Conservative Group Sells Endorsements to Highest Bidder?

July 17, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Politico published a great piece on Friday, exposing the all too common “pay for play” practices that are a staple in Washington and politics in general. The American Conservative Union was allegedly revealed as an organization that reportedly will support and endorse worthy conservative causes in return for fees in the millions.

The American Conservative Union, which bills itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest grass-roots conservative lobbying organization,” recently contacted FedEx, promising an endorsement in a legislative battle with Congressional lawmakers over a change in the company’s union policies.

ACU asked FedEx for $2 million to $3 million, offering in return a targeted media blitz supporting FedEx’s position on the proposed union legislation, including mailings, phone calls and op-eds and articles penned by Chairman David Keene, the Chairman of ACU.

Keene is a regular contributor to The Hill. A copy of the ACU “pay for play” letter was provided to Politico and is quite enlightening. The letter reveals how groups like ACU take sides on issues for big bucks and not because they believe in the particular cause or issue.

“If we incorporate the targeted,senator-personalized radio effort into the plan, you can figure an additional $125,000 on average, per state” for an estimated 10 states. The total would be $3,397,550,” said one portion of the letter to FedEx from ACU.

When FedEx refused to pay ACU, the group quickly switched sides and began endorsement efforts on behalf of UPS, against FedEx’s position, according to Politico.

“Clearly, the ACU shopped their beliefs and UPS bought,” said Maury Lane, FedEx’s director of corporate communications.

A press release published on ACU’s website denies that ACU as a group, shopped its endorsement to UPS in return for cash, claiming that Keene acted on his own.

However, the press release does not deny the content of the first letter sent to FedEx. ACU claims they did not receive a response from FedEx, regarding the proposed grassroots efforts in support of the company’s position, in return for cash.

“Mr. David Keene’s name was on a letter prepared by another organization. This was a personal decision on his part and he was not representing ACU at the time. No permission was given by ACU, and no logo was provided by ACU, to the organization who issued the letter in question,” wrote Whitfield.



One Response to “Conservative Group Sells Endorsements to Highest Bidder?”

  1. Posts about Politico as of July 17, 2009 » The Daily Parr on July 17th, 2009 8:46 pm

    […] inferior fantastic then again exceptionally precocious advertizement executives, Donald Draper. Conservative Group Sells Endorsements to Highest Bidder? – 07/17/2009 (ChattahBox)—The Politico published a great piece on Friday, exposing […]

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