Skip to comments.Dick Durbinís cozy alliance with Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the giant retail lobby
Posted on 03/29/2011 11:28:40 AM PDT by mandaladon
Everybody knows, as Sen. Dick Durbin keeps telling us, the credit card companies and big banks have a well-oiled lobbying machine on Capitol Hill fighting against a new law that gives the Federal Reserve the authority to set what price Visa, Mastercard and others get for debit and credit card purchases at retailers across the country.
I will tell you this: we are watching a lobbying effort on Capitol Hill the likes of which weve never seen. The banking industry and the credit card companies have so much money on the table, Durbin griped Monday on CNBC.
But hold on: The retail stores that stand to gain piles of cash from a lower, government-set price have their own army of lobbyists.
Specifically, retail stores, led by Wal-Mart and Home Depot, spent more than $40 million in 2010 employing 411 lobbyists. In addition, their employees, lobbyists and PACs donated millions of dollars to key lawmakers.
And Durbin himself has some questions to answer.
Last June, on the eve of a key Senate vote on the interchange fee issue in which Wal-Mart was deeply invested, the company announced it would donate $20 million to charities and opening scores of new stores in the Chicago area, in Durbins home state of Illinois.
Asked about the conspicuous donation by the Washington Times, Durbin not only claimed he was not familiar with it, but said Ive had no contact, personally, with Wal-Mart on this issue. (In June, Wal-Mart spokesman Steve Restivo said the donation was unrelated to the interchange fees issue or Durbin.)
Notably, while Durbin was having no contact with Wal-Mart, two of his former aides, now lobbyists for the top Democratic powerhouse firm Podesta Group, were lobbying for Wal-Mart on the interchange fee issue, according to federal lobbying disclosure forms.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
So why are there no Wal-Marts in Chicago?
Retailers cannot have it both ways. If they want the convenience of accepting electronic payments, then they must be willing to pass on the costs to their customers.
Chicago demands a “living wage” for Walmart employees - much higher wages and required benefits than those of Target and other big box retailers operating in Chicago.
Walmart can’t compete in Chicago with the Daley machine dictating they pay above-market overhead. They won’t enter a hostile market where they are mandated to lose money.