We’ve talked a lot on this site about Walmart and the Walton’s massive political machine. You’ve already heard about the $4 million Walmart funneled to candidates in the 2010 cycle alone, the 99 lobbyists Walmart reported in 2011, and the company’s ties to the increasingly controversial American Legislative Exchange Council.
Given the influence of Walmart and the Walton family on the national political stage, it’s easy to forget that they also play a huge role in state politics. For example, the company has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to political candidates in California. All that spending can tell us a lot about Walmart’s real priorities.
A review of Walmart’s political spending for state-level candidates in California showed a clear conservative bias. In 2012 alone, Walmart has spent $84,000 and has donated entirely to Republican candidates and the California Republican Party. Walmart gave $75,000 to the State GOP alone in 2012.
The picture was slightly more balanced in 2011, but Walmart still gave the vast majority of state-level contributions the Republican Party. More than two-thirds of all Walmart contributions went to GOP candidates for the state Assembly and Senate and GOP-affiliated committees.
So what does this mean? Obviously, a big company like Walmart wants to spend money in politics to protect its interests. However, it’s instructive that Walmart sees spending money on Republicans as the best way to advance the company’s agenda.