Speaking of big money from elsewhere, Wal-Mart opened the money bags in its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. for this campaign. About $133,000 had been spent as of Friday in fighting the measure, with $160,000 probably spent on that side of the battle by the end of the campaign. That is a bit strange because Wal-Mart says it has no immediate plans to open a Super Wal-Mart in Calexico.
Wal-Mart won the election in a landslide. What Wal-Mart seemed to be doing was using its considerable might to crush the proposed restrictions, thereby sending a message that any other municipality that might consider such a measure would be smashed by Retail Goliath.
We have nothing against Wal-Mart and we are glad it has stores in the Imperial Valley. Wal-Mart offers good prices and countless items and does a lot in its community outreach efforts. Speaking of community outreach, it is nice that Wal-Mart put so much money into the community and into the hands of young people to campaign against Measure B.
We were reluctant to support Measure B because we don't believe in restraint of trade. Still, we ended up endorsing the measure because the merchants who would be swamped and then drowned by a Super Wal-Mart are longtime and devoted members of Calexico's business community. (And yes, we would have reluctantly supported such a measure had it come up in El Centro.)
All we can do now is hope that when the inevitable Super Wal-Mart comes to Calexico, that most of our longtime friends in Calexico's business community survive. Some won't, but some who diversify, specialize and provide uniquely excellent customer service will have a chance.
Competing with Wal-Mart, though, is not a smart idea. It is too big, too rich, too powerful and too determined.
We saw that Tuesday.