People & Places

Best Political Strong-Arm Job 

Jane Campbell's Wal-Mart Deal

Though her reign as mayor has been based on the thesis that action can always be delayed, as long as there are more meetings to hold, Jane Campbell nonetheless made the best strong-arm move of the year. When Wal-Mart announced its foray into Cleveland, unions were up in arms. Here was America's greatest welfare queen, entering America's poorest city. From a strictly economic standpoint, it didn't seem wise to let another leech inside the gate - especially since we already had so many at City Hall. So our city council fashioned a law that would specifically exclude Wal-Mart from our fair city. That, it appeared, effectively halted the Great Satan's entry. But the morons on council forgot to actually pass the statute. That allowed Campbell to quietly scheme with the developer of Steelyard Commons, sneaking Wal-Mart in before her council nemeses could say "Rollback Smiley." Of course, it wasn't actually a good move for Cleveland. Studies show that Wal-Mart employees receive an average of $2,000 a year in public subsidies, due to the company's wretched wages and benefits. But it also showed how a mayor with balls can make things happen - without waiting for the dopes on council to gum the idea to death.
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