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For Waltons, household help includes personal lobbyists

By Laurie Bennett

March 29, 2012 at 2:25pm

Few families, even in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, have their own lobbyists. But the Waltons, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, do.

Descendants of company founder Sam Walton have an investment arm, called Walton Enterprises, which is a major stockholder in the retail chain.

Walton Enterprises, in turn, employs Patton Boggs to represent family interests in Washington.

Last year, four Patton Boggs lobbyists worked for the family, including John Breaux, former Democratic senator and House member from Louisiana, and Bret Boyles, former chief of staff to Trent Lott.

During the George W. Bush administration, Walton Enterprises lobbied Congress on tax issues. After reporting no lobbying activity from 2007 through 2010, it spent $240,000 last year.

Its sole issue: “federal legislation allocating fines under the Clean Water Act for Gulf Coast restoration activities.”

The Walton Family Foundation has helped underwrite gulf cleanup efforts through a coalition that includes the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Ocean Conservancy, Oxfam, National Wildlife Federation and Nature Conservancy.

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