There are a lot of connections between the former governor of Massachusetts and the country’s largest private employer. Let’s start with a straightforward one. Mitt Romney has five sons; one is Tagg Romney. Tagg cofounded private equity firm Solamere Capital in 2008. One of Solamere’s Operating Partners is Lee Scott. That’s Lee Scott, the former Walmart CEO who was in charge of the company. Mitt Romney to Walmart in less than six steps.
But really, there’s a lot more there. Four Waltons—Alice, Jim, Christy, and Steuart—have reached the campaign contribution limit with Romney this cycle. On top of that, Alice and Jim have also each given $200,000 to the Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future. They’ve been rooting for Romney in this election since at least last October.
Others close to the Romney campaign have ties to Walmart too. The Associated Press hypothesizes that Stephen Ross, founder and Chairman of Related Companies—which is working to develop a Walmart in New York—is a Romney bundler. GOP strategist Charlie Black, an informal advisor to the Romney campaign, lobbies for Walmart through his lobbying firm, Prime Policy Group. And in 2011, Walmart sponsored focus groups of Walmart moms related to politics and the presidential election. The groups were co-administered by Democratic pollster Margie Omero and Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. At the time, Newhouse worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Additionally, Romney served on the board of directors of Marriott International between 1993 and 2002 and again between 2009 and 2011. During that time he overlapped with Walmart director Steven Reinemund, who joined Marriott’s board in 2007 and Walmart’s board in April 2010. Another Walmart director, Arne Sorenson, has been CEO of Marriott since 2011. Marriott also looks to be Romney’s hotel of choice on the campaign trail: his campaign has spent over $475,000 at Marriott hotels so far this cycle.
Is it so much that you’ve lost track? The Walmart 1% has its tentacles in far-reaching and unexpected aspects of our lives. Leave suggestions in the comments and we’ll see what else is connected to them next week.