HoustonChronicle.com – Washington city council bans Wal-Mart talk

The town council barred residents from mentioning Wal-Mart at meetings, prompting a challenge by civil libertarians who said a “free and accountable” government depends on a citizen’s ability to voice concerns openly.

The retailing giant has an application pending to build a superstore, spurring controversy in the small town about 15 miles southeast of Olympia.

In a letter to the council, American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Aaron H. Caplan said his group believes it is unconstitutional to ban any mention of Wal-Mart at council meetings. The term “big-box stores” also is banned, as is “moratorium.”

Of course, this was in the AP, but I am amused that this appears in a Texas paper. Anyhow, it’s a big deal in Yelm too. I knew about the trouble in Lacey, but did not realize there was something going on in Yelm too.

If there’s noises in Yelm and Lacey, then there is much more reason to think that those concerned about Wal-Mart moving in to Olympia have reason to raise their voices. That is so even if they are told not to worry.