Wally's seeks free trade, lawsuit protection

(February 16, 2004) - (Bentonville-AP) -- It's an election year and Wal-Mart Stores based in Bentonville has a political action committee working for issues important to the world's largest retailer. The PAC -- Responsible Government -- is pressing for votes for free trade and protection from class-action and overtime-pay lawsuits. So far it has spent just over one and a half million dollars on contributions during the current election cycle. A million of that went to federal candidates, with 84 percent of the donations going to Republicans and 16 percent to Democrats. A nonpartisan Washington research organization says that Wal-Mart's PAC is the second-biggest political spender, behind investment bank Goldman Sachs.