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• Interesting story in Crain’s Chicago Business about the decision by Mayor Richard Daley not to run for re-election ... and the impact it could have on Walmart’s plans to rapidly expand its presence in the Windy City.

“The mayor supported the discount retailer's push into the city even before he vetoed the so-called big box ordinance four years ago,” Crain’s writes. “His impending exit, along with the arrival of Jorge Ramirez, the new president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, could signal a new chapter in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Chicago story.

“Without Mr. Daley's deep-rooted alliances and power, many onlookers say, Wal-Mart never would have broken through a six-year stalemate to begin building two new stores on the city's South Side.”

“We appreciate Mayor Daley's support of our efforts to deliver long-term solutions that benefit Chicago and its residents,” Steve Restivo, Wal-Mart's director of community affairs, tells Crain’s. “The mayor has not only led the charge in helping underserved communities gain access to quality jobs and affordable food, but his actions also serve as an example for other cities across the country that face similar challenges.”

Crain’s suggests that Walmart’s future in the city may depend on how much Daley’s successor needs the unions to a) get elected, and b) govern effectively ... and to what extent other constituencies manage to outmaneuver and outweigh organized labor.
KC's View:
Wonder if Rahm Emanuel has ever been to Bentonville? I’m guessing yes, since he was such a player in the Clinton administration. And since Emanuel also has expressed antipathy to unions - especially the United Auto Workers - Walmart may have a friend if he a) runs and b) gets elected.