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Wal-Mart: Low Grocery Prices "help people live better lives"

California continues to resist the Wal-Mart urge. The Christian Science Monitor reports on Wal-Mart's continued attempts to weasel it's way into communities through any means necessary - including voter initiatives and supporting pro-Wal-Mart politicians. Communities received some support from the California Supreme Court which ruled that "cities and counties can place restrictions on what sort of stores can open in their communities." However, Wal-Mart remains undeterred and has taken the fight to several local communities, including Rosemead where it met with success. some instances, Wal-Mart has clearly felt threatened, and several recent cases in California have shown it's willing to fight community opposition. In Long Beach, the fifth-largest city in the state, Wal-Mart reportedly spent $270,000 on a successful petition drive to put a measure on the ballot in 2008 that would allow big retailers to sell groceries. City leaders banned such sales last year. The city currently has several "regular" Wal-Marts.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Wal-Mart spent another $300,000 to support two imperiled pro-Wal-Mart council members in the L.A. suburb of Rosemead.

The latest brouhaha is in San Diego, where the SD City Council will be voting next month on whether to ban Wal-Mart superstores in city limits, overriding the Mayor's initial veto of such a ban. Wal-Mart says if such a ban is imposed, they will pursue a referendum to let "the people" decide.
· Wal-Mart fight heats up in California [Wake-up Wal-Mart blog]