Opposition to Wal-Mart development growing North and South





The so-called "Wilderness Wal-Mart" in Orange County is catching grief from both North and South--and elected officials on both ends of the political spectrum.

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, a conservative Republican from eastern Texas, has expressed to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott his "profound disappointment" about the giant retailer's plan to build a Supercenter beside the Civil War battlefield. In a letter written last week, he urges Scott to give the matter "immediate reconsideration."

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Vermont--a haven for independent-minded Democrats--are holding hearings on the issue. Vermont troops suffered their worst casualties of the war in the Battle of the Wilderness, turning back a Confederate attack that threatened to split the Union Army.

The Vermont Senate and House are considering whether to ask Wal-Mart to move the store farther from the entrance to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, according to Howard Coffin, a Civil War historian and author who lives in Montpelier, the state capital.


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