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NEA Conference Call: Who is Buffy Wicks?



My sources in the progressive movement say Buffy Wicks handled the Obama campaign in Missouri last year. Obama lost in Missouri and activists in that state and people within the Obama campaign placed the blame for the defeat squarely on her shoulders.

After failing to win Missouri for Obama, Wicks had a very hard time finding a job but somehow she landed a job in the Obama White House. It’s unclear how she did that.

Wicks has indirect ties to ACORN. She worked with ACORN but apparently not for ACORN. A HuffPo writer lavishes praise on her for her abilities as an organizer.

Wicks used to work for Wake Up Wal-Mart (, which is not a formal affiliate of ACORN but is an ACORN-sponsored spinoff group. The group works very closely with ACORN and is modeled after ACORN’s own anti-Wal-Mart affiliate W*A*R*N* (Wal-Mart Alliance for Reform Now).

Wake Up Wal-Mart entered into a national partnership with ACORN in 2005. In a Wake Up Wal-Mart press release from 2005, ACORN national president Maude Hurd said: “This is a new day in the fight to change Wal-Mart. We have created an unprecedented, bottom-up force for change which will demonstrate why Wal-Mart needs to change now.”

The group’s legal name is Change Wal-Mart Association. It has a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of 20-2643179. It is a 501(c)(5) nonprofit, which means it is a labor-oriented organization. The group was formed in 2006 but no tax return (IRS Form 990) is available for the group at This is unusual.

Donations to the group do not appear in philanthropy databases. Fortune reports that the group is funded entirely by UFCW.

Nexis reports that its office address is 1775 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006. This is the same address as the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). This is not surprising because Wake Up Wal-Mart is a project of UFCW.

Wicks is identified as a Wake Up Wal-Mart employee in a press release issued by the group.

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