Today, and every Monday for the past twelve weeks, the North Carolina NAACP, religious leaders, and community members have gathered at the North Carolina State Capitol to rally against what NAACP leader Rev. William Barber described as “extremists attacking Democracy.” Since the end of April, thousands have participated in these Moral Monday protests and rallies against unjust legislation coming out of the state legislature. So far, 926 people have participated in civil disobedience and been arrested. Walmart, on the other hand, has given over $60,000 to the Republican Party and Republican legislators pushing these laws.
In 2010, Republicans took a majority in the North Carolina state legislature and two years later, Republican Pat McCrory was elected governor, giving the GOP control of the state for the first time in over a century. With that came a wave of conservative laws favoring corporations over people and shifting public resources away from the families that need them most. The News Observer identifies some of this year’s drastic new legislation:
The GOP supermajority charged ahead with a budget and new policies that make cuts to public education, shift tax dollars to private-school vouchers, cut unemployment and Medicaid benefits, reform tax laws to provide a flat tax rate bringing larger breaks to corporations and the state’s top earners, while also hiking taxes for some of more modest means.
Not to mention some of the most the stringent voter suppression laws in the country, which the state legislature passed just last week. The New York Times described this latest bill as combining “every idea for suppressing voter turnout that Republicans have advanced in other states.”
We’ve written before about Walmart and the Waltons’ support of the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Walmart left ALEC under intense public pressure last spring, but the Waltons have failed to distance themselves from the group, even as Moral Mondays and other protests against ALEC’s terrible ideas have gained momentum.
Walmart and the Waltons have helped fund the conservative shift in state houses across the country in recent years. Several members of the Walton family were among the top donors in Wisconsin in 2010—the year that Scott Walker was elected governor—and now we’re finding out that Walmart contributed $60,500 to the Republican Party and GOP candidates in North Carolina in the past two election cycles. That amounts to nearly 80 percent of their total contributions in the state.
Walmart may be doing all it can to burnish its public image, but the truth is that the company has not chosen the moral side in North Carolina.