Factories featured in Wal-Mart’s Buy America television spots were closed down a short time later as Wal-Mart abandoned the program and jobs shifted overseas.

As the wife of then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, Hillary also took a role in supporting a Buy America program to create American jobs.

“You know one of the reasons that we want to buy America is because we love America,” she said at the time.

While Hillary Clinton has since denounced Wal-Mart’s policies, nowhere on the tapes reviewed by ABC News, including at this 1990 meeting, did she speak up to defend the role of America’s labor unions.

“You know, as a shareholder and director of our company, I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,” she said.

Clinton would not agree to be interviewed on the subject but now says she no longer shares.

Videotapes obtained by ABC News from the archives of a production company hired by Wal-Mart to record its meetings reveal just how strident Wal-Mart’s opposition to unions was as well as what a loyal company woman Hillary Clinton was.

Nevertheless, it is quite naive for the folks at ABC News even to suggest that Hillary should have put her oft-proclaimed principles before a chance to make herself richer.

Mrs. Clinton hasn’t never been that small-minded.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 31st, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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