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Republican's Wal-Mart Watch

Two leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate rallied with labor leaders in Baltimore yesterday, as part of a bus tour aimed at getting Wal-Mart to provide better health benefits to its employees.

Congressman Ben Cardin and former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume decried the nation's current health care system, and pledged to support efforts to revive the so-called "Wal-Mart law," the Maryland legislation that would have forced the company to spend more on its health benefits. The law was struck down in federal court last month.

As the event was concluding, though, the Republican Party's oppo team jumped on an item buried in one of Cardin's old campaign reports.

"In light of Ben Cardin's attacks on Wal-Mart today, it's interesting to note that he has no problem taking their campaign contributions," state GOP spokeswoman Audra Miller wrote, attaching a line from his report showing what was actually a $145 expenditure (not a contribution) made by Cardin's campaign at a Baltimore-area Wal-Mart in 2003.

Someone apparently pointed out to Miller that the item was an expenditure, because a few moments later she sent out this quip: "Corrected: He shops there."

No word, though, what was purchased.

By  |  August 4, 2006; 10:14 AM ET
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Cardin and Mfume need to clearly state if they intend to amend (and if so, how) or overturn ERISA since that's what it would require to reimplement Maryland's "Wal Mart" law.

Posted by: Rufus | August 4, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

How bout this Rufus....

Cardin or Mfume will clearly state how they intend to amend the Walmart bill when Steele clearly states, on the record, where he stands on any issue..just one issue...just anything where he can find his backbone and not run away from a reporter's question like he did this week.

Posted by: Steele's a joke. | August 4, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Daniel "The Wig Man" Vovak, the main challenger in the GOP senate race, supports laws which prohibit big businesses from cutting costs by externalizing employee health care needs onto government programs. This is the worst sort of corporate welfare.

It is too bad the Washington Post is refusing whatsoever to cover the Vovak primary campaign against Michael Steele, it is also abominable that while it has released Democratic primary poll numbers, it has refused to release the Republican primary poll numbers, which would show eroding support within the Republican Party for Michael Steele and growing support for The Wig Man. Readers who want the truth can go to to see how Vovak is taking Steele head on, and is the cause of the implosion of the Steele campaign.

Posted by: Mike Lorrey | August 4, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Aren't Cardin and Mfume criticizing themselves? How can they excoriate a company without leveling those who subsidize the company by shopping there?

Posted by: Wal-Mart shopper | August 4, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Cardin and Mfume need a civics lession. The Wal-Mart bill was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. Last time I checked, both Cardin and Mfume were running for the U.S. Senate. They will have absolutely no say on legislation before the General Assembly.

This is simply pandering of the worst sort. This is bad legislation and Cardin and Mfume's support of its principles reminds me once again why I'm happy to support Steele.

Posted by: MK | August 4, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Cardin and Mfume are only pretending to support the working family. The same working families that shop at Wal-Mart to get everything they need in one stop at low prices. Judging by the Cardin expenditure, his campaign feels the same way.

Posted by: BG from PG | August 4, 2006 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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