Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Friday, January 22, 2010

CEOs give Congress a heads-up

Corporate and former corporate CEOs have sent a message to Congress to quit hitting them up for campaign cash.

Roughly 40 executives from companies including Playboy Enterprises, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, the Seagram's liquor company, toymaker Hasbro, Delta Airlines and Men's Wearhouse sent a letter to congressional leaders Friday urging them to approve public financing for House and Senate campaigns. They say they are tired of getting fundraising calls from lawmakers – and fear it will only get worse after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling.

In the letter they claim that "members of Congress already spend too much time raising money from large contributors."

"And often, many of us individually are on the receiving end of solicitation phone calls from members of Congress. With additional money flowing into the system due to the court's decision, the fundraising pressure on members of Congress will only increase."

Among the others signing the letter are current or former executives of Quaker Chemical Corp., Brita Products Co., San Diego National Bank, MetLife and Crate & Barrel.

The letter was sent through Fair Elections Now. A coalition of good-government groups that hope the Supreme Court ruling will "lead Congress to pass public campaign financing legislation they have long been seeking."

A Senate proposal would fund campaigns with a fee on businesses that get $10 million or more in government contracts. The House would finance it with revenue from auctioning off the television broadcast spectrum, which was opened when the country switched to digital broadcasting. Spectrums are the airwaves used by the government, television and radio broadcasters and cell phone companies, among others.


  1. Tnlib, I commend these execs. I have been an outspoken supporter of public financing for years, but I don't see how it can solve the current problem. As long as corporate giants can advertise as much as they desire, they can dwarf the advertising coming from the campaigns themselves.

  2. That could certainly be a problem, but as I've commented elsewhere - maybe naively - the GOP may just have shot themselves in their smart-ass feet. Low and middle income people don't care that much for Big Money.

  3. I think maybe part of a problem would be that low-middle income people don't have a clue what big money is, when they see it - they are products of decades of a defective educational system. I don't have much hope for the ability of the average voter to make a rational decision. Ok, I'm starting to depress myself even more now...

  4. Oh Bee, don't get depressed. We just have to keep plugging away. I honestly feel these screeching hyenas are a minority. I also feel that low and middle income - and maybe even a little higher - people simply distrust Big Money. While education - or lack of it - has an impact on certain aspects of the equation, I think there are other factors that come into play.

    I'm always saying there's a difference between being ignorant and being stupid. You don't have to have a college degree, or even a high school degree, to have native intelligence. A lot of these people resent the hell out of the corporations - especially if they're union. Of course there will be those who do fall for the slick ads but they probably would go that anyway.