"It is an unwarranted intrusion on private property rights,”Excuse me?- Tri-State owner Gerard Connelly, quoted in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News on the proposed Moscow "dark-store" ordinance.
Is this the same Gerard Connelly described by PARDner Greg Hooks as being "struck by the naivete of Pullman's mayor, Glenn Johnson" and feeling that "Wal-Mart has a track record of predatory competition that harms local businesses, sapping the vitality of downtown"?
Is this the same Gerard Connelly that in a letter to the editor urged Ed Schweitzer to drop his support of Wal-Mart because of its "poor wages and benefits"?
Is this the same Gerard Connelly whose motives for attacking Wal-Mart were lauded by PARDner T.V. Reed as being purely "in the community interest, not of economic self-interest", a merchant "who has donated so much time and money to local community projects"?
This man is now the champion of private property rights?
If so, the Caped Crusader would like to welcome Connelly to the Justice League.
I suspect, however, this is more a case of Connelly's ox getting gored than any sudden conversion. The "dark-store" ordinance will apply to Tri-State if it merely expands by 5,000 square feet.
And Connelly's opposition to Wal-Mart has depended exclusively on what side of the border the store will be located. Digging through the archives of the Lewiston Tribune from way back in 1992, I read several stories where Connelly said Wal-Mart was nothing to be afraid of......in Moscow. Earlier this year, we saw Connelly flip-flop on Wal-Mart again when a Supercenter was proposed for Moscow. A Pullman Wal-Mart seems to be the only Wal-Mart to which Connelly is truly opposed.
Hey, I give the guy credit. He's a Moscow businessman. Even though his stance on Wal-Mart is hypocritical and expedient, I can understand it a lot better than opposition from a bunch of snobby English and Sociology professors who lack the business acumen to open a lemonade stand.
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