Liberal Group Criticizes Democratic Lawmaker

WASHINGTON – The Campaign for America’s Future today unveiled an ad that criticizes Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., for voting against an amendment that would have strengthened federal oversight of Wal-Mart stores. Rep. Tanner is a top recipient of Wal-Mart money. The full-page newspaper ad ran today in The Jackson Sun, the largest newspaper in Rep. Tanner’s Tennessee district.

The ad marks the first the group has launched against a Democrat in its fight against the abuse of power in the most corrupt Congress in recent history. The group used local advertising this year to highlight the corruption of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, House Social Security Subcommittee Chair Rep. James McCrery, R-La., and House Administration Committee Chair Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

Campaign for America’s Future Deputy Director Ellen Miller said Rep. Tanner’s vote on an amendment recently introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., that would have eliminated a child labor loophole for Wal-Mart stores (H.AMDT.367 to H.R.3010) was influenced by the $17,500 he received from Wal-Mart’s political action committee and individuals associated with Wal-Mart.

“Rep. Tanner must be reminded that he works for the people of his district. His vote combined with the heavy financial support he gets from Wal-Mart, indicates otherwise,” said Miller. “Our efforts should put other members of Congress on notice.”

Rep. DeLauro’s amendment would have prohibited the Department of Labor from giving Wal-Mart stores a 15-day advance notification before investigating them for possible child labor violations. The 15-day notice allows Wal-Mart to cover up any abuses of labor laws. The unusual agreement was part of a deal reached between the Department of Labor and Wal-Mart earlier this year after Wal-Mart was found guilty of violating child labor laws in Arkansas, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Wal-Mart has repeatedly violated child labor laws — a practice for which it has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Wal-Mart’s own internal audit discovered 1,371 violations of child-labor laws in a two-year span.

Text of the newspaper ad follows:

Wal-Mart sure knows a bargain when they see one. Take Jackson’s congressman, John Tanner.

After violating child labor laws, Wal-Mart cut a sweetheart deal with the Bush Administration that weakens the government’s ability to investigate Wal-Mart’s stores for future violations.

When Congress tried to step in and reverse the deal, Rep. Tanner stood with Wal-Mart, not with young workers.

How much did his loyalty cost? You could put the price at $17,500 — the amount Wal-Mart has contributed to his campaigns. Pocket change for a multi-billion dollar company.

It’s not supposed to be like this. Rep. Tanner was elected to look out for your interests, not those of his corporate lobbyist friends.

It’s time to remind John Tanner who he really works for.

Call Rep. Tanner’s office in Jackson today at (731) 423-4848.

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**NOTE: A copy of the Campaign for America’s Future’s newspaper ad targeting Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., can be found at www.ourfuture.org/tanner_ad.cfm. **