Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

DSD on ‘Astroturf roots’…….

Most of us have heard of “astroturf roots”, those artificial imitations of spontaneous grassroots popular groups that are really artificial paper-thin fronts for logging, mining, drilling, gambling or construction enterprises.

What I (and many others) didn’t know is that some local Stop Wal*Mart campaigns, involving hundreds of neighbors, preservationists, environmentalists, small businesses and trade-unionists opposed (for all kinds of good reasons) to the arrival or expansion of a Wal-Mart, have also received financial, organizational and legal help from a firm hired secretly by big national or regional retail competitors of Wal*Mart, such as Safeway supermarkets or Royal Ahold NV.

See this article from <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>:

<a href=”http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704875604575280414218878150.html” rel=”nofollow”>Rivals Secretly Fund Opposition to Wal-Mart</a>

By ANN ZIMMERMAN

MUNDELEIN, Ill.— Robert Brownson long believed that his proposed development here, with its 200,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter, was being held hostage by nearby homeowners.

He had seen them protesting at city hall, and they had filed a lawsuit to stop the project.

What he didn’t know was that the locals were getting a lot of help. A grocery chain with nine stores in the area had hired Saint Consulting Group to secretly run the antidevelopment campaign. Saint is a specialist at fighting proposed Wal-Marts, and it uses tactics it describes as “black arts.”

As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown into the largest grocery seller in the U.S., similar battles have played out in hundreds of towns like Mundelein. Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc., Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart, according to hundreds of pages of Saint documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with former employees….

<a href=”http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704875604575280414218878150.html” rel=”nofollow”>…continued here:</a>

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June 8, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, DSD @PoliticalDog101, Government, Media, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , ,

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