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Title: Russ Feingold: Jeffrey Immelt must go


Texan for Gore - April 1, 2011 02:16 AM (GMT)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-l...svB3B_blog.html

Is this hypocrisy at its finest or what? I couldn't agree more with Feingold.

Russ Feingold: Jeffrey Immelt must go
By Greg Sargent

In his post-Senate life, Russ Feingold is staking out a role as a leading voice urging the Democratic Party to adopt a feistier posture towards corporate America. Feingold wants to counterprogram Beltway Dems who think Obamaís best route to reelection is to reinvent himself as more ďbusiness friendlyĒ in the face of conservative efforts to paint him as hostile to private enterprise at best and a socialist at worst.

Now, in keeping with this new role, Feingoldís new group, Progressives United, is set to launch a new campaign to pressure General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to step down as the head of the Presidentís Council on Jobs and Competiveness. Feingoldís campaign ó which Iím told will be joined by Move On later today ó is based on two pieces of news that, Feingold says, render Immelt unfit for the gig of Obama jobs chief: GE paid no American taxes in 2010; and Immeltís compensation doubled .

In an email to members of his new group, Feingold will argue that if Immelt doesnít step down, Obama should fire him, arguing that Dems need to stop coddling corporations whose behavior undermines our economy:

Itís everything thatís wrong with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, Americaís largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes -- thatís right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obamaís Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Thatís wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits -- and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled -- should not lead the administrationís effort to create jobs...

How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immeltís direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

Itís time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldnít reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nationís economy.

Feingoldís demand reflects a sense that thereís a large constituency on the left that is fed up with the tendency of corporatist Beltway Dems to treat corporations with kid gloves because theyíre ďjob creators.Ē Progressives like Feingold believe that Dems achieve far better organizational success and unleash more grassroots energy ó as evidenced by events in Wisconsin ó when they adopt a more confrontational posture towards corporations and the politicians who lend them aid and comfort, and unabashedly treat corporate America as the institution whose misbehavior and excess landed us in our economic mess.

Feingoldís full email after the jump.

UPDATE: Feingoldís group has also launched a new petition and Website, ImmeltMustGo.com.

Friend,

Itís everything thatís wrong with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, Americaís largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes -- thatís right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obamaís Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Thatís wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits -- and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled -- should not lead the administrationís effort to create jobs.

We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the presidentís jobs panel -- and if he wonít, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.

Help us build public pressure on GEís Jeffrey Immelt to step down or President Obama to get his resignation from the jobs council: Sign our petition at www.ImmeltMustGo.com today!

How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immeltís direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

Itís time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldnít reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nationís economy.

Be a part of this meaningful fight. Help us tell President Obama that if GE isnít paying taxes or treating workers well, Immelt Must Go!

President Obama has been talking about how we must ďwin the future,Ē and I agree with him in that goal. Jeffrey Immelt is not the person for that job.

Thanks for uniting as a progressive,

Russ Feingold

Founder

earthmother - April 1, 2011 01:21 PM (GMT)
Psst . . . don't let Chad see this or we'll never hear the end of it!

Just kidding, of course. I'd have to agree with her, whenever the anticipated rant materializes. This is appalling, and does show, IMO, that Obama is in bed with big business. :wtf: If Obama doesn't get Immelt out, as Feingold is demanding, then that says something pretty strong.

Btw, I wish Feingold would run for president. I guess he wouldn't be a viable candidate, being that he's Jewish and single, but everything I know about him is exactly as it should be. Very much like Gore, actually.

earthmother - April 1, 2011 01:25 PM (GMT)
And another thing . . . how the hell does GE get away with not paying a dime in taxes? :angry:

Texan for Gore - April 1, 2011 01:56 PM (GMT)
:lol: Yes, I don't think Chad would be too happy about this.

But yeah, I really hate stuff like this. Of course, I'm sure Obama isn't the first president to be in bed with big business, but it is disheartening to see something like this. I mean, come on. This Immelt guy doubles his own compensation yet he is going to ask employees to make concessions in wages and benefits??? So how does this make this guy the epitome of job creation? What a slap in the face to America. This company made huge profits and how the hell they didn't have to pay one penny in taxes in beyond me. :?:

And yes, I would love to see Feingold run for President. I don't know why he couldn't be a viable candidate. Him being Jewish and single should be irrelevant.

Wayne in WA State - April 1, 2011 03:29 PM (GMT)
I would love to see Russ Feingold someday run for President or Vice President. The problem is, he just lost his re-election bid to a Tea Party leaning complete big business stooge. We've got to get our message out to voters in a clear and consistent way. As terrible as they are at governing, the conservatives are great at propaganda. Democrats and progressives are not going to win if we are divided and always fighting amongst ourselves. I did sign that petition at American Rights at Work. But I think the main thing we need to do is put our personal issues off to the side somewhat and to very strongly support President Obama and the Democratic Party. There is only one realistic alternative, and that is Republican control.

earthmother - April 1, 2011 10:42 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Texan for Gore @ Apr 1 2011, 01:56 PM)
Him being Jewish and single should be irrelevant.

Should be irrelevant. But to the average American, it's not.

Texan for Gore - April 2, 2011 04:18 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (earthmother @ Apr 1 2011, 04:42 PM)
QUOTE (Texan for Gore @ Apr 1 2011, 01:56 PM)
Him being Jewish and single should be irrelevant.

Should be irrelevant. But to the average American, it's not.

True but that kinda seems to be shallow thinking. Of course, a presidential candidate should be judged by what they bring to the table, not by marital status, religion or culture.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Heck, look how some voted for Bush because they'd rather have a beer with him and he's a fake cowboy at that. <_<




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