Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yet Another Smoking Gun

Still unconvinced that PARD's appeals are being bankrolled by the United Food and Commerical Workers union? Look no further than Tumwater over in Thurston County.

From yesterday's Olympian:
Groups appeal proposal for store

TUMWATER — Opponents of a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter have appealed the matter to Thurston County Superior Court.

The appeals challenge a Feb. 5 ruling by the City Council and were filed at the end of the workday Tuesday. They were filed by Tumwater Liveable Community, a citizens group, and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 367, said Roger Gellenbeck, the city's development services director.

The groups argue that the environmental review for the 187,000-square-foot Wal-Mart, proposed for a 21-acre tract at 5900 Littlerock Road S.W., was inadequate to protect the quality of life for residents.

The groups' appeal to the council was denied Feb. 5, upholding a Dec. 19 ruling by the city hearing examiner.

"We'll take a look at what they said, but this was expected," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jennifer Spall said late Tuesday.

Spokespeople for the appellants could not be reached.

Spall said the appeal of the Tumwater store was one of two in Washington to reach the superior court level. Arguments on a proposed store in Pullman were heard in superior court in December, and a decision on that case has not been issued, she said.
That's not completely accurate. The appeals were heard in the superior court in October 2006. It was the appellate court that heard the appeal in December.

So what do PARD and Tumwater Liveable Community have in common besides a long losing streak when it comes to Wal-Mart appeals? They both are being represented by Bricklin Newman Dold LLC. The similarities are scary. Partner Claudia Newman, on behalf of TLC and the UFCW, had Dr. Phillip King, former chair of the Economics Department at San Francisco State University attempt to debunk an economic impact study by Johnson Gardner, the same firm that conducted the Pullman Wal-Mart EIS. Dr. King was the guy PARD tried to have appear at the appeal hearing back in January 2006, but it fell through. Obviously, the UFCW has Bricklin Newman Dold and Dr. King on retainer to appeal every new Wal-Mart in the state of Washington using the same script every time.

The only difference is that TLC proudly embraces its union brothers in the fight against the evil Wal-Mart, while PARD cowardly issues denial after denial long after the connection became obvious.

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Barenjager said...

Different tactics for different towns

Olympia is a political town. Nobody (who wants to be reelected) dares speak ill of unions. Therefore, the leftists can freely claim their association and wield it as a weapon.

Pullman is independent of the corruption that comes with union campaign contributions. Except the leftist few, we all know what unions are about and the trouble they bring. To associate with a union here is counterproductive so PARD feels the need to hide the connection.

Tom Forbes said...

You're right of course. But everyone needs to remember that while the tactics might be different, the strategy is the same and is being directed and funded by the same people: the UFCW.

PARD is about as "grassroots" as the turf at Martin Stadium.

Tom Forbes said...

This story confirms what I heard from a high-ranking city official awhile back that PARD is prototyping a new strategy for the union. That strategy is obviously the "Take It To The Limit" strategy of appeal after appeal after appeal and hope Wal-Mart gets tired and gives up.

An aggresive policy of pursuing attorney's fees by Wal-Mart should nip that in the bud. Unlike in Tumwater, the union and its deep pockets is not an appellant in Pullman. PARD's strategy of hiding its union ties could prove quite costly, even on a professor's salary.