The Walmart 1 Percent in Colorado


  • Walton family members Stan and Josh Kroenke: Kroenke Sports Enterprises, Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle, Denver, CO 80204




The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Colorado Politics

The Walton family in politics

In Colorado, the Waltons have given almost $139,300 in state elections and another approximately $53,000 to candidates from the state in Congressional elections. The biggest contribution was $100,000 from Alice Walton, a resident of Texas, to a 2004 ballot initiative committee called Coloradans Against a Really Stupid Idea. Outside of that, the bulk of the money went, as usual, to Republicans.

The Waltons’ political contributions in Colorado overwhelmingly favored Republicans from 1990-2010:


Democrats Republicans
House $750 $25,911
Senate $7,700 $18,551
State-level races $3,800 $25,500
Colorado TOTAL $12,250 $69,962

Source: Analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics

Walmart in politics

As Walmart continues to try to grow its retail empire in Colorado, the company’s PAC gave $164,000 to candidates for Congress from Colorado between 1990 and 2010. More than half of it went to Republicans. Walmart’s only contributions in state-level races since 2003 have come since 2008, including $10,000 to the Republican Senate Majority Fund of Colorado.[1]



Walmart’s Impact on Colorado’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 25,238 Walmart associates in Colorado as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[2] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in Colorado, there would be an additional 10,095 retail jobs in the state.

Impact of Walmart’s China sourcing on jobs

Based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, we can estimate that Colorado lost an estimated 4,204 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[3]



Walmart’s Cost to Colorado Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[4] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[5]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[6] In the absence of centralized information or databases on economic subsidies, Good Jobs First, an economic policy and research non-profit, has done extensive research to document the subsidies Walmart has received, and has published the data on Walmart Subsidy Watch. Here’s what GJF uncovered in Colorado.

Taxpayer healthcare costs

Tens of thousands of Walmart associates and their families qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls of any employer.[7] Colorado has not disclosed data.



More Walmart stores coming to Colorado

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in Colorado:[8]

  • Boulder: Supercenter, Iris and 28th Sts.
  • Colorado Springs: Neighborhood Market, Austin Bluffs Pkwy. and Academy Blvd.
  • Colorado Springs: Neighborhood Market, Academy Blvd. and Chelton Rd.
  • Colorado Springs: Neighborhood Market, Platte Ave. and Murray Blvd.
  • Colorado Springs: Neighborhood Market, Union and Palmer Park Blvds.
  • Denver: Supercenter, 2770 W. Evans Ave.
  • Denver: Neighborhood Market, S. Sheridan Blvd. and W. Hampden Ave.
  • Denver: Supercenter, 2223 S. Monaco Pkwy.
  • Denver: 1660 Lincoln St. #1460
  • El Paso County: Supercenter, South Academy Blvd. and I-25
  • Lakeside, Supercenter, W. 44th Ave. and Harlan St.
  • Thornton: Neighborhood Market, 850 88th Ave.


[2] The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets. December, 2006. David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, Stephen Ciccarella.

[3] These numbers are estimates. To arrive at these estimates, we used the report by the Economic Policy Institute that estimated U.S. jobs lost to China by state from 2001-2008. We then multiplied that number by 9.3%, which is the proportion of the overall U.S.-China trade deficit that EPI estimated to be tied to Walmart. We arrived at that number from this study.

[4] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,”

[5] “Walmart reports Q4 EPS from continuing operations of $1.51; Walmart U.S. delivers positive traffic and positive comp sales in Q4,” press release dated February 21, 2012,

[6] “Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth,” by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton, Good Jobs First, May 2004.

[7] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[8] Information on planned or rumored stores collected by Making Change at Walmart.