We know it’s only Wednesday, but it’s already been a busy enough week for the Waltons that we thought a roundup was in order:
Christy Walton helps Scott Walker buy Wisconsin recall election
Following the results of last night’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, Occidental College Professor Peter Dreier wrote this morning, “Here’s a headline you won’t see, but should: ‘Scott Walker Spent 88% of the Money to Get 53% of the Vote.’” As we mentioned earlier this week, Walmart 1%-er Christy Walton gave $50,000 (or more than three times what an average full-time Walmart associate earns in a year) to Walker’s campaign last month, joining 13 of her fellow billionaires in chipping in toward the $30.5 million Walker reportedly spent on his campaign.
Walker spent an average of $23 for each vote he received—more than 6 times the $3.47 per vote that opponent and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett spent. Of course, this sort of election-buying is familiar territory for the Walton family; they are well-versed in distorting democracy and tipping the electoral playing field by throwing their fortune around.
Waltons rake in hundreds of millions in dividend payments
Walton family bank accounts got fatter this week: On Monday, the Waltons were scheduled to receive their second dividend payout this year. Every year since 1974, Walmart has increased its dividend payout to shareholders, and this year was no exception. As owners of half the company, no one benefits from this like the Waltons. Walmart pays dividends quarterly. This year, it’s four installments of $.03975 per share. Since the Waltons own about 1.7 billion shares of Walmart stock, that means that they got about $677,766,750 in dividends this week. On the other hand, a Walmart associate working full-time and making the company’s average hourly wage of $8.81 an hour would have made about $300 this week.
Number of Walmart shareholders voting against Rob Walton skyrockets
While the Waltons were taking their checks to the bank on Monday, Walmart announced the vote tallies in last week’s board of directors election. In a dramatic shift from past votes, the percentage of votes shareholders cast against the board increased ten-fold from last year. Rob Walton, Mike Duke, and Lee Scott fared particularly poorly. Rob Walton is chair of the board—a position he held throughout the time of the alleged bribery in Mexico—and his family owns half of Walmart. Still, 12% of shareholders voted against him, compared to less than 1% last year. In fact, 32.4% of non-Walton shareholders voted against Rob Walton this year, a major show of dissent in an election that is typically almost unanimous.