Newly revealed campaign finance records show that a wealthy Walmart heiress gave a donation exceeding a third of a million dollars to Hillary Clinton’s “Victory Fund.”
Alice Walton, who ranks #12 in the Forbes 400 with more than $32 billion in personal assets, gave $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund — one of the funds backing her 2016 presidential campaign. While the donation was made in December of 2015, the record of her contribution wasn’t made public until this week. Alice is one of the most controversial Walton heirs. In 2011, she was arrested for drunk driving but ultimately got off scot-free despite having a blood alcohol level of 0.16. Walton famously told her arresting officers, “I’m Alice Walton, bitch!”
This donation comes at a time when the former First Lady and Secretary of State is trying to distance herself from her past, like referring to black youth as “super-predators,” proudly identifying as a “Goldwater girl” in her first foray into politics, and sitting on the board of Walmart for 6 years between 1986 and 1992.
This astonishing six-figure donation from one of the owners of a company widely-known for its oppressive labor practices comes in stark contrast to her campaign’s portrayal of the former New York senator as a champion of workers. Clinton’s campaign has been endorsed by the central leadership of multiple labor unions, like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the National Education Association (NEA).
As ABC News reported, Hillary Clinton was silent as a member of Walmart’s board when the company ramped up its anti-union practices. Some of the most notable examples include circulating a manual on how to beat back Teamster organizing at Walmart warehouses as early as 1991, and forcing employees to attend mandatory captive audience meetings in which workers are discouraged by management from joining unions, among other practices.
“I’m always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,” Clinton said at a 1990 shareholders’ meeting.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has harped on Walmart heirs and the company’s abusive labor practices as a prime example of how greedy corporate behavior is harming workers and costing billions in tax dollars. Forbes estimates that despite Walmart being one of the wealthiest corporations in the history of the world, the company costs taxpayers roughly $6.2 billion per year due to paying workers so little that workers have to depend on public assistance to meet basic needs.
In this video, Sanders explains the disparity of wealth inequality between the Walton family and average Americans, and how the retailer is the “major beneficiary of welfare in America.”