100 CEOs pledge no political donations
August 25th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

100 CEOs pledge no political donations

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Maybe Washington will finally listen... now that some in corporate America are taking aim at their bank accounts.

This has the potential to get interesting.

More than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to stop all political campaign contributions until lawmakers stop the gridlock. That could be a while.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is leading the movement. He says it seems like lawmakers are only interested in re-election... he's right about that... and that the lifeblood of re-election is fund-raising.

In just a week - Schultz has gotten more than 100 business leaders on board... including the CEOs of AOL, Whole Foods, Intuit, Zipcar, J. Crew... and billionaire investor Pete Peterson.

Schultz says his initiative has "triggered a national dialogue and a groundswell of support." He hopes ordinary Americans join in too.

The pledge has leaders agreeing to stop campaign contributions until lawmakers strike a "bipartisan, balanced long-term debt deal that addresses both entitlements and revenues."

The CEOs are also agreeing to look for ways to speed up job growth.

It's unclear how much impact Schultz's pledge will have but it's worth pointing out that a pretty small number of Americans make the bulk of political donations in this country.

Less than one half of one percent of Americans give more than $200 to candidates and political parties and those donations make up 65% of all contributions.

Here’s my question to you: More than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to not make political donations. How will it affect Washington?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Aaron on Facebook:
Unfortunately for us, there are more than 100 CEOs in this country by a lot. That small handful right now doesn't compare to the scores of others who continue to legally bribe lawmakers. But I suppose it's a start.

Dale in Eddystone, Pennsylvania:
Without these big time corporate donors, so-called real politicians will have to see how Ron Paul does it. I think it is a good idea, and will eliminate some of the special interests. I take my hat off to these CEO's.

Not at all. There will be two hundred CEOs standing in line to take their place, influence our so-called leaders, and own a little piece of Washington.

Doug in Pepperell, Massachusetts:
It’s a phony ruse lead by the Starbucks CEO to gain sympathy for Obama's desire to raise taxes. This PR stunt will not affect Washington. It would take a direct hit from a moon-sized meteor to affect Washington.

It won't - at least until oil companies and other large firms join the list. The politicians will not care until that happens. But the effort is a good start.

Bob in Orlando:
Jack, It’s a nice warning shot over the bow. However, the idea is more symbol than substance because I don't think Congress would notice much. They haven't been listening to the voters anyway.

Russell in lowa:
Halfway there. Now all we have to do is stop them from writing the legislation and we might have a shot at a functional government instead of a corporate vending machine.

Filed under: 2012 Election • Government • Washington
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. John in Alabama

    Jack: Although, CEO's make millions of dollars and do give to political parties it will not have a great impact. These CEO"s represent large corporations that do give large amounts to political causes, because the United States Supreme Court gave them a green light to do so. The Chairman of the Board and stockholders decide how millions and millions of dollars will go politically. Even the CEO's give to political causes indirectly by being a member of NRA, and United States Chamber of Commerce. I can see cotporate America playing a bigger role in politics in the future.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Barbara Leavitt

    Jack, I bet they find a way around it. Would that be called a 'loophole' or just illegal?
    Henderson Nevada

    August 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  3. Jim, Denver CO


    I guess some of those CEO's are having buyer's remorse. Even if they don't contribute directly there are other avenues that can be used. So no difference. And also, there are other CEO's (and their ilk) that will step up and take their place. Just look at the Koch Brothers, do you think they signed on to this? So in reality no difference will be made. The only thing to do is get the corporate money out of our politics, we need to go to a publicly funded system.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  4. pat in michigan

    I have a question. Did the CEO's of General Dynamics or Exxon or Haliburton or Standard Oil or ANY of the CEO's of a fortune 500 company that has military or govt. contracts sign on. Let's name names and companies.Corporate donations should not be allowed in the first place Jack. That is why we are in the mess we are in now.I have no doubt they will find another way to influence politicians in Washington

    August 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Greg in Arkansas

    Outstanding idea.....BUT...probably won't do much to influence elected officials as I suspect those CEOs will still be supporting "Super PACs" or spending corporate money directly on those annoying political commercials, supper-time Robo-calls and junk mail flyers that fill my recycle bin whenever there is an election on the calendar.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  6. Jk from Minnesota

    I suspect that DOESN'T mean their companies won't fund the Superpacs; it would be interesting to see how they would answer whether the pledge applies to their corporations too. Now with that DUMB Citizen's United Supreme Court Ruling, they can give to the Superpacs through their companies and still look America in the face and lie about it and no one will know the better since there's no required discloser of contributors to the PACS. I think they are just trying to improve their bad public images, Jack. Sadly it probably doesn't mean anything.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  7. pat, Idaho

    A hundred CEO's, how about a thousand, how about two thousand pledge no political donations. These donations cause questions. Lets keep it all honest? I know that's going to be hard to do, but try it.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  8. John James

    Oak Hill, West Virginia- They do not care as all they are interested in is theirselves and since many are already wealthy, and get a good pension when they are out of office- they are indifferent.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  9. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The pledge sounds like a great thing but means nothing. They will just use another door for their influence to be heard in Washington. They pay for high paid lobbyist in Washington to control the votes in Congress. Another door is the one that has Carl Rowe name on it. He helps fund campaigns from secret donors who do not have to reveal who they are. I'm sure the democrats have a door like this too. This is all legal thanks to the Supreme Court. I do know who they think they are fooling but it is not me.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  10. Loren

    For every 100 that pledge not to, another 1000 do. The only way to change Washington is for the electorate to put the fear of God in them, and the gullibility of the American people appears to know no bounds. Until we realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch, we won't make the hard decisions that are necessary to get this country moving in the right direction.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  11. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I can tell you for a fact Jack that it will not make any difference what 100 CEO's do in regards to political contributions. Last week with children going back to school it did not stop parents from buying cloth's for their children. The bickering in Washington did nothing to stop people from buying gasoline and traveling and going about their daily lives. The same 100 CEO's that signed these pledges did not lose any business and signing this pledge will do nothing to benefit the people of the United states who buy their products. All this whole thing has become is corporate America getting their names in Business Weekly. They are not lowering prices for you in a bad economy and they continue to rake in their billion dollar profits hand over fist.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  12. NC Jeff

    No problem Jack. Our elected officials will just pander to the ones that did "donate"...yeah, let's call it that.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  13. Brad, Portland, OR

    It won't affect Washington because there are too many other corporations and special interests willing to fill the funding gap, especially for Republicans.

    Besides, this measure is a "both sides are equally bad, so both sides should be punished" thing, when it was the Republicans who refused any kind of compromise, and held the country hostage until all their demands were met.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  14. Phyllis G. Williams

    More than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to not make political donations.
    How will it affect Washington?

    Unkindness does not affect anyone but its source.
    When pride tells us 'Do not love your neighbor as yourself' and our Creator,
    Christ,Eternal,Officer,Who gave us All Things says
    "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me", they will lose, Washington will be OK.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  15. David in Tampa

    It would be something good if it was a permanent pledge. Unfortunately it is temporary and limited until Congress does something about the bleak economic outlook for this country. But 100 CEO's out of several thousand isn't many. How about unions and other entities and individuals. Wouldn't it be nice if all the funds donated to political parties and candidates went instead to job creation, charity or scholarship funds, anywhere but the insatiable maws of politicians. They would be worse off but I have a feeling the country and, especially, we the people would be exponentially better off.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  16. MNResident

    This just means the CEO's will either (1) figure out a way to to funnel the money to the politicians through third party entities, (2) funnel the money to PACs or other lobbying groups, or (3) admit they are lying about stopping the donations.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    not to worry, Jack. there will still be plenty money floating around. the Koch Brothers will make up the shortfall on the Republican side, George Soros for the Democrates

    or is that Fascist and Communist?

    August 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  18. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    If it cuts down on lobbying it will be a good thing.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  19. Bob D Iowa

    How many times has a CEO keep his word. HA HA HA HA HA HA

    August 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  20. chris

    i will belive it when i see this happining cause who knows if they did it secretly just to avoid the public anger if they are really into this then good more needs to come and take the pledge

    August 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  21. riley oday

    No difference. They will still pay their indusrty lobby to get their way. Nothing changes in DC.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Money is the root of all political evil. We need only publicly funded campaigns to eliminate corporations buying politicians. Politicians need to have sensible salaries and benefits, so that they understand the value of Social Security and Medicare. Right now they represent Never Never land, not America.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  23. Fay in Abilene Tx

    Not much if the 400 remaining Fortune 500 CEO's are increasing their contributions in light of last year's Supreme Court ruling..

    August 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  24. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Though I feel these people are on the right track and I admire their form of expressing themselves, this will leave the thousands of other CEO's the inside track in reaching out and touching their representatives.

    The only thing that will change Washington is when someone can figure out how to buy integrity.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  25. B. J., Quincy, Il

    They might have to dig into their own pockets, Oh my! We might get a whole new bunch in there.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  26. Bryan Price

    Is that personally, or including the corporations they run? Are they also willing to stop all lobbying?

    I suspect that it still won't change the fact that the 2012 Presidential candidates will spending just short of $2 billion (it was $1.4 billion in 2008). The CEOs would have been giving $1 million dollars apiece to make a difference, and I doubt that they met that average.


    August 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  27. Holvis

    Are they really going to do that? I don't think so. They can sign as many letters they want to, their donations to politicians for favor will never end. Their donations will be channeled in a different way...dugh

    August 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  28. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    There won't be much of an effect, Jack. It is a noble thing they are doing by not giving their shareholders money away to political candidates, but since they represent less than 20% of the Fortune 500 companies in America, the political process will STILL be awash in cash from the other 80% of America's corporations.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  29. Ron WPAFB

    The wrong way probably, once again due to Political Correctness! The Republicans will claim the right way and so will the Democrats. Until someone comes out and blames our woes square on the Tea Party and Republican leaders, this dark Age will continue! No the Dems are not all saints, but President Obama offered over 4 trillion and the GOP said NO! Really? I'm for taking all the money about of Politics and watch the Republican party fade away! Serving in the US Congress should be about service, not about Greed, Power and Corruption the way it is!!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  30. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack Pleeease be serious.As I have said on thsi fine blog many times.Nothing will affect Washington "ever" until we barely have a country left.Beeecause the good ole boy protect each other every day they belly up to the steak house.
    Both parties have run this country into the ditch while the mom's and dad's of this country struggle just to make ends meet.......................and the good ole boys don't care Jack.they don't have to care because their pockets and bellies are full.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  31. Bob from Orlando


    Its a nice warning shot over the bow. However, what would truly be interesting is to find out where they are putting the contribution moneyies. Could be they might be creating jobs ? The idea is more symbol than substance because I don't think Congress would notice much. They haven't been listening to the voters anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  32. calaurore9

    Have you ever heard of wives, kids, relatives? No change. Somehow they will find a way to retain influence.

    Carol in Ma

    August 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  33. Doug

    Its a phony ruse lead by the Starbucks Coffee CEO to gain sympathy for Obamas desire to raise taxes. This PR stunt will not affect Washington. It would take a direct hit from a Moon sized meteor to affect Washington. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  34. Bill in New Mexico

    The DC atmosphere is contagious with corruption. There are hundreds of lobbyists for each member of Congress.

    There are far too many legal ways for a member of Congress to receive money or services from a lobbyist.

    It should be illegal for a member of Congress to receive any aid or service from a lobbyist.

    The CEOs' pledge will make no affect at all.

    Remember Hilary Clinton's accusation against Obama. Johnny Rizo and Obama's first house in Chicago? A million dollar house.

    DC as well as the state governments will be corrupt long after we are in our graves.

    Does my vote or your vote have an affect?

    August 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  35. Mel - Houston

    I'm sure the Koch brother aren't among the 100 CEO's.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  36. Paul From Austin Texas

    Maybe the voters can decide on their own. Then just maybe the honest people that do not want corparation donations and kick backs after they get in will run. But it is most likely that they did not get their way and be able to have a 100% deduction on taxes. Anything they give most expect back 10 fold.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  37. Anthony Frascino....Swedesboro, NJ

    I was dismayed by the Supreme Court's decision to allow anonimity for corporations and their donations to the candidates.Biliions of dollars are flowing through the channels for the purpose of electing those most sympathetic to Big Business and their greedy goals. Money talks and the common man's vote walks. That some CEO's see the evil of this paid for system of government as a corrupting and corroding force to our democracy is admirable. I remember that chapter in the bible where Jesus chased all the money changers out of the temple, It's time this country expels the corporations and lobbyists from our government, Money is the root of all evil.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  38. LA Belle

    Depends on what corporations these CEO's work for. If it's not the usual corporations that are running this country, it won't change a thing. Now we know why politicians only think about re-election; they get paid by both taxpayers and big business. It's disgusting, indecent and morally wrong the way elected politicians have taken their jobs for granted. One need not speculate about the future of this country with all the corruptiion involved. It's simply become the politicans way of life, and that is what we need to change.
    Lafayette, LA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  39. Jenna Roseville CA

    More than 100 CEOs have signed a pledge to not make political donations. How will it affect Washington?

    It won't. It is just more theatrics if you ask me Jack.

    It really doesn't matter that these 100 CEO's won't give because according to the Right Leaning Supreme Court their Corporations are PEOPLE NOW and THEY WILL GIVE so that the CEO's don't have to.

    Roseville CA

    August 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  40. Bill, Harlingen, TX

    It is good start and suggests there is some modest hope that those that do give money to buy politicians and lobbyists too will come to support America and not just their own greed for profit through bribery.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  41. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Huey Long would be rolling over in his grave at the thought of no political payoff...I mean donations.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  42. Denny from Tacoma

    C'mon Jack! I think that 100 out of 351,804 chief executives will have little if any effect on Washington politics; however It would be nice if it did.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  43. curtis in philadelphia

    Zero affect.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  44. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Unfortunately Jack it won't. The only way to get rid of the corruption in Washington is have "honest" people in politics and not let lobbyists buy them off. This along with term limits would help. President elected to one term of 6 years and Senators and members of the House max out at 3 terms of 4 years.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  45. Pete in Georgia

    Washington will have heart seizures if they aren't gorging themselves to obesity with donations from every entity known to mankind.
    But wait....................we now have Obamacare to the rescue !!
    No problem.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  46. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Those of us savvy to American marketing ploy know that First, "more than 100", likely means only 101 signees.
    Second, one does not have to sign anything in order to do "nothing", unless doing it for publicity, and
    Third, the effect will be a ripple as large as a zinc penny hitting the Washington Monument, although that would not be advisable at this time.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  47. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    They'll just get more money from foreign countries and especially the GOP. Change Washington? That's a real joke. We'd have to change the entire system, not just the people and our current Congress would have to vote themselves out of office, fat chance.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  48. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Ever hear of the term fat chance, well it applies here.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  49. Russell in LA

    Halfway there. Now all we have to do is stop them from writing the legislation and we might have a shot at reforming a functional government instead of a corporate vending machine.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  50. Riley - Seattle

    Fundraising is Job One in Washington. If a few hundred, or a few thousand, CEO's get smart to the law of diminishing returns on influence buying in a deadlocked U.S. political system, there's bound to be just as many to take their place, just as many who believe their money is still worth something. In the words of P.T. Barnum, "there's a sucker born every minute."

    August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  51. mike halter

    Not one iota Jack. The special interest groups and the P.A.C.s will be handing out millions.
    Can you say election reform. the English have the right system in place. We ought to try it.

    mike largo florida

    August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  52. Dennis north carolina

    When it comes to money in their pockets, elected officials will jump or roll over or sit up like a pet. the problem with our elected system is money talks when it comes to our professional elected officials. they are always for sale.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  53. Carla Wood

    Not at all. There will be two hundred CEOs standing in line to take their place, influence our so-called leaders, and own a little piece of Washington.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  54. Dale Kerns Jr, Eddystone Pa

    Without these big time corporate donors, so called real politicians will have to see how Ron Paul does it. I think it is a good idea, and will eliminate some of the special interests. I would like to see a law written that eliminates corporate involvement in politics, or limits them to an amount that WE THE PEOPLE are limited to. I take my hat off to these CEO's. Now let us see a money bomb by one of these so called front runners. I am willing to bet each one combined does not raise as much as Ron Paul does in a single money bomb!!

    August 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  55. David of Alexandria VA

    It would be like throwing a glass of water into the Potomac and expecting the river to overflow. Now, if you got all of the CEO's, all of the union leaders, all of the PAC's and special interest groups (advocacy groups as well) to sign the pledge, we might be getting somewhere.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  56. James

    It won't at least until oil companies and other large firms join the list. The politicians will not care until that happens. But the effort is a good start,

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  57. Noel Sivertson

    Well, Jack, I guess it depends on who those CEOs are. Are they the big contributors or little guys? But it is a step in the right direction.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Evelyn Berryhill

    The tea party should not be allow to control anything, everyone as the america people should be able to decide about theirs future. I donot like it that the elected officials, only be allow to decide for each state. Everyone should have a voice and say about theirs future. These elected official care about themselves and the gain they can get out of people elected them in office.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  59. Mr. D

    How about the current politicians in Washington signing a pledge to not run for reelection?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  60. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Democrats have complained that unlimited corporate donations unfairly benefits Republicans. CEO's from 100 corporations not pledging any political campaign contributions is a refreshing endosement of bipartisan equality in the 2012 Presidential election, or corporate CEO's have washed their hands of extreme wingnut partisanship by refeusing to waste perfectly good corporate funds on a bunch of incompetent dolts this time around. In any case the media will be losing corporate advertising dollars making overly lavish political campaigns a thing of the past.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  61. Gigi Oregon

    Wouldn't it be nice if that money would then be given to pay down the debt. I'd be more impressed if they pledged not to send lobbyist to Washington and worked to get lobbyist thrown out of Washington DC. That would be the most effective way to cut spending and the smartest. While they are greasing the palm of your favorite Representative... they are increasing government spending. Follow what your representatives votes for and you'll know where your tax dollar is going. I wonder how much my vote would be worth to the Republican party...Hmm...

    August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  62. david -seattle

    unfortunately,we cant get our judicial and legislative and executive branch to deny offshore donations ,and fossil fuel payoffs and all those social engineering non profits to stop manipulating morality and integrity for some unsustainable favor that destroys our 1st world culture ..

    August 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  63. marlene

    Now we're talking and I hope this increases 10 fold. Maybe, something like this will finally get the politicians attention. Thank you CEO's for taking this step. Now let us know who you are so we can support your business, as well. Marlene in Michigan

    August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  64. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    While the CEOs themselves may sign whatever pledge they want concerning their personal contributions, they can give as much as they desire through the corporations they run because, and this comes courtesy of the infallable mental wizardry of our Supreme Court, corporate entities are now considered to be living, breathing, cut them and they will bleed human beings. So, in short, they will be able to contribute more, while at the same time feigning purity of thought and deed. Has America been sufficiently dumbed down to buy this charade? Yes.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  65. Paul P.

    Your asking this question to someone who doesn't believe corporations should have any business contributing to political campaigns in the first place. Its the first step in corrupting and compromising the values of candidates. I applaud this stance and hope more CEO's sign up, and then if we can only get rid of the lobbysists we might have more politicians acting on behalf of the needs of its citizens.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  66. Gordon NJ

    As long as hyperpartisan CEO's like the Koch brothers are fueling the political hatred it won't make much difference at all. I've cut off my conventional campaign contributions, but nobody seems to care, so now I have contributed to the Stephen Colbert Super PAC figuring I'll get more bang for my political buck.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  67. Jamie, Tacoma WA

    This is a drop in the bucket. Thanks to the Supreme Court decisions and Super Pacs, huge sums of money will still be available for wholesale bribery. We need strict election reform and the first one should be, if you can't pick up a pen or press a button to vote, you can't contribute.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  68. Dan K

    Jack: You can bet your butt that these CEO’s may not make political donations but their company and Jr. Exec’s will! The Republican Party cannot exist without the support of major corporations and big business! There is more than one way to make donations than make them yourselves when you run a business!!
    Ask the former founder and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland corp.! He was penalized for his unscrupulous donations a couple of times.
    It is not uncommon for companies to pay a “bonus” to their people which is then donated to “select” political campaigns!

    Dan K. Owens Cross Roads , Alabama

    August 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  69. Michael Carroll Alton Ill

    It will only effect the Republican party, they are the only party the CEO's would have donated to in the past.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  70. Bob Snyder

    Are we talking 20% of the fortune 500? Could be significant. Otherwie, I doubt it matters much. There are lots of CEOs.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  71. Ed from California

    That's a great start. Running for political office should be a free endeavor for the public good. Meaning, TV advertisements..free. Radio advertisements...free. But, this free airtime comes w/a price.....the ad has to be 100% true and easily verified. We do need desperately, Campaign finance reform, getting rid of all lobbying efforts. We need honesty in politics. We the People, is not, We who has the money can buy what we want!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  72. lil magothy from Annapolis

    None. The thousands of others will just ramp up their pandering to ensure they get what they want. More than likely, it's liberal to moderate CEOs who are taking this pledge, which means that tea potty radical dollars will have even more influence. Someone one the web had a sound idea – No politician can accept ANY money from anyone who is not a registered voter in his or her district.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  73. Thom Richer

    It won't. They will just find other sources. However, it may be the first step toward limiting funding for elections and making a much needed change. ALL candidates should have the same amount of funds available to them from the taxpayers money for their campaign with no outside funding allowed and the amount spent should be limited to a set amount. Along with this, campaign time should be limited to no more than 6 months prior to election day. Hopefully this will be the beginning of fair, honest and serious elections in the U.S. and end "...buying" the presidency and seats in Congress. It can go a long way to putting elections back in the hands of the people and not corporate America. It may once again allow the best man/woman to win...not the one with the most money.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  74. Larry, Boston, MA

    Yesterday I wrote Mr. Schultz commending him, wishing the 100 CEO pledges ran up to 1000. I'd like to see this grow into a giant grass roots movement to show Congress they cannot act with impunity. If they want to hurt us in the pocketbook we can hurt them back. Let's see how much of their own money they are willing to spend on their own campaigns.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  75. Alex in wisconsin

    In the post-Citizens United era, it won't change anything since 99 out of 100 CEOs can and probably will anonymously donate to SuperPACs and the other lobbies will be able and willing to pick up the slack in the money flow. No offense to Starbucks and AOL, but they aren't paying off politicians to drink more coffee or free up the internet. Things might change if Big Oil, Pharma, and the Koch Brothers sign on to this pledge.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  76. Karl in Flint

    If they are sincere about calling Congress on the carpet and not going to make up the difference with lobbyists, I think it will give the idiots on the hill a wake up call. Re-election will no long be automatic. Most have been there long enough to remember pre-Tea Party, Party of NO rhetoric and know it's time to get their act together and work for America. I assume if they don',t all the saved CEO contributions will be spent the next time around to replace them. It's about time. You think they were listening to Warren Buffet, too?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  77. James from Ocala, FL

    It's a start, hope more CEO's jump on board. In a dream world I see no political action funds, business or corporation donations, real term limits without out all the perks and government retirement. I guest I should come in out of the rain now. When was the last time that congress passed legislation that had an adverse impact on them?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  78. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It will make no difference. They will make sure their own pet issues are addressed so they will still pay bribes, I mean make donations, but now no one will know because of the brilliant Citizens United v. FEC decision by the Supreme Clowns. And if they don’t, there will be plenty of others who will. Washington goes on and we will all be the cash cows.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  79. james in greenville nc

    Jack, I don't think it will mean much at all. The PAC money and the lobbyists will never be left out. Money always finds a way in to the campaigns. Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  80. Jeff In Minnesota

    CEOs are not the problem, it's special interests. However, what people forget is that we all directly or indirectly support special interests whether its our Union, AARP, environmental group, local community, whatever. They all have a lobbying position in DC to some extent. And just as politicians have become extremists, so have the lobbyists. Until we moderate our politics, things will never get better, whether CEOs stop sending money or not.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  81. EJ in Metro Houston

    until I hear that CEO's like the Koch Brothers are willing to do something like this, I will not be very impressed Jack. More than likely the GOP will blame what they are doing on Obama anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  82. Larry, Boston, MA

    Talking about CEO's, these same CEO's cannot see the forest through the trees. By overpaying themselves and their corporate officers and underpaying the average workers they are keeping demand tepid by keeping money out of the hands of their own customers. Big business is shooting itself in the foot. They are their own worst enemy.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  83. Mark, Oklahoma City

    So, out of THOUSANDS of CEOs across the country, 100 pledge no political donations.....BIG WOOP!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  84. Kevin S. from Reno, NV

    Jack, It doesn't matter how many... just how much. BTW, BILLIONAIRE Warren Buffet is hosting huge fundraiser from Barack Obama. The people's voices are only listened to for a couple months for election votes... then it's back to the corporate; tax breaks, tax credits, tax write-offs, and subsides, aka Corporate Welfare.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  85. Mike

    Didn't these same interests finance the campaigns in 2008 and 2010? Corporate money helped float President Obama and a cadre of Democrats riding his coattails into power in 2008 with a mandate to use the government apparatus to solve people's problems. Then these same corporations flipped and backed a resurgent Republican Party driven by the energy in the Tea Party. These people campaigned on and received a mandate for cutting government spending, rolling-back regulations, cutting entitlement transfers, and minimizing government intervention in the free market.

    Now we find ourselves surprised that our divided government is at loggerheads when two different branches have completely different existential answers to a very real problem? Is this not how the Federalists designed our system? They designed a system with intentionally high hurdles to 'dampen the excess of democracy' or something to that effect. When everyone has bad ideas, gridlock can be a friend to liberty.

    This almost appears to me as if these corporations have unwittingly set-up an existential conflict on the role of the government is this country. This does feel as though we are undergoing a generational party realignment. Now that the conflict has been set, a date for the fight has been set (so to speak), aren't these guys just refusing to chose sides in the fight they helped inflame?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  86. Johnson in St Louis

    to be honest Jack I would be MORE impressed if some of these CEOs would get up off their trillions of dollars in profits and bonuses and help to start putting Americans back to work. To heck with backing candidates.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  87. dave in nashville

    Hey, it's a start, maybe unions and lobbyists will follow suit because 535 lucky lawmakers need a wake up call, they've milked those three cows too long.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  88. Michael Armstrong Sr. Sherman Tx.

    Warren Buffet has Obama covered the only ones that needs funding are the republicans so it's time for Donald Trump to donate some election cash .

    August 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  89. Ken in NC

    It would have a devastating effect on Democratic candidates because TeaPublicans will use it to their advantage by giving even more to make sure they are able to buy the politician they want in office for them.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  90. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    If only Democratic CEOs do this, it is counter-productive. I don't see GOP CEOs doing this, since any solution will involve tax increases on their demographic and I don't expect them to put country above personal finance.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  91. Valerie in Raleigh

    Jack – Money talks. Do you really think this will have any influence on old Money-bags Carl Rowe, the paymaster for the Republican Party, who will do anything and everything to cause Barack Obama to fail. He had enough money and influence to put W in office for 8 years and that alone is truly scarey. Just once in my lifetime I would like to see this country do the right thing and rally around the President and let him continue to clean up the mess left by W and bring our county back to its place in this world. We have the right man in the Oval Office, support him!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Ralph Nelson

    The Republicans, Tea Party, Kock Brothers, and ALEC well spend like crazy to purchase the election.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  93. Bert in El Monte, CA

    Jack, corporations staying out of politics is revolutionary! The tea dumped in Boston Harbor was global corporate cargo! Reagan was not the first to lower taxes, deregulate and promote global corporate mergers; that idea belongs to King George III. It’s not just about tea anymore; its all goods sold plus Congress. These Corporations should stat out altogether, but that would be American!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  94. Linda in Arizona

    How about we pass campaign finance reform and take care of the whole mess? This is just free publicity for Schulz. It won't substantively change a thing.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  95. Gary H. Boyd

    If Shultz' campaign actually results in something I'll start drinking Starbuck Coffee. Finally a man with guts willing to stand up to the yokels in Washington. What a refreshing development. I think the Republicans may have just found their "White Knight" for President.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  96. Ralph Spyer

    What about the CEO in China ,Mexico, and India ? The is a pay for play government. They would sell their mother for the right price.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  97. Ann from Charleston SC

    Washington doesn't pay any attention to voters who want to end gridlock and want a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes both spending and revenues. Maybe 100 businesses can get their attention, but I think we need more than that to get Congressmen to take heed.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  98. Haley

    Well Jack, I guess it depends how much money each one of these "100 CEOs" were giving. If we're talking about the 100 wealthiest companies, maybe. A bunch of no names making a "pledge"? Washington won't even feel it. Then again, it's "the thought that counts" right? EVen if this pledge does nothing....it's saying something isn't it?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Aside from the obvious, that the most venal, manipulative and corrupt will not make a similar pledge, how about a pledge not to TAKE money from these corporations, or allow any advertising in their name from Super-Pacs by those running for office themselves. Like that would ever happen. Of course the Supreme Court could have done something about it, but they are as venal, manipulative and corrupt, as the best politicians money can buy.

    Hey Jack! Did you hear about the earthquake? It was 5.8 on the Richter scale, but S&P downgraded it to 4.3

    August 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  100. Bert in El Monte, CA

    Jack, corporations staying out of politics is revolutionary! The tea dumped in Boston Harbor was global corporate cargo! Reagan was not the first to lower taxes, deregulate and promote global corporate mergers; that idea belongs to King George III. It’s not just about tea anymore; its all goods sold plus Congress. These Corporations should stay out altogether, but that would be American!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  101. Annie, Atlanta

    Not so sure Starbucks and AOL are the problem. Until I see the Koch brothers agree to stop buying state legislatures who write legislation suggested by ALEC, another Koch funded operation, and local school board members so they can privatize our education system and make money off of little kids, this pledge isn't going to have that large of an effect. And does this pledge include no donations to political action committees? Or is that their get-around to still buying up the politicians who have put the for sale signs out? Didn't want to use the "w" word at this family-friendly hour.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  102. Jason, Virginia

    The only way to stop corporate influence away is to elect someone who will take the power away from Washington. Only one candidate has said he will accept no corporate donations, and that person is Ron Paul.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  103. Ruth M., (Samson, AL)

    They'll buy their coffee from Dunkin Donuts instead of Starbucks.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Mike

    The politicians will pass a law to make such pledges illegal, (while still making those pledges themselves) and make political donations compulsory. These politicians are more important than the rest of us after all.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Beverly H Tatum Charlotte NC

    Jack – It means nothing unless the Koch brothers and the oil companies and banks stop funding the Republican Party. Bank of America just announced they are going to make significant contributions to Rick Perry – and at the same time here in their HQ city of Charlotte announced another layoff of 3500 workers. Corporations are job creators?? They are just political campaign creators for the Republican Party.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  106. Rich

    It's a start. Money talks, especially in Washington.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  107. Antonio in Phoenix

    Unless the Koch brothers or George Soros suspend donations, forget about it.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  108. KenBushway

    This is a noble idea, however, I can't help but to be skeptical. I would be interesting to see if they keep their promise. Law makers do need to get our country together. That means republicans in the house letting the president have a thought without filibustering it. Our country is in bad shape, if the corporations wanted to help they would sign a document saying they have no problem having higher taxes without laying people off.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  109. joe/new jersey

    let's not stop with withholding corporate contributions. all americans should withhold contributions until these elected representatives work for a living/us.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  110. JohnRussell in FL

    Hard to tell. But Starbucks better watch out if Community starts putting up huge contributions. I smell power shifts!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  111. Jason Fontana,CA

    Just seems like a PR stunt for the CEOs. Although they will say "we will not donate" to get good publicity, they will continue sending money through a Super Pac. Thank people who think like Mitt Romney who believe corporation are people for this loophole

    August 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  112. Michael N Seattle

    then republicans would quit running for office I give my $5 every month to the president

    August 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  113. Dave in San Jose

    It can be assured that if a CEO pledges to to donate to a candidate (meaning buying influence in Washington) we will see a massive influx of money from these same CEOs to lobbyists to get back that lost influence. This will surely lead to more corruption, gridlock and infighting while lessening what ever transparency is purported to exist now. At least campaign contributions are reported publicly, lobbying activities are not.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  114. Tom Stamey

    If it spreads to a lot of large companies it will have a affect on politicians. Money talks, always has. This would be about the only thing I can think of to make congress come to grips with the problems it has created over decades. Congress gives only lip service to the general public.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  115. Bill Wardino

    Don't be naive, Jack. Nothing will happen to them. Congress will cower to big-money corps and Social Security recipients and other taxpayers will suffer the brunt. Big corps will wax even bigger and grow even more powerful, and exponential profits will keep politicians in line and as obsequious as ever to the eal movers and shakers!.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  116. DetroitCanuck

    There will still be 435 members of congress elected, with or without these contributions. Since this money is spread far and wide between the two parties, the effect of their cancellation will end up a wash.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Christopher Armstrong

    Will it matter? When the financial industry funnels $5 billion into campaign spending to purchase elections and continue to avoid any kind of accountability or regulation, I find the meager $100 million or so Congress might lose from a few wise CEO's insufficient to turn the tide. It is time to clean house, or the House...

    Denver, CO

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Nel Gambino

    All I can see happening is it opening the door for far right Billionaires like the Koch Bros to pump even more money into campaigns and stuff even more politicians in their pockets..We need a political system like they have in Britain or Canada where money doesn't equal speech.The Tea party loves to chirp about the 'Founding Fathers' and what's Constitutional or not..I don't think the founding fathers intended for big corporations to be allowed to buy our government...The right doesn't seem to mind it a bit though...

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Vince Torpey, Jr.

    Jack, Based on how Washington works, seems like "nothing" effects them. Maybe the American people should consider "Washington" our "Tripoli". Lets go in there, clear them ALL out, and bring common sense and Business 101 results back to OUR country!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Pete in Milton, FL

    It's meaningless when compared against the total amounts involved. NO private contributions, NO lobbyists – term limits and PUBLIC financing of all campaigns is the ONLYway to stop the madness.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Tom H - Seattle

    I really don't see a whole lot of impact. The Koch brothers and others in their coven will make up the difference courtesy of the fascists on the Supreme Court. Not to worry, the reich will not be thwarted.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  122. Ed Phillips

    It shows people big and small want the same thing.Hope it starts a nationwide campaign.As a small donor I"m in.I'm afraid your right,however.Lobbyist pay better. Ed Phillips Charleston Illinois

    August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  123. Jaime Diaz from Queens, NY

    I guess is the best way to find out what people think is the best political candidate. It seems like the next election is going to be a really interesting one, can't wait for it.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  124. Christine Cuthbertson from Cranford, New Jersey

    I think it's a great diversion tactic so CEO's look like the "good guys" and takes the limelight away from the fact that they have outsourced so many American jobs. They are the ones (CEO's) who have caused the damage via outsourcing and contributing to political campaigns in the first place. I think it's a joke and Americans shouldn't fall for it. They bought the politicians. The ONLY thing they care about is the bottom line, so diverting attention away helps them. It's another slick scam. How about announcing on your own how you're going to bring back a percentage of jobs to the country who built you in the first place.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It's worth a try!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  126. Eddie Valle in Las Vegas

    I'm excited! Money IS the root of all evil, afterall, so maybe the lack of funds coming in MIGHT actually push some politicians to push their real views and start actually paying attention to all the tweets and emails frustrated Americans are sending these die-hard Balanced-Budget-Amendment-Republicans. Let's see what happens when the politicians have to budget for themselves. I wonder if all that money saved by Starbucks will lower the price for a cup of coffee too....

    August 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  127. Mike, Summerland Key, Florida

    II think that there are many companies that will fill the void left by Starbucks and the companies planning this boycott. The laws and budgets are controlled by the highest bidder. PERIOD....

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  128. Karon

    The CEO's who sign on to this pledge already have a conscience. This will in no way reach those folks who buy and pay for politicians and Washington will not even hear the buzz!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  129. Craig in NY

    As you previously said Jack about the runaway spending, apparently only the Tea Party gets it.
    Now donors are getting it also. Withholding donations should affect the Spendocrats much more so than the Republicans, and should make the Democrats finally realize they MUST yield and reduce their out-of-control-spending to return the country to sound economic policy. I applaud all who withhold their campaign contributions.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  130. Alex Landi

    Mt. Shasta, CA
    Jack- These are the same people who have been buying what they want from congress for years. They are probably unhappy now because the gridlock means they aren't getting their money's worth. They want the good old days back when they could just buy a congressman or senator in a reliable and timely fashion. Only termminating the careers of some of these old political dinosaurs who have a sense of entitlement will change things.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  131. Allen in Seattle

    It will take 100, 000–not 100– corporate executives to make an impact on Gridlock, D.C. It still doesn't address PACs and lobbyists. This sounds like another Howard Schultz feel good idea that sounds good, but does little. Ask the former Seattle SuperSonics...

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  132. Robert S.

    This is a good start but what we really need is a set pool of funds that candidates can draw on and no outside contributions. That way no favors are owed. And an end to lobbyists in this country (as it is illegal in most) or at least a peoples lobbyist that can wine and dine on behalf of the people of America and not its corporations that have only their own interests at heart.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  133. Palmer

    Unless these CEO's become members of the Supreme Court it won't make much of a difference.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  134. Rich

    Listen. Those CEO's created a record increase in wealth last year. A 38% increase in corporate cash holdings. They could wipe out unemployment tomorrow, but they won't. Their goal is to set another record in wealth, while the rest of America has lost most of theirs. Who do those CEO's think are going to buy their products. More jobs creat demands for more products, lifting all boats. That's shy it won't happen.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  135. momshieb

    I like the idea, I like the sentiment, I applaud the suggestion. But in all seriousness, as long as these huge companies can continue to pay lobbyists and support superPacs, this is just spitting into the wind.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  136. Doug

    It's a nice idea, but it will just take those with consciences out of the conversation. Those CEOs who don't have consciences will buy the politicians.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  137. patricia

    Jack; One small step from CEO"S and one giant step for DEMOCRACY! Now let's work on the tax issues!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  138. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Money talks, as they say. Maybe the lack of money will talk louder. Maybe the politicians will get the message.

    But, I doubt it. This country runs on the almighty dollar and those who make it their life interest to amass as many dollars as they can are not going to be deterred by 100 CEOs pledging not to contribute. You did notice that they pledged not to contribute AS LONG AS THERE IS GRIDLOCK.

    After that (whenever that is), it's back to business as usual.

    Nothing ever changes in politics and anyone who thinks it will is living in a dream world!

    But at least now, since the CEO of Starbucks started this movement, I can feel somewhat comfortable about going and buying my third EVER cup of their extremely overpriced coffee.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  139. Christine Cuthbertson from Cranford, New Jersey

    Whoever said this is a "noble" idea doesn't have a clue what corporate America (or should I say corporate AmeriAsia) is about. This is a diversion tactic away from their own self interests. They get to look like the "good guys" when they are the source of American problems. How about giving Americans their jobs back...now that would be noble.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  140. Dana Warwick

    Great idea! Hope it catches on across America. If politicians weren't so worried about getting reelected, they may do the job Americans voted them in office to do. Normally, an employee would be fired for putting promoting themselves before doing their job. Politicians, evidently, believe they are immune to the rules of 'Normal Employees'. Cut off the money and let them get reelected on their merits, as it should be.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  141. NEVILLE

    Thats great!.Now the working stiffs can have some influence on their elected Representatives in Washington.
    Big Business will no longer control Washington. They are just 1% but they control the Country.
    This will be a blessing to us working folks..

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  142. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    In Washingtons 'pay to play' world it means that 100 CEO's will not be getting contracts.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  143. Lori - PA


    While I like the idea, the last thing we need is more signed pledges. Look at the harm those signed "I will not raise taxes" pledges have done. What we do need is for the President, Congress, and Senate to ban lobbying, and to put an end to private campaign contributions. Once they come back from their vacations, that is.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  144. Mark, Chicago

    The truth of the matter is that this is part of how Washington works. These CEOs are upset that the politicians they're funding aren't doing what they want, so they're withholding donations. In a few months, when the same politicians are about to decide something that will have an impact on these same CEOs, the money will come rushing back in, and we all know what happens next...politics as usual.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  145. Gary in MO

    Good idea, Jack. Unfortunately, like all pledges, setting an ultimatum doesn't address the real problem. We learned that with the Tea Party. Solving the problems require people to talk and listen to one another. I don't see that happening with an upcoming election.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  146. Woody

    Just another curve ball to dodge Warren Buffet's recent "tax us more" comments, Jack. The CEO's get to appear like they are out for a balanced approach withholding "personal" campaign contributions while their companies PAC departments quadrouple its contributions. It's all a big game of misdirection.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  147. Bob in Ashland

    Jack: It will take more CEOs getting on board with this initiative to make an impact, but it's a good start. Ordinary Americans should join the 100 CEOs to create "critical mass" to effect change. A balanced approach (cutting spending and raising revenues) is the common sense way to cut the deficit. All voters should get behind this effort, before Congress takes us all down to financial disaster.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  148. David

    The money that the corporations use to bribe our politicains could be put to better use giving jobs to Americans. For example the Health Industry – (Note that it is an INDUSTRY, in the rest of the world it a health SERVICE!) – spends $1 million a DAY bribing Congress – they call it lobbying, but it is bribing, That would be 40 jobs at $25,000 a year – ONE DAY of bribes, that is 14 THOUSAND jobs a year just from the money that the health industry spends bribing our politicians "The best politicians that money can buy" Translate that to the thousands of businesses doing the same thing and we could make a real dent in the unemployment problem.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  149. Howard Cohen

    Howard Schultz’s suggestion that we boycott campaign donations is a good idea and I agree with his evaluation of our elected politicians obsession with self preservation, however I believe it will not be effective. Unfortunately there a too few business leaders as ethical as Mr. Schultz. The vast majority of business leaders who are major contributors to political campaigns do so because they have an agenda they want to promote. Mr.Schultz’s proposal, if successful will only empower these contributors by leaving the field wide open to campaign contributors who have a specific agenda. What is needed is campaign financing reform that would not allow any private or corporate contributions. All candidates, once qualified, must be financed to the same extent from a government fund set up specifically for his purpose. It would be up to each recipient’s campaign to spend that money most effectively (and how it is spent would say something say a lot about that candidate). If individuals or corporations choose to make a contribution it must be channeled through this funding organization. I would guess that this would have to be funded by a tax which everyone is obligated to pay. This reform would also have the added benefit of limiting the outrageous wealth that is squandered on more and more expensive campaigns.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  150. Jacob B

    It really won't matter as long as washington has wall street in its back pocket. No matter what some Millionaire CEO's say, their lobbyists will still dip their hands into the political campaigns.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  151. Earl

    The question should be; do any of the rats in the swamp care?
    I for one don't think so.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  152. Rocky in LA

    It means that Washington politicians will receive a record-breaking number of "anonymous" donations.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  153. Boulder Thinker

    Good idea. No plan, No legislation, No money. A balance budget amendment would help stop the madness. Corporations should not be able to make political contributions to individuals or PACs. Corporation can advocate that their share holders, employees, customers and vendors make contributions to PACs that may benefit the Corporation. PAC should be funded by individual persons, not legal entities like corporations, religious organizations or labor unions.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Jaime Diaz from Queens, NY

    I guess is the best way to find out which people think is the best political candidate, without the influence of big CEO's. It seems like politicians are going to have to work for the people and not only their own beleves for the first time. I can't wait for the next election!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  155. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    It's a nice gesture but at the end of the day will have no impact.

    We've all heard the adage "money talks'. The supreme court said corporations are persons. Money is their voice.
    We know the loudest politicians get the most attention. So the corporatration with the loudest voice(money) will get the attention. Those signing the pledge will find themself on the ourside looking in.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  156. Mary Brallier

    I knew there would be a revolution. Who knew the CEOs would be leading it. Lead on, brothers, lead on.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  157. Doug

    Do what we do in Canada. We have extreme limits that can be spent by politicians, so the need to raise 100's of millions of dollars to run for President or any office, and a federal election that can take maybe 30 days, allows for more time actually working instead of being in constant election mode where nothing gets done. Americans criticize and laugh at us but I think our form of government and the way our country is run is far superior. Ya, stop the money flow and see if your politicians can stand on their own feet without millions and millions of dollars in their pocket.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  158. TP from Ct.

    Jack....term limits!
    Nothing short of this will have an impact on the outrageous political process we are made to tolerate.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  159. Nate NC

    To think Corporate America is actually doing some humanitarian work here in the US, that affects the people of the US, and is for the greater good, is almost frightening. Maybe there is some truth to that whole 2012 thing. Especially, if the CEOs from Big Oil companies join in.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  160. Willy D

    It will not make any difference. The only power to make a real difference lies with the voters. If every single incumbent is voted out of office, then Washington will take notice.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  161. Dean, Silver City, NM

    The CEO's will withhold the contributions, but now the that Supreme Court has made the corporation the same as and individual they can contribute even more to the persons who do their bidding. I think the gesture is a PR move which will draw support from the public, but corporations that these CEO's control will more than pay for their self-interests realized.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  162. Phyllis

    It's about time someone with clout (money) steps up to the plate. I, for one, will support any company that participates and boycott those who don't. Maybe, our combined forces can send a loud enough message or at least thump them on their numb skulls. Do us all a favor and publish the entire list.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  163. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Washington should be very nervous about what these CEO's plans are for the future of jobs in America. Like the old saying goes "put your money where your mouth is" and that's exactly what they are doing.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  164. Carol Austin Texas

    Sounds like sanity to me. BUT, let's get the LOBBYISTS in on this stopping the money for them all. Then it will really make a difference. Anybody listening?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  165. Jose, Florida

    That is the only way you can talk to this ambitious politicians, today are CEOs tomorrow another group of citizens that will say enough and stop giving money. Just like in Lybia, people will take control of the country little by little. Lets start talking to them.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  166. Meg mcgough

    I've had it up to my ears with the American politicians and their parties trying to inform the American public that they in fact are the fairest of the fair. They are soooo busy admiring themselves and their fantastic party they no longer regard the American public's opinion as even being relevant. I believe they just think they know better than the common guy on the American street. Until they stop bragging and start listening honestly, they will no longer receive money from this American. I want the people in Washington, from the President down, to care more about the country than their or their parties reelection.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  167. Daniel (Middleburg, PA)


    If nothing else, it proves corporate America's influence on American political leaders... threats of withholding campaign contributions? In other words "trim Medicare and Social Security (entitlements) and raise the revenue necessary to extend tax cuts for millionaires or we'll CUT YOU OFF!... so much for the American middle-class Jack!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  168. Dianne / Ohio

    Where do I sign up?

    August 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  169. Dana Warwick in Florida

    Great idea! Hope it catches on across America. If politicians weren't so worried about getting reelected, they may do the job Americans voted them in office to do. Normally, an employee would be fired for putting promoting themselves before doing their job. Politicians, evidently, believe they are immune to the rules of 'Normal Employees'. Cut off the money and let them get reelected on their merits, as it should be.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |