City Government

Businesses Halt ALL Campaign Contributions?

Finally, a reason to drink Starbucks coffee.
The CEO of STARBUCKS has begun a national move to financially boycott all congressional and presidential elections. He claims to have 100 businessmen onboard who will stop making campaign contributions (payoffs).

Imagine what would happen if all the developers and contractors did that at the local level. Or the health care providers at the state level. Great idea, but realistically the guys who continue to pay-to-play will be able to control the finances of the nation.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Vote with your wallet. Weather it be supporting a politician or a local business.

    EDITOR NOTE–Good idea Clancy, but right now there is an uncontested election facing Boise voters.

  2. Down the crapper we go: Criminals have fewer worries now. Perhaps this is why some businesses are pushing back.

  3. idahocrystal
    Aug 26, 2011, 10:32 am

    Hive fives, Kudos and a Venti Chai Latte for Starbuck’s Schultz and Jet Blue’s Peterson for at least trying to bring some $anity to the out-of-control juggernaut that our gov’t has become…

  4. “Great idea, but realistically the guys who continue to pay-to-play will be able to control the finances of the nation.”

    Dave, the way I think about it is that if government was smaller ie less regulation, lower uniform flat taxes, get rid of ridiculous zoning laws, then there would be much less incentive for lobbying. Lobbying is only part of people’s business plan because government is so intrusive in our lives and subject to manipulation by rent seekers. Get rid of the big government, the lobbying decreases. But to expect lobbying to decrease as government gets bigger is naive at best. The bigger the government, the bigger the lobbying. Why would the health care providers lobby if there was a free market with little government regulation and little chance of manipulation? They wouldn’t. But it is the natural tendency of government to grow (not the preferable one) because if someone sees something wrong, they want a law against it. If companies see that a politician can manipulate the law to their benefit, you would be foolish to not lobby for that candidate.

  5. Rod in SE Boise
    Aug 26, 2011, 11:53 am

    Businesses should not be allowed to contribute to political election campaigns. Contributions by real people should be limited.

    EDITOR NOTE–The U.S. Supreme court recently ruled that businesses are “people.”

  6. Rod, so your solution is to enact MORE government laws, enforced by MORE government employees, have people and businesses subject to MORE government regulation and MORE government intervention? Boy, what can go wrong with that? I’m positive that will solve the problem of lobbying. Yeah, that will do it.

  7. BrandenDurst
    Aug 26, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I agree with you, Rod. I really believe that campaign finance is the biggest problem facing our government. Campaign finance corrupts the system, bar-none. Yes, I’ve benefited from the special interest contributions, but I would give it up in a heartbeat if we could have a system of public finance that gave each candidate a level playing field.

  8. The Supreme Court of course is right. Own one share of stock and you “own” a business.

    The lobbying part of capitalism is an inconvenient part, but even it is a spoke in the check-and-balance wheel. Sometimes our best of institutions (capitalism) are messy.

    The unfortunate future of withholding contributions is that down the road when you finally make a well deserved one “payoff” will ring out loud and clear, even if not so it will be seen as such.

  9. Brandon.. you can give it up now if you want to. And if you made a big deal about it, it might work in your favor.

  10. Eye on Numbers
    Aug 27, 2011, 10:54 am

    Nothing like the glare of sunshine on all things political. Every contribution over $50 needs to have a name and address of the actual people making the contribution. Pac’s need to have the names of the board members and the top 25 “people” contributing to the campaign or issue.

    This info needs to be published in the local newspapers akin to the same cycle reporting by candidates. Knowing who is trying to by a candidate is valuable info for voters.

    One last thing is we need to make it easier for people to cast their vote. Something akin to the card we all get to renew our car plates and vote by mail or internet would make for increased voter turnout. We can do banking, investing, bill paying and purchase things online…why not add voting.

  11. Rod in SE Boise
    Aug 27, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Actually, ola, prohibiting businesses from making political contributions might result in less government regulations, less government employees, and less government intervention. The Federal Election Commission, or whatever its name is, would have less work to do.

    I really think that most Idahoans want to go back to the days of the robber barons when employees had no rights and no expectation of any degree of safety in the workplace, no benefits, and a short life expectancy. Work 12 hours a day, six days a week and work until you drop dead at your job with no hope of retirement. Just go shoot yourself in the foot and get it over with. How can you guys vote for people who are trying to kill you? I don’t get it. I paid into Social Security and Medicare all my life and the GOP Teaparty is trying to take them away from me. OMDB.

  12. Eye on Numbers
    Aug 28, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Can anyone explain to me what “right to work” has done for Idahoans? I remember when this was voted in by the working poor of the day back in the early 1980’s.

  13. Rod, please review the part of the first amendment that reads “Congress shall make no law……….”. Political contributions are forms of speech. Get used to it. By the way, you may have paid into SS and medicare all your life, but the amount you sent in took longer to get to Washington then it took for that same money to be sent out on government boondoggles. Sorry to break it to you, there ain’t no there, there. You should have been like most, save and invest for your own retirement. You trusted government, and now government is broke. Do you have family?

  14. Ola, the fact that congress has “re-distributed” social security funds, is why you just may see a complete insurrection if they try to take it away.
    Rod, every one of those jerks running the country has stated that current social security recipients will not be affected.

    The fact remains that we heve put people in congress for years that were completly comfortable with raiding the social security programs. I have had three occasions to visit the local social security office. All three times I was met with a room full of overweight, tatooed women between 30 and 40 years old seeking ADC and disability payments.

  15. Individual contibutors claim they are merely supporting candidates with whom they agree. Business contributors claim the same and that they certainly aren’t seeking favors. Candidates claim that money from contributors doesn’t affect them at all. Let’s set up a blind account for each candidate and allow individuals and businesses to contribute as much as they like. However, the candidate would only see the total in the account…. none of the details.

  16. Eye on Numbers
    Aug 29, 2011, 11:32 am

    Cyclops, I agree with you. Where are the families of these people and why aren’t they accountable to take care of their family members who do stupid stuff. Able bodied people won’t work when we have all the welfare programs that not only support irresponsible behavior but encourage it by increased child support payments for these societal parasites.

    Having children with no means to support them should be a crime when we have all manner of birth control methods to prevent just this kind of situation. These people contribute nothing and are sucking they system dry with their irresponsible behavior. They are rewarded with more and more money with each additional child they put on the backs of taxpayers to raise and care for until they become adults and start the cycle anew.

    I have nothing but contempt for these people. Also, why are we paying for illegals at all levels of abuse in the social services from hospitals, schools, social aid for housing etc.?

  17. For the conservative free market thinkers on this blog, let me remind you it is the Republican party that wants to make it difficult or impossible for the poor to get birth control. I for one, believe it would benefit our nation greatly if vasectomies and free birth control wre made available to Republicans and the rich.

  18. I love it! The CEO of Starbucks is doing absolutely the right thing – trying to get the big money influence out of the political arena – and providing leadership to get others to follow. As a candidate, I don’t accept special-interest PAC money and hope others will follow suit in future elections. As voters and taxpayers, we really don’t want the best elected officials that money can buy.

  19. The CEO of Starbucks. Ha. Let me see, will his decision impact lobbying? NO. Will he be able to take the high ground in his marketing for his company? YES. When Sharon says “special-interest PAC money”, is there any other kind? Is there non special-interest PAC money? Any money accepted by politicians is by definition special interest. Nothing more, nothing less.

  20. It is the mindset of those who are comfortable with the status quo who hang on to fear of change. Nothing stays the same. The type of world cynics like ola want is a fairy tale image of the goodness of the past.

    Thanks Sharon, for being honest in sharing your thoughts.

  21. holy cow, dog. status quo? If only government could remain at the status quo, that would be an improvement over the general tendency of government to grow. As far as a fairy tale image of the goodness of the past, well, since government tends to grow at the expense of individual freedom, yes, I think in general the past was better. There was smaller government at all levels. Hence generally better for the individual.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: