Knowing Where Your Bread is Buttered
Big corporations are pissed off at the Edwards selection and are increasing their support for Bush-Cheney. The poorly titled Edsall article in the Washington Post reports:
Business contributors provoked by the choice of Edwards are likely to turn to the Republican National Committee. Both national party committees can help their presidential candidates during the general election.Yesterday Weisman in the Post reported that
Greg Casey, president and chief executive of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, said the formation of a Kerry-Edwards ticket "allows us to make a stark contrast. . . . This is a statement to the business community that 'you don't count.' "
Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, said, "There aren't many things today that cause an immediate emotional reaction, but the nerves of the business community really ping when you hear the phrase 'trial lawyer.' Trial lawyers are really viewed as just being predators."
Before Edwards was picked, Thomas J. Donohue, president of the Chamber of Commerce, unsuccessfully sought to nip the choice of Edwards in the bud by threatening in an interview with Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal to end his group's neutrality in the presidential contest to work against Kerry.
The chamber's fight with the trial law bar "is so fundamental to what we do . . . that we can't walk away from it," Donohue said.
Business associations in Washington were uniformly hostile yesterday to John Kerry's choice of Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as his running mate, promising that a trial lawyer on the ticket will energize them and their members to defeat the Democrats in November.Hopkins and Jones in USA Today have a good article, as does The Hill:
“Whenever you mention the term trial attorney to the business community, you cause an apoplectic reaction, a visceral reaction,” said Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributers. “If this ticket succeeds, it will be the death knell for legal reform for so long as they occupy the White House.”Last week Donohue of the Chamber of Commerce told workers who lost their jobs to outsourcing to "stop whining."
The Senate is scheduled to debate the class-action reform measure this week.
“John Edwards is a trial attorney,” Casey said. “One of our most important issues is tort reform. Now they are showing that they’ve made a decision on where they stand on that.”
Casey also expressed concerns that a Kerry administration could appoint judges sympathetic to the plaintiffs’ bar, which could thwart business groups’ efforts to rein in the number of lawsuits filed against companies.
Donohue acknowledged the pain for people who have lost jobs to offshoring - an estimated 250,000 a year, according to government estimates. But pockets of unemployment shouldn't lead to "anecdotal politics and policies," he said, and people affected by offshoring should "stop whining."If Kerry-Edwards lost his support (this press release criticizing him probably didn't help), it must mean they are doing something right. Good riddance to the Babbits that don't realize good jobs make good business.
"One job sent overseas, if it happens to be my job, is one too many," Donohue said. "But the benefits of offshoring jobs outweighs the cost."