Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What They Said - In Public

As an observer, I have watched PARD keep the issues focused and not personalized. No matter the outcome for a Walmart in Pullman, they have used their rights and liberties and a democratic judicial system with grace.
- "Guest" December 11, 2007, 3:49 pm
I applaud Dr. Lupke and other PARD members for their numerous letters and Op Ed pieces that have addressed issues in a manner consistent with the spirit of civil free speech.
- "Proponent of Civility," December 11, 2007, 8:34 pm

Let's see if these comments on the Daily News website will bear scrutiny when matched up with the public statements made over the past few years by the PARDners and their supporters, shall we? If you can think of anything else, please post it in the comments, This is just what I found in about 10 minutes of searching:

"In the meantime, however, it is important to know Wal-Mart has contributed not thousands but millions to charter schools and school-voucher causes (USA Today). A community like Pullman, which is filled with state-employed teachers at all levels of the education system, should strongly oppose the building of a Wal-Mart Supercenter here for this reason alone. In our state, Wal-Mart has donated $300,000 to charter-school causes that have been rejected at the polls by Washington voters twice. Sending one's children to a private school is a personal choice, but charter schools and school vouchers weaken the public school system by diverting scarce funds away from it.

It also is revealing to examine Wal-Mart's political donations which mostly went to Republicans in the last election (www.fec.gov). In our state, Wal-Mart donated to the campaigns of Dino Rossi, George Nethercutt and Cathy McMorris, but not to those of Don Barbieri, Patty Murray, or Christine Gregoire.

Nationally, Wal-Mart contributed to Tom DeLay, Katherine Harris (former Florida Secretary of State, remember her?) and George Bush but not to John Kerry. By contrast, 99.11 percent of regionally-based Costco's political contributionswent to Democrats, including Don Barbieri. Just so you know where your consumer dollars are going."
Alicia "Al" Borm, June 4, 2005
"As for the super-size supporters, local business owners and ordinary citizens alike who would prefer to have all of the amenities of Lewiston, Spokane, or Coeur d’Alene, I’d suggest that you might stop trying to morph Pullman into another shopper’s paradise and perhaps consider moving a few miles closer down the road to be next to your favorite outlet shopping mall."
Michael Rutledge Riley, June 11, 2005
"A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a neighbor about how I had learned that trees around the Pullman Cemetery might be torn down for construction for the proposed Wal-Mart (Please refer to the blueprints with the city.)

From this accidental conversation, I have learned of several errors that the city and Wal-Mart have made regarding the assessment of this proposed site. I have learned that cemeteries can indeed be registered as historical places. I have learned that an intentional grove of trees built around a cemetery can be a
historical landscape. I have learned that there is a 400-foot boundary difference between the 190 plat mats and the current maps of Pullman. I have been reminded of the fact that Wal-Mart does not care about the integrity of community, history, and enironmentalism.

I am very concerned about pre-1900 residents who may be buried in that cemetery.

In addition to the rich heritage visible in the cemetery itself. a hidden history may lay there as well. Oftentimes, non-Euro-Americans were not afforded complete, identifiable gravestones, such as Native Americans and Chinese laborers. These early inhaitants of the Palouse nay be resting outside of the known plat boundaries. Wal-Mart has repeatedly dug up and built over existing cemeteries (Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, and Vancouver, British Columbia).

I am now painfully aware of how one of Pullman's most sacred places might be altered, destroyed and otherwise shadowed by a behemoth super cemter that is sure to wreck many visual landscapes. I am wondering how long-time citizens in Pullman feel about this? I am wondering if those folks have been informed.

How can the city not demand a comprehensive analysis of this existing cemetery by way of sonar scanning the entire original plat map boundaries?"
Marcie Gilliland, June 2005
"There is a game where a "rumor" is whispered around a circle to see how the original changes. This appears to have happened with the so-called "merchant's petition.

...I spent several hours in June presenting an impartially worded petition to a variety of business owners. I introduced myself and explained that I represented no one but myself. I had meaningful discussions with most of those who signed the petition and with several who declined. Three people emphasized their support for a Wal-mart Supercenter in Pullman, yet were willing to sign the petition because the wording was impartial, the idea a good one. The cover letter that went to the city with the petition was the idea of a particulalry thoughful signer, and includes that signer's suggestions...

In conclusion, I reiterate that this was my project as a private citizen, and that I approached everyone openly and respectfully. "
Cynthia Hosick, October 1, 2005
"Our business was recently visited by a person representing themselves as pro-business and pro-economic growth who asked me to sign a petition requesting an economic study regarding the proposed Pullman Wal-mart.

In reality this person was a representative of PARD who was gathering signatures from Pullman business people not to facilitate economic study but to use the petition as a tactic to delay or stop the Pullman Wal-Mart. The petition was further "spun" with a cover letter that was not a part of the original petition and sent to the Pullman Director of Public Works.

Looking down the list of others on the petition it appears that others were likewise duped and misrepresented.

I think that it is important to set the record straight in order to minimize confusion and to expose deceptive practices for what they are."
Jerry Griebling, September 15, 2005
"Round One: The Battle for Public Opinion is Over. PARD Has Clearly Won that Battle."
PARD Press Release, May 23, 2005
"We have public opinion on our side."
PARD Press Release, September 9, 2005
"[Sam Dial Jewelers owner Sam] Dial said a new perspective by many Pullman residents may help retain small local businesses and lure new businesses into town.

'The Pullman community really wants to see business growth,” he said. “We have a leak of retail dollars.'”
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 20, 2007
"If Wal-Mart has its way, say good-bye to public schools."
Chris Lupke, October 27, 2005
"A local writer by the name of Tom Forbes often mocks Hosick and Reed, as if civic debate is a game; indeed, Forbes seems quite gleeful about, "proudly annoying Pullman's left-wing intelligentsia" (a quote from his blog "Palousitics".) It would show more wisdom and maturity proudly to remember, and cleverly to apply, the splendid old traditions in these United States of the kind of civic debate that - despite differences of opinion - manages to remain both civil and factual."
Birgita Ingemanson, October 28, 2005
"Finally, Forbes seems content to allow consumerism to replace the democratic process. I doubt Forbes would be comfortable repealing child labor laws or would embrace a proposal to open a strip club, kiddie porn outlet or crack house on the logic that consumers can decide."
Richard King, October 31, 2005
"At the same time, news arrives that a store that makes much more sense for Pullman, Target, has plans to build here."
TV Reed, November 2, 2005
"The irresponsible, extremist ranting on Forbes' site gives Republicans a bad name, and makes it impossible to take BREO seriously. Leave pro-business lobbying to the Chamber of Commerce."
Ray Sacchi, November 3, 2005
"I have no special expertise nor have I received any help, training, support or funding from any such national union movement. I am not a member of a union nor is anyone in my family.

At a recent Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development meeting, I asked if anyone was – no one raised their hand."
Chris Lupke, November 16, 2005
"The documentary presented interviews with former store employees who have seen harsh working conditions. Several WSU departments presented the screening of “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” in Todd hall on Monday.

The documentary gave viewers an inside look at several controversial issues associated with the world’s largest retail company.

WSU departments of comparative ethnic studies, American studies, women’s studies, sociology and Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development (PARD) screened the film...

'It’s slavery,' said Anthony Walters, a representative of UFCW Local 1439, who answered questions after the video presentation. 'When workers are kept in the workplace, forced to pay rent and utility fees that exceed their wages, it is slavery.'”
Daily Evergreen, November 16, 2005
"In a recent letter, local Wal-Mart promoter Tom Forbes attacked respected Moscow businessman Gerard Connelly (owner of Tri-State) for suggesting that the 5,000 lawsuits Wal-Mart faces might indicate some problems with the corporation. Forbes’ weak defense of Wal-Mart is that it is a big company and therefore a big target. In fact, Wal- Mart’s lawsuits are far out of proportion to their size. More important, Forbes seems to imply that these lawsuits must be frivolous. Out of so many, a few surely are. But what Forbes doesn’t tell us is that in a great many of these suits brought by, among others, the U.S. government and several state governments, Wal-Mart has been found guilty as charged.

A few of the huge number of possible examples from this year alone: In February Wal-Mart settled with the federal government for 85 violations of US child labor laws in three states; last week Wal-Mart was fined $115 million for denying lunch breaks to employees in one state (with similar cases pending in 40 others); three weeks ago Wal-Mart generated a new lawsuit when it was caught again using illegal
immigrants in Pennsylvania (this in the wake of a leaked memo making clear such
actions are corporate policy, not isolated acts).

Why aren’t folks like Forbes outraged at this corporate immorality? Why do they defend in corporations what they would never defend in individual behavior? Forbes also attacked Connelly’s motives, suggesting that this merchant who has donated so much time and money to local community projects, was speaking solely out of economic self- interest. I believe he was speaking out of community interest. We as consumers need to send a message to Wal-Mart CEO’s that if they want our business they must treat their workers fairly, that until
they do they are not welcome in our towns."
TV Reed, December 31, 2005
“I understand the council’s concern about big-box stores, but Moscow doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Pullman is welcoming big-box business and that’s a bigger threat to Moscow.”
Gerard Connelly, February 8, 2006
"I also have been asked the question, 'If Target was planning to build in Pullman would there be the same opposition?' The answer is no. I think Pullman would welcome Target with open arms. Wal-Mart cannot be compared to any other company. Because of its size and power, it is in a class of its own."
Leilani Alamillo, January 11, 2006
"I see that April Coggins wants it both ways. She wants on-street parking in front of her business and a Wal-Mart Supercenter larger than all retail space in the downtown area."
Janet Damm, January 12, 2006
"University of Idaho criminologist Deirdre Sommerlad-Rogers testified about studies showing Wal-Mart attracts crime and therefore puts a drain on local police services. She pointed to the example of a Wal-Mart store in Lodi, Calif., that took up four times as much police time as other retail stores because of shoplifting and the high number of car thefts in the parking
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 14, 2006
"Concerns also have been raised about noise and light pollution, including a much-discussed claim by Washington State University Professor James Krueger on Jan. 13 that light pollution could cause Pullman men to become impotent. He based the claim on research involving deer."
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 21, 2006
"One side uses moral compassion to emphasize child safety in the streets, employee exploitation, generation of city blight, failed businesses, pollution, and the desecration of cemetery solitude that the proposed Wal-Mart will bring.

The arguments from the opposing side encompass property rights and an apparent new constitutional right to shop in disregard of community and responsibility to one’s fellow man."
James Krueger, January 23, 2006

"I recently went on a group trip with others from Pullman whom I had never met and, in getting to know each other, we chatted about various local issues. Eventually the subject of the Wal-Mart boondoggle came up. Nobody favored it. I mentioned that I was involved with the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development. 'You are heroes,' one person said. As flattering as that may be, I must say fighting Wal-Mart is not a pleasure but a moral imperative.

One of the most important reasons is precisely cost: there is a wasteland of local blight where Wal-Mart has laced the countryside with super centers. Wal-Mart has the bad taste to bulldoze right up to the border of an otherwise tranquil and hallowed cemetery. They could not care less about school kids who play and the elderly who live nearby their retail colossus."

Chris Lupke, April 3, 2006
"Tom Forbes now claims to have found PARD’s 'union label,' but his logic is faulty."
Peggy Jenkins, April 5, 2006
"Tom 'Joe McCarthy' Forbes is at it again. Over the last few months, Forbes has called Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development members 'Stalinists,' 'communists,' terrorists, and fascists, among other things, and stated that we should be “run out of town” (this directed at a group most of whose board members have lived here 10, 20 or 30 years longer than he has).

Now Forbes has come up with what I guess is to him an equally awful term, union-supported. He has “accused” PARD of being funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers, one of many worker organizations fighting Wal-Mart nationally.

Well, once again you are dead wrong, Tom. PARD has not received a single penny of support from the UFCW.

Where have we gotten our funding? That’s none of your business, but you might ask each of the now more than 10,000 folks who live or shop in Pullman who have signed the PARD petition against Wal- Mart. (By the way, those of you signers who haven’t yet – and you know who you are – might want to send some greenbacks our way right now, since the one thing Forbes got right is that fighting Wal-Mart is expensive).

But let’s address the implications of Forbes’ McCarthyite question: Are you now or have you ever been supported by a union? I’d be proud to have union support.

My dad was a union man for 40 years and without his union pension my mom couldn’t survive economically."
T.V Reed, April 14, 2006
"Wal-Mart and its surrogates have tried to pit Pullman and Moscow against each other in a 'divide and conquer strategy' arguing a dollar spent in Pullman would have the 'added benefit' of not going to Moscow. That destructive scheme conceals the ultimate reason why many people come to live here in the first place and, indeed, why these two towns have flourished side by side for a century."
Chris Lupke, June 16,2006
"It looks a lot like the proposed Wal-Mart on Bishop is driving city priorities more than meeting the needs of all residents.

Now, to correct the fuzzy math of Don Pelton (Opinion, July 21) who, in his continued attempt to sell our community on the unwanted Wal-Mart, says that rival Costco (which pays the kind of decent wages Wal-Mart does not) would never come to Pullman because our residents don’t make enough money.

How does Pelton explain, then, that Costco already located in Clarkston, a town with a lower per-capita income than Pullman’s? And anyone who has ever been to the store in Clarkston knows his claim that it appeals mostly to affluent customers is just plain silly."
Janet Damm, June 25, 2006
"Reed didn’t have the figure for PARD’s appeal costs immediately available but denied rumors circulating among Wal-Mart proponents that PARD is being supported by labor unions with an anti-Wal-Mart agenda.

'The people doing the real work here are long-term residents,' Reed said.

Even if the group was taking outside money, Reed doesn’t see anything wrong with that.

'We have a right to use national resources,' Reed said. 'I think the people of Pullman would love to have support from wherever they can get it.'"
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, June 27, 2006
"The serenity of the cemetery was a big part of the effect on her. Doesn’t it bother the Wal-Mart supporters that this will be gone? Isn’t it disrespectful to treat our deceased neighbors and soldiers this way? I can’t imagine grieving over a loved one next to traffic and bright lights.

Destroying the serenity of the cemetery with a Wal-Mart is bad enough. The disrespect it shows our war dead is appalling.

If you have a “support our troops” ribbon on your vehicle, and want the giant Wal-Mart next to the cemetery, please take it off. Better yet, reconsider your support of a Wal-Mart next to the cemetery. Show some respect. We can put it someplace else, like Mars."
Kelly Turk, July 29, 2006
"In the Daily News, however, even this page has become the venue for partisan posturing, at least in its reporting on Pullman affairs. Your beat writer consistently describes anything to do with Wal-Mart or with development in general as positive, as progress (see the huge celebratory Weekend headline “BOOMTOWN” a week ago). In her hands, the Wal-Mart disciple from your “Town Crier” becomes a caped crusader, courageously combatting the powers of darkness and obstruction. Those who resist the coming of this super center, on the other hand, are routinely tarred as nuisances, as obstacles to Pullman’s grand march toward saturated development. I personally know fewer than five people in Pullman who want Wal-Mart to come, and a great many more who do not. The store in Moscow is quite sufficient. Your Wal-Mart surrogate does not speak for me, nor, I dare say, for the overwhelming majority of voters and homeowners in Pullman. Now he’s stumping for Initiative 933, a brazen giveaway to developers and large landowners. Why should he and his fringe positions receive such privileged coverage in your pages?"
Michael Hanly, October 5, 2006
"Wal-Mart is clearly a communist front organization that pays its workers so poorly, gives them such lousy benefits, and tries hard to make sure they quit before they get much advancement, in a transparent attempt to stir up class agitation in America. Pullman must fight to keep this creeping communism out of our town. The true Wal-Mart is the Chinese Wal-Mart with unions and communist party offices. We need to support living-wage laws, moderate unions and other reforms to keep these Wal-Mart communists from succeeding with their dastardly plan to impoverish U.S. workers into revolution!"
TV Reed, October 28, 2006
"Pelton claims that PARD 'supporters have compared Wal-Mart and its customers to slumming.”'In addition to making no grammatical sense, this is wrong. It is based on one much-misquoted comment that Wal-Mart parking lots attract 'undesirable elements' (drug dealers, rapists, etc.) based on Wal-Mart’s research. If Don wants to defend such folks, fine, but don’t confuse them with customers."
Deirdre Rogers, October 27, 2006
"Reed said the city has McAloon on retainer, and appealing at the different court levels does not put a financial strain on the city.

'The issue over attorney fees is just another way to take the focus off the threat Wal-Mart poses,' Reed said...

'We still have lots of support and 10,000 people have signed our petition against Wal-Mart,' Reed said. 'We feel we have a strong case and wouldn’t proceed if we didn’t.'

Reed said PARD has not received any outside money from labor unions or interest groups. He said the community rose up in opposition to Wal-Mart and it is the outside force that is trying to disrupt the community’s economy.
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, November 28, 2006
Throughout the litigation process, PARD has maintained there is not a significant cost to the city as the organization fights the city’s approval of Wal-Mart’s environmental checklist.

Woo and Sherman disagreed, saying there has been a direct cost to Pullman.

Reed said earlier this week that city attorney Laura McAloon is on retainer, which Sherman and Woo confirmed.

The retainer fee — $7,000 a month — covers McAloon’s professional guidance at City Council meetings, and she answers legal questions that arise for elected officials and city staff.

McAloon is paid for 46 hours a month, according to her contract. Any further service, such as litigation, is charged separately.

The city has paid $25,302 toward legal fees related to the proposed super center thus far.
Moscow-Pullman Daily News, December 2, 2006
"Blaming the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development for causing the city attorney fees to soar is like blaming the chickens when the fox enters the hen house."
Joan Harris, December 4, 2006
"His lack of concern for most retail business is interesting. While I agree that the bike shop and Sam Dial should not have major competition from Wal-Mart, this is based on the fact that both establishments sell quality goods, while Wal-Mart sells junk."
Jeffrey P. Joswig-Jones, December 28, 2006
"Bringing other businesses? The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development has in fact contacted a number of other companies about coming to Pullman. To cite one example, we were privy to talks about the Cordova with a developer who specializes in renovating historic theaters and building shops in the surrounding area, when the city precipitously approved a weaker plan. PARD has no objections to churches downtown, but the empty space around the Cordova attests to the loss of a better business opportunity...

Dictating where to shop? Burma seems to have forgotten there is a Wal-Mart seven miles away. If she has trouble getting there, I’d be happy to do the neighborly thing and take her. She has a right to shop for shoddy sweatshop-made goods if she wishes."
TV Reed, January 1, 2007
"Allowing Wal-Mart to intrude on the cemetery will be gross, shameful and monstrous."
David Flaherty, February 7, 2007
"Forbes’s tactic is smearing opponents while skirting the issues....Similarly, Forbes suggests that organizations supported by labor unions cannot represent grass-roots opinion. But no one opposing Wal-Mart here in Pullman is funded by, or to my knowledge even a member of, a union. We support our local businesses and quality of small-town life by questioning the low wages and lack of benefits that Wal-Mart imposes. This has everything to do with exercising our democratic right to protect our community and nothing to do with personal ego."
Anesa Miller, February 21, 2007
"As usual, with no real arguments to offer, Tom Forbes goes after the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development with name-calling rather than logic: 'Arrogant,' 'elitist academics,' 'self-important know-it-alls' - gee Tom, sounds like you are the one 'throwing a tantrum'...

More than 10,000 folks signed PARD's petition against Wal-Mart, including more than 6,000 Pullman residents and 4,000 others who shop here. That is six times more people than the total of all voters in most Pullman city elections. When Forbes speaks of a 'tiny' group he must be thinking of his own followers, who have yet to gather even 30 signatures on a petition they are circulating on another issue."
TV Reed, July 28, 2007
"The small number of people who repeatedly write in support of Wal-Mart in Pullman are the same minority who support sprawl that stretches the length of the Moscow-Pullman Highway, feel that we should stay the course in the war in Iraq for an interminable number of years, and consider global warming a myth invented by liberal academics."
Shuxin Zhao Lupke, August 2, 2007
"Forbes' contention that the opposition is based on class warfare and elitism is as ridiculous as the argument that development shouldn't occur next to the cemetery."
Mike O'Neil, August 23, 2007

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April E. Coggins said...

It's been pretty sickening. There is no civil discourse with PARD. Either you are against Wal-Mart or you are for dead kids. Either you are against Wal-Mart or you are for dug up corpses. Either you are against Wal-Mart or you are for crack houses and child pornography. The list goes on and on.

I find it laughable that PARD is taking sudden offense at "being run out of town" when their entire purpose of existing is to run Wal-Mart out of town.

As I recall, it was a PARD sympathizer, Lincoln Middle School teacher and Potlatch Idaho resident who first suggested that people who wanted Wal-Mart to leave Pullman. How silly was that?

PARD has no argument. They can't win without resorting to fabrications and emotions. Hopefully, the Washington State Court of Appeals will reward not only attorney fees but also punitive damages.

Tom Forbes said...

Ah yes, Michael Rutledge Riley, Lincoln Middle School teacher and resident of Potlatch who wanted Pullman to stay "just as it was when I came here in 1981" and who stated in a letter to the editor on June 11, 2005:

As for the super-size supporters, local business owners and ordinary citizens alike who would prefer to have all of the amenities of Lewiston, Spokane, or Coeur d’Alene, I’d suggest that you might stop trying to morph Pullman into another shopper’s paradise and perhaps consider moving a few miles closer down the road to be next to your favorite outlet shopping mall.

Who wants whom "run out of town?"