Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pullman Enemy #1

KLEW TV has more on the Moscow Civic Association forum on the Hawkins water deal, and you won't believe what Tri-State owner Gerard Connelly had to say.
Connelly said he supports the "pro-business" makeup of the new council, but said there's a difference between economic expansion and retail displacement. He used the proposed Wal-Mart supercenter in Pullman as an example.

"Currently, in Pullman, they think that when Wal-Mart opens a 100,000 square-foot grocery store there that people are going to eat more food. They're not," he said. "Nationally, when Wal-Mart opens up a 100,000 square-foot grocery store, two grocery stores in that market go out of business. Nationally, for every two people that Wal-Mart employs when they open up, three people lose their jobs. That's not a matter of philosophy, it's a matter of record."
Bullshit. "That whole 2 stores closing for each Wal-Mart and 2 Wal-Mart employees for 3 losing their jobs" argument is a bunch of weak, unsupported lies right off the Wake-Up Wal-Mart website. If Safeway was so concerned about Wal-Mart closing them down, why in the hell did they just do a very expensive remodel of their Pullman store? And there are only two grocery stores in Pullman to begin with. Does anyone seriously believe that Wal-Mart would shut both of them down and leave only one grocery store in a city of 27,000 people? That's ridiculous.

Again, I know Connelly has been too successful in business to believe that we think that "when Wal-Mart opens a 100,000 square-foot grocery store there that people are going to eat more food." What we believe is that THOUSANDS OF PULLMAN RESIDENTS THAT CURRENTLY SHOP AT WAL-MART AND WINCO IN MOSCOW FOR BUDGET GOODS AND GROCERIES WILL START SHOPPING AT WAL-MART IN PULLMAN INSTEAD. Certainly all the Pullman developers believe that, as evidenced by new and planned construction in and around Bishop Blvd. Connelly knows that. That's why he is only against a Pullman Wal-Mart, not a Moscow one.

Then Connelly mentioned SEL:
Connelly said Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman is a good example of economic development, because SEL continues to adds jobs without displacing any current businesses
HELLO, GERARD????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE RIGHT. SEL HAS ADDED JOBS AND PEOPLE TO THE AREA. IT HAS BROUGHT SOME 1,100 JOBS TO THE PALOUSE. MANY OF THOSE EMPLOYEES AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE NEW TO THE PALOUSE, ABOUT HALF OF WHOM HAVE LOCATED IN PULLMAN, LIKE MYSELF. WE'RE NOT GOING TO EAT MORE FOOD. THERE ARE MORE MOUTHS TO FEED. DO YOU NOT GET THAT???? DID NO ONE PICKUP ON THIS PIECE OF ILLOGIC??? And SEL does cause business displacement, just not in Pullman. Every company that buys SEL relays costs some other relay maker a sale. Eventually, that might result in that other company having to lay off employees or even close. That is the nature of business. There are winners and there are losers. Unbelievable.

And WTF is Connelly doing going off on Pullman and Wal-Mart at a forum ostensibly about the Moscow City Council's decision to sell water to a developer in Whitman County. Neither Pullman and Wal-Mart fit into that equation at all.

I've always disagreed with attempts at boycotting local businesses to express dissatisfaction with the owner, but I'm starting to consider it.


Mattwi said...

IGA, well there main business seems to be booze... I've lost count of how many cases of beer come out of that place and head up to campus... IGA is really a big 7-11 masquerading as a grocery store...

Safeway is over priced PERIOD!... The only reason we go there is for WIC!

Tri-State... well they carry a lot of stuff, you know, overpriced stuff... I guess they are afraid of everyone buying stuff at Walmart, no wait a tick, Tri-State is located down the road from a Walmart... hmmm perplexing...

just some random thoughts....

rockcombo said...

lets see , Hmmm before Winco came to Moscow there where four grocery stores in Pullman . I do not recall at any time Mr. Connellys Opposition to a business that chooses to locate in Moscow that could negatively affect Pullman businesses . I wonder if he may feel some pressure on his employees starting wages if more job opportunities will be available just a crossed the state line with a stating wage of over 8 dollars an hour . the idea of having to start competing with Whitman county, after thirty years of unchallenged retail growth seems to caused some deep disturbance in the concept of Moscow’s divine right to retail supremacy on the Palouse .

April E. Coggins said...

Considering all the contradictory statements Gerard Connelly has made, it's a wonder he knows which side of the bed to get up. He has been consistent about one thing, he despises Pullman but loves our shoppers and their dollars. But please don't use the water while you are visiting. Moscow's water is only for people with valid Idaho identification.