Starbucks CEO: Stop giving to campaigns

Aug. 15, 2011 at 8:40 PM
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SEATTLE, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The chief executive of Starbucks is urging business leaders to stop giving to political campaigns until lawmakers develop a solid plan to cut the U.S. deficit.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks Coffee Co. chairman, president and chief executive officer, says he has already stopped contributing. He made his request for others to join him in an e-mail to 50 business leaders Sunday, Politico reports.

"I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the president return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people," Schultz wrote.

He called on corporate executives to stop contributions as a way to "voice your perspective publicly."

"Businesses need to do all they can to accelerate job creation," he said in the e-mail, one day after The New York Times published an interview in which Schultz called on Americans to boycott contributions to political campaigns to express their dissatisfaction.

"The fundamental problem is that the lens through which Congress approaches issues is reelection," he told the Times.

"The lifeblood of their re-election campaigns is political contributions," Schultz said. "Whether big donors or small ones, Americans should stop giving and see if it galvanizes Washington to act.

"The debt crisis is really the symbol of a larger problem, which is that our leaders are not leading," he added. "America's leaders need to put their feet in the shoes of working Americans … . Instead, all they think about is their own political self-interest."

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