EBT Card Fraud Costs Wal-Mart And Can Mary Landrieu’s Campaign Money Buy Votes? – Wingin’ It Wednesday
This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday", panelist Carol Ross, Mike Stagg, and Warren Caudle joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss the error that caused Wal-Marts in Louisiana to allow EBT purchases that exceeded the limits, as well as the millions Mary Landrieu is raising for her upcoming senate campaign race.
Here's what the panel had to say:
1. This past weekend’s SNAFU with EBT cards in many states was overshadowed by events in Springhill and Mansfield, LA where two Walmart locations decided to accept purchases that exceeded limits set by the outage. Hundreds of dollars of food were left in baskets in store aisles when the EBT system got back on line. What do you think this says about the system and the EBT recipients?
Warren Caudle started us off:
It says a lot. One thing it says about Wal-Mart is that they'll basically open up the coffers and say "have at it". Wal-Mart has the option to do what they want to do, and when you do that you can encourage that kind of behavior. It is what it is.
People can say, well those people are thieves to begin with, and people will say the thieves in Washington are the ones that set this up. I think it says a few things about society today, but in the end it's up to Wal-Mart to do what Wal-Mart wants to do.
Carol Ross added:
I'm shocked that people would take advantage of a government giveaway. This was just unbelievable. There are emergency procedures that stores have to follow and if you read the stories this morning, Wal-Mart will be responsible for anything that went over the $50 limit. Most of the stores posted that there was an outage of the EBT cards and they couldn't be accepted until it was corrected, which was a sensible thing to do, but they just let it go in these two stores.
Just a few short months ago there were stories of EBT cards being used at strip clubs, tattoo parlors, to pay for lottery tickets, you name it. There's just so much potential for fraud and abuse in these programs, and there's very little oversight as this latest example proves.
Mike Stagg Concluded:
I guess this was some north Louisiana conservatives that wanted to take their "I got mine, I'll get yours" ethos into the Wal-Mart. There is a high likelihood that there were some Wal-Mart employees that were in there because so many Wal-Mart employees have to use EBT cards because of the low wages the stores play their employees. Wal-Mart can certainly afford this, I find it odd that of all the stores in the country, only two stores in the entire country did this happen at, of course it would happen in Louisiana.
It's a sign of the times we're in. The idea that you can be in everything for yourself and that there is no greater responsibility beyond your own private interest is a sign of the times we're in and these people acted on it.
2. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, yesterday announced that she will report raising $1.35 million during the third quarter of this year, which ended Sept. 30. Do you think money raised will equate to votes in the upcoming election or do you think some constituents will think too much effort has been put into fundraising as opposed to work in Washington?
I wrote a little editorial awhile back called "Something About Mary, She Runs Left, Votes Right". She runs as though she's a moderate, casts her vote with the liberals in the Senate, except when it comes to the numbers in her bank account. She understands two sets of numbers, the number of urban voters in the big blue cities and the numbers on the checks of wealthy business people including many republicans who profit from the contracts, tax exemptions, and other favors that she does for them.
What you really need to look at it is how well she does in her legislative position. Read about Mary's double dealings. The thousands of dollars her husband gets from companies that do business in front of her committee. I knew it was bad, I didn't know it was this bad. The Huffington Post and other liberal media have called her out on it. Her husband is in the real-estate business and has made God-knows how much money.
There's not a dollar for vote ratio here, despite Citizens United and the implication that every dollar is worth a vote. What she is doing is guarding herself from attacks that she know is going to come. The Koch brothers, in the 2012 election cycle, through a single organization of theirs, spent $260 million dollars, over a quarter of a billion dollars, primarily attacking candidates. They have their little shows like "Tea Party Patriots" and "Americans for Prosperity". There will be plenty of 3rd party money spend attacking Mary Landrieu and she's committed to fighting that. I think her goal is to have raised $20 million by next fall.
Under the Citizens United ruling, a single person can finance a campaign, and the Koch brothers and others are free with their money, they run it through these groups, and they don't particularly care whether what they say is true or not.
The real thing about Mary Landrieu the way I see it, she'll be tough to beat. You've got special interest groups piling money in, but money doesn't always equate to winners and losers. People I've talked to that are basically Republicans, what they're saying is that they don't want to see Mary Landrieu go, which means they're getting business out of it. I think that when it comes down to it, Mary Landrieu is a very astute politician. She's hard to beat, and Dr. Cassidy, from what I've seen so far, I think he's a nice guy, but there's no excitement with the Republicans behind him.
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Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about today’s Wingin’ It Wednesday topics. Who got it right, who got it wrong, and who was way off? Let us know in the comment section.