Let The $4 Billion Rumpus Begin! (Starbucks Political $$$ Edition)

By now it’s clear that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is overcaffeinated on the topic of partisan gridlock in the nation’s capital.

But his crusade is really percolating thanks to this full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times (via Mogulite):

The text (for us elderly):

September 1, 2011

Dear Fellow Concerned Americans:

I love our country.

And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.

We cannot let this stand.

Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit http://www.upwardspiral2011.org

America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.

Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.

With great respect,

Howard Schultz
Chief Executive Officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

This is probably good PR for Starbucks with the coffeerati, but it’s a total joke in the real world of politics.

Message: Try the decaf, Howard.

Oh, wait – there isn’t any after noon at your establishments.

Maybe you could stop by Dunkin’ Donuts.

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6 Responses to Let The $4 Billion Rumpus Begin! (Starbucks Political $$$ Edition)

  1. BP Myers says:

    Been wondering if a big buck gazillionaire would enter the fray as a third-party candidate. Perhaps he’s just sticking his finger in the wind. Setting that aside, if jobs are only no.2 on his agenda, his priorities are all wrong.

  2. Michael Pahre says:

    He’s the CEO of a big company. Why doesn’t he do the hiring of all those jobless people?

    Answer: It ain’t got nothing to do with any debt-and-deficit deal coming out (or not) of Washington. The reason Schultz isn’t hiring is that his company doesn’t see enough demand from consumers to warrant hiring more people or opening more stores. (As if Starbuck’s needed more stores.) That’s what business owner after business owner say: lack of customer demand is preventing them from hiring and expanding. The country is awash in excess capacity and massive quantities of corporate cash sitting idle.

    By putting deficits at the top of his agenda, Schultz shows that jobs are not his top priority — which makes this a partisan political statement in line with Republicans in Congress (who stress deficit cutting, while having put forward no jobs bill), rather than Democrats (many of whom repeat ad infinitum that we should be addressing jobs now, deficits later).

    The big irony is that Schultz is saying to his fellow power-wielders to withhold campaign donations — but he says so via a paid advertisement that is meant to influence the political process, i.e., an election expense made all the more legal by Citizens United. A political expenditure (advertisement) telling other people not to make political expenditures (campaign donations). A farce.

    FWIW: Peet’s has better coffee.

  3. Curmudgeon says:

    Good heavens. Why didn’t you say he was bought off by the Koch brothers and be done with it.

  4. Pingback: Starbucks Is Not A Coffeehouse | Campaign Outsider

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