Members of the Walton family, as we know, are active political donors, using their fortune to back right-wing candidates and causes. This election cycle was no exception. Now that Election Day 2012 is in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at some notable results from contests that the Waltons contributed money to. In recognition of the Waltons’ commitment to corporate-style education reform, we will grade their results and then rate how they did overall. (We’re basing these grades on whether their preferred candidates or issues won, regardless of how noxious the candidates or issues are!)
Forbes came out with their list of wealthiest Americans today, and it’s been another good year for the Waltons. Four Waltons—Christy, Jim, Alice, and Rob—find themselves in the top ten, and two more Waltons round out the top 100. The Waltons are now worth $115 billion, making them far and away the richest family in America.
Alice Walton becomes 2nd biggest donor to charter school initiative
Walton Family now richer than nearly 50 million American families combined
Walmart’s stock has been trading near record highs over the past few weeks, which got us thinking about the Waltons’ wealth. Sam Walton’s three living children—Alice, Jim, and Rob—own or control over half of the company’s shares. They, along with their sister-in-law Christy Walton and cousins Ann Walton Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie, regularly make appearances on the Forbes 400. Walmart is the source of much of their wealth—when Walmart’s stock price soars, so does the family’s wealth.
The Waltons’ contributions to Republicans this federal election cycle are quickly approaching a million dollars, and things have barely started to heat up.
We know Alice Walton as one of the wealthiest people in America, a major shareholder in Walmart, and a prominent member of the Walmart 1%. To the art world, she is the collector with deep pockets behind the recently opened multi-billion dollar Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. And as of yesterday, TIME Magazine is calling her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Campaign finance reports show that siblings Jim and Alice Walton have made a second round of contributions to Mitt Romney’s super PAC, Restore Our Future. In January 2012, they gave a combined $200,000 to the Romney super PAC.
We know the Waltons are prolific political donors. In campaign finance reports, which require donors to report their employer or occupation, members of the Walton family end up reporting a variety of occupations—from homemaker (Christy Walton) to “education consultant” (Carrie Penner) to “rancher” and “investor” (Alice Walton).