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The Sacramento Bee reports that California's Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating the city's mayor, Kevin Johnson, because of "allegations that his solicitation of thousands of dollars in donations from Wal-Mart and a charity funded by the company’s founding family created a conflict of interest in his recent vote to ease regulations of big-box superstores in the city."

According to the story, the probe will "examine whether Johnson solicited money from the Walton Family Foundation for an education organization he started in order to pay for trips he made last year – and whether those payments resulted in Johnson receiving gifts in excess of state limits.

"Stand Up for Sacramento Schools paid $22,713 for Johnson to attend education conferences and speaking engagements around the country in 2012, according to the mayor’s statement of economic interest filed with the city. That same year, the Walton Family Foundation donated $500,000 to Stand Up in behest payments arranged by the mayor, according to separate records filed by the mayor’s office."

The Bee says that Johnson has not commented on the allegations. Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation say that they operate independently, and that any charitable donations would not have been connected to supercenter development. In fact, the foundation donated $158 million to education-related charities last year.
KC's View:
Not to prejudge the case, but what a shock it would be to find out that the chief executive of a major American city was on the take, and could be sold - or at least rented - for a few hundred grand.

And it wouldn't exactly be a shock to find out that maybe Walmart and its family foundation were willing to make sizable and carefully placed donations to people and places that might do it some good. (Speaking of which, when the hell are we going to get a report from the feds on the charges that Walmart greased the wheels of growth in Mexico with well-placed bribes?)