Progressive News from the Cheddarsphere
The Menards chain has been planning to move into Missouri with new stores in three St. Louis suburbs, but yesterday the firm unexpectedly announced that one of those stores, in suburban O'Fallon, is being dropped from the expansion plan. Why? A Menards spokesman explained to local news media that ... deep breath... it's Obama's fault. The unnamed spokesperson said (according to a St. Louis TV station):
“I’m very sorry, but we are a family owned business and with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens out of all small businesses in the USA at present, we have decided not to risk expansion [in O'Fallon] until things are more settled. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
"Family-owned business"? Yeah, sure. A family of billionaires. "Small business"? The privately held chain owns 270 big-box stores with estimated 2007 sales of $8 billion. Menards must be paying too little to hire a more nuanced PR guy.
But that is only one side of the story.
Oh, woe is me -
Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club
—By Gavin Aronsen
| Tue Sep. 6, 2011 2:00 AM PDT
Twice a year, the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch host secretive retreats for an exclusive list of corporate America's rich and powerful to strategize and raise money for their right-wing political agenda.
In a speech that is part of these recordings, Charles Koch thanks donors who gave more than $1 million to the cause. We checked the audio against a list of participants at the Kochs' 2010 seminar in Aspen that was obtained by ThinkProgress.org and did additional research on these individuals. Below are the names Koch read that appeared on the previous guest list.
The Menards: John Menard of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the founder of Menards, the country's third-largest hardware company. He's worth a reported $5.2 billion and has donated about $80,000 to his state's Republican Party and federal candidates, mostly Republicans, according to FEC records. His company backed a recent anti-union program that was linked to the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity and supported by Gov. Scott Walker.
And – oh, yeh ….
Diane Hendricks: Hendricks is the billionaire former head of the ABC Supply roofing company, which she took over from her husband Kenneth after he died in a construction site accident in 2007. Reportedly worth $2.2 billion, she is the richest businesswoman in Wisconsin and a big Republican Party donor. She recently gave her state's embattled Republican governor, Scott Walker, $10,000 in advance of a potential recall vote next year
"with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens
out of all small businesses in the USA at present,"
Scaring the dickens out of the
Poooooooooooor little old Menards
Get out the little violins and play us a tune.