Home Depot: America's Do-It-Yourself Bush Fundraising Store?
President Bush, after a major fundraiser in Baltimore on December 5, made a stop at a nearby Home Depot to talk about the economy. But the site confused some people, so much so that the Baltimore Sun ran an article entitled "A Presidential Mystery," which concluded that "nobody seems to know why" he was going to the Home Depot. Well, a little digging provided the answer to this mystery: Home Depot is a major contributor to President Bush's campaigns. Home Depot executives, employees and their families have given more than $1.5 million to the GOP since 1999, most of it in "soft money," before that practice was outlawed last year. The company's political action committee has also already contributed $31,000 directly to the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign. And guess what? Buried in two small paragraphs on page 710 of the massive, stalled energy bill is a measure that would lift a tariff on Chinese-made ceiling fans - with Home Depot being the largest retailer of said fans. The measure, inserted during a closed-door conference committee and undebated in either house of Congress, would save Home Depot and other smaller companies about $48 million, at taxpayer expense, of course.
Other fun facts uncovered by Public Citizen: - Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli, who flew up from Atlanta on Dec. 5 to join Mr. Bush, has made at least three trips to the White House since 2001. - Home Depot's #2 person, Executive Vice President Francis Blake, left his job as Bush's deputy energy secretary in 2001 to work for Home Depot. - Karen Knutson, wife of Home Depot's top in-house lobbyist Kent Knutson, was a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and deputy director of Cheney's secret energy task force. As noted by Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, "The president has managed to turn policy pronouncements into free PR for his most generous political supporters."
Perhaps you are unwilling to make your hardware and related purchases at a chain that is helping to undermine democracy - pumping money into an Administration that puts contributors' profits ahead of the public interest and then looking for paybacks at taxpayer expense. If so, and you would like to let Home Depot CEO Nardelli know about it, you can contact them by pointing your browser here http://www.citizen.org/redirect.cfm?ID=1
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