NY Neighborhood Alliance Brad Gerstman Calls Out Stringer’s Wal-mart Support

CONTACT: Bradley Gerstman – 917-690-8709,   bgerstman@gothamgr.com

More info at NY Neighborhood Alliance

Scott Stringer, so-called Anti-Wal-Mart candidate, welcomes Wal-Mart lobbyist’s support

After learning that Scott Stringer hadn’t called on an independent expenditure group helping his candidacy and led by former Wal-Mart lobbyist Bradley Tusk, to stay out of the race, Bradley Gerstman co-founder and president of the NY Neighborhood Alliance who organized community members against Wal-Mart, issued the following statement:

“It’s telling that the same folks who led the charge to bring Wal-Mart, and it’s anti-labor, anti-women policies, to New York City, are leading the charge to put Scott Stringer in City Hall. And it’s just sad that Scott hasn’t rejected their support and called on them to stay out of the race.

BACKGROUND:

Lobbyist Who Led Wal-Mart’s Efforts to Open Stores in New York City Is Leading The Pro-Stringer Independent Expenditure

Wal-Mart Hired Bradley Tusk To Direct Campaign To Open Stores In New York City

  • Wal-Mart Previously Faced Stiff Opposition From Unions And Small Businesses in Previous Efforts to Open Stores In NYC. “In the mid-2000s, Wal-Mart abandoned efforts to open stores in Queens and on Staten Island after encountering stiff opposition from unions, small businesses and local politicians.” [New York Times, Wal-Mart Tries a Refined Path Into New York,” 3/25/11]
  • The Retail Store Hired Former Bloomberg Campaign Manager Bradley Tusk To Lobby On Its Behalf. “To close an analysts meeting last month, a choir of Walmart associates belted out ‘New York, New York.’ A few days later, the Arkansas retail giant announced that it had hired Bradley Tusk, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s former campaign manager, to bolster its efforts to open a store in the Big Apple. Four years after failed attempts in Queens and Staten Island led former Chief Executive H. Lee Scott to write off New York City as not ‘worth the effort,’ Walmart is indeed singing a different tune. [Crain’s New York Business, “Here Comes Wal-Mart,” 11/7/10]
  • Wal-Mart’s Efforts To Open Stores Was Being Run Like A Political Campaign, Including Hiring Tusk. “[T]his time, the retailer is running an operation modeled on a political campaign. It’s as if Wal-Mart is running for elected office…Wal-Mart’s push to come to New York City is being helped by the lobbying efforts of Bradley Tusk, the former campaign manager for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Tusk is known for his work in ‘micro-targeting,’ where personal data of voters is analyzed in order to target key demographics that could swing election outcomes.” [WNYC, “New Yorkers! Meet The Candidate, Wal-Mart,” 1/18/11]
  • Bradley Tusk’s Website States He’s “Helping To Direct Wal-Mart’s Campaign To Get A Store Approved For Opening Somewhere In The New York Metropolitan Area.” “Only five years ago the giant chain store Wal-Mart had basically given up the struggle to ever have a store in the Big Apple. The chief executive at the time, H. Lee Scott Jr had said at the time, ‘I don’t care if we are ever here.’ But a lot has changed since then. For one, Wal-Mart’s sales at home have been dwindling over several years, and Wall Street is worried. Since the suburbs and rural regions are saturated with Wal-Mart mega stores across the country, the only place for the retailer to expand is to the cities, and New York is a big feather in any retailers cap. This is where Bradley Tusk and Tusk Strategies stepped in to lend a hand. Tusk is helping to direct Wal-Mart’s campaign to get a store approved for opening somewhere in the New York metropolitan area.” [BradleyTusk.com, accessed 7/29/13]
  • New York Times: Wal-Mart Refused To Make Tusk Available For Comment On Its Campaign To Open Stores In New York City. “Helping direct Wal-Mart’s campaign is a who’s who of the political world. Bradley Tusk, a leader in the effort, managed Mr. Bloomberg’s re-election bid in 2009 and is still close to the mayor, a strong supporter of Wal-Mart’s campaign… Though most campaign managers relish the chance to champion their candidate in the news media, Wal-Mart made it clear that Mr. Tusk would not speak to a reporter for this article.” [New York Times, Wal-Mart Tries a Refined Path Into New York,” 3/25/11]
  • Wal-Mart’s Renewed NYC Campaign Was Criticized By Public Advocate Bill De Blasio: “As You Reap, So Shall You Sow, And [Wal-Mart’s] Had A Really Bad History.” “Wal-Mart is looking at properties in each of the five boroughs and has hired Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s former campaign manager, Bradley Tusk, to help coordinate its lobbying efforts. Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, predicted, ‘They’re not going to find it easy to get serious public support.’ ‘As you reap,’ Mr. de Blasio added, ‘so shall you sow, and they’ve had a really bad history. You can talk to people across the spectrum and they’ve all heard something about the problems of Wal-Mart.’” [New York Times, “Wal-Mart Tries Again For New York City Store,” 12/12/10]

Scott Stringer: Wal-Mart would be “Destructive”

  • Stringer’s Office Issued A Report Warning That Walmart In NYC Could Be “Potentially Devastating.” “As Walmart moves forward with plans to enter the New York market by zeroing in on possible store locations, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer issued an alert to all New York City shoppers that the big box store could be a bane, not a boon for small business owners and New York City’s fresh food economy. ‘Food for Thought: A Case Study of Walmart’s Impact on Harlem’s Healthy Food Retail Landscape’, a new report from the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, shows the potentially devastating impact that a Walmart at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem would have on local fresh food retailers within a one-mile radius.” [Stringer Press Release, “BP Stringer Releases Report On How a Walmart in Harlem Could Effect Local Fresh Food Retailers,” 12/15/11]
  • Stringer: “We Cannot Close Our Eyes To The Destructive Impact A Walmart Store Would Have On Small Business Owners And The Retail Food Landscape Of Harlem, Or Any Other New York Neighborhood.” “‘We cannot close our eyes to the destructive impact a Walmart store would have on small business owners and the retail food landscape of Harlem, or any other New York neighborhood,’ said Borough President Stringer, who spoke at a press conference in Harlem along with local small business owners, healthy food advocates and other community leaders. ‘Our study shows that the opening of only one Walmart store could have a damaging effect on small business owners and others who provide healthy food and produce to neighborhoods that need it more than ever.’” [Stringer Press Release, “BP Stringer Releases Report On How a Walmart in Harlem Could Effect Local Fresh Food Retailers,” 12/15/11]
  • Stringer: Walmart Would Cancel Out Gains Made By Retailers Offering Healthy Food. “‘New York City has launched crucially important programs to expand the number of retailers offering healthy food, but it’s clear that a new Walmart would work at cross-purposes, canceling out gains we have already made and threatening small business owners,’ the Borough President continued. ‘That’s why we must think long and hard before welcoming such a retailing behemoth into our neighborhoods. The time to begin these conversations is now.’” [Stringer Press Release, “BP Stringer Releases Report On How a Walmart in Harlem Could Effect Local Fresh Food Retailers,” 12/15/11]

 

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