Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Democratic National Committee is in the process of returning $50,000 in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gift cards to the big box retailer, according to media reports. The cards, which Wal-Mart gave to the DNC as an in-kind contribution, are reportedly being returned by the DNC as a favor to labor unions.
Bloomberg reporter Megan Hughes said in a video report that unions put pressure on the DNC to return the cards. She said tension between unions and the DNC has arisen over the holding of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in the "non-union" and "right-to-work" city of Charlotte, N.C. Additionally, the DNC is upset that unions have not met expected levels of contributions to the DNC in this campaign season, Hughes noted.
Unlike a cash contribution to a political organization, an in-kind contribution is a donation of resources, such as an office supply retailer contributing office supplies. DNC rules ban corporate cash donations, but allow for in-kind contributions, according to a Politico report. Wal-Mart donated the cards in lieu of office supplies, said the report, citing an anonymous Wal-Mart official.
Hughes characterized the return of the Wal-Mart gift cards as "an olive branch" from the DNC to the unions. Some labor unions are not big fans of Wal-Mart, as the retailer does not employ unionized workers in its U.S. operations.
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