Walmart, the U.S. mega-retailer, claims a Wall Street church's request for an arms-peddling policy is overly meddlesome.
In 2013, investor Trinity Church asked the retailer's board to adopt policies for selling dangerous products like the assault weapon used in the 2012 massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School. With SEC consent, Wal-Mart blocked the proposal as interfering with operations. In November, though, a federal judge in Delaware ordered the measure back on the ballot, because it may "transcend business matters" and addresses board policies, not operations. Wal-Mart has appealed.
On Fox and Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviewed two attorneys. Attorney Heather Hansen, who claims that shareholders shouldn't have any rights over managerial decisions, and Attorney Remi Spencer, who believes shareholders should get a voice at the table at the very least. Trinity Church, located on Wall Street in New York City has been under fire by the ammosexuals who think shareholders shouldn't have any influence on managerial decisions.
So does the Right now oppose a church's right to take a side on issues used as a political football? Gun-control is not acceptable, but denying a woman the right to choose is just fine. This is what Christian Fundamentalist Republicans do best: cherry picking what they want from the Bible.
Hasselbeck asks ,
Is it up to the management or the shareholders to decide policy of a company, especially one as big as Walmart?
The church opposed weapon sales at Walmart following Sandy Hook. But, since some of GOP-TV's viewers are convinced that Sandy Hook was a hoax perpetrated by the anti-gun leftists, Fox "news" is supporting the idea that shareholders shouldn't wield such power, especially since that church only has 350,000 shares. It's a slippery slope, Hansen predicts, one that could lead to other shareholders imposing their will on management so that sugary sodas couldn't be sold in stores. Oh, the horror!
The lone voice of reason here, Remi Spencer, says the suit is actually just about the rights of shareholders to have a way to voice their concerns.
"If a company is going to take your money and you're going to invest in that company, the question the court is tasked with here is whether or not the investor has the right to propose things to the board. It's not control; it's not dictating sales; it's just a voice at the table."
A proponent of Walmart's right to sell guns, a.k.a. 'freedom,' Bernard Sharfman, an adjunct professor at George Mason University, made it clear that including such outside interests would adversely affect operations:
If Trinity doesn’t like the way Walmart operates, it should sell its 3,500 shares of the company stock. But because the church is engaging in blatantly political activity that is none of its business, Hammond said Trinity should change its nonprofit status to reflect its real intentions and purposes by declaring itself a “temple of political liberalism as opposed to a temple for the worship of God.”
When Willard Romney was directly endorsed from the pulpit, these same people had no problem with a church acting politically while paying NOTHING in taxes. The "Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim" campaign in 2012 elucidates the hypocrisy here.
UPDATE: Walmart wins this battle.
An appeals court ruled Tuesday that Wal-Mart investors don’t have a right to try to stop the company from selling rifles or any other product those shareholders may think is socially destructive.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the Arkansas-based retailer, reversing a district court ruling in November that would have let the company’s investors influence the store’s policy on high-capacity sporting-rifle sales.