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Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

CONSERVATIVEBLOG.ORG

Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

Supreme Court Set for Ribbiting Property Rights Case

As the U.S. Supreme Court justices hand down the last of their high-profile decisions for the current term, property rights proponents are preparing for their fall term and a major case that could finally set boundaries on the currently unchecked power of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

National Center for Public Policy Research Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. told Farm Journal that a favorable decision for the plaintiff could seriously blunt the “ESA battering ram.”

The case of Markle v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) deals with the designation of “critical habitat” for the Mississippi gopher frog on, among other places, 1,500 acres owned by Edward Poitevent in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. According to Farm Journal’s AgWeb, the Mississippi gopher frog (or dusky gopher frog, as it was later termed), had not been seen in the state since 1967. Furthermore:

FWS had no power to introduce the frog species on Poitevent’s Louisiana land, or convert the land to make it suitable for the frog or force Poitevent and his co-owners to restore the land to accommodate the creature. At a bare minimum, Poitevent’s land would need to be clear cut, replanted with longleaf pine and consistently managed with controlled burns. (All of this would breach a timber contract that runs until 2043 with a third party covering most of the land.)

But the designation was made, and AgWeb noted “FWS created a paper haven for a creature it knew would never live on the very land defined in the designation.” Mark Miller, Poitevent’s lawyer and senior counsel for the Pacific Legal Foundation added:

People can’t believe the government can lock down private land for a species that doesn’t live there, hasn’t been seen there in 50 years, and would die if it was put there without dramatic property change. Think about the implications and follow the logic: Any land in the entire country can be declared critical habitat. Anywhere.

In explaining the big-picture problem of government abuse of the ESA, the National Center’s Cohen explained to AgWeb:

[The] ESA is an all-powerful statute that historically has been enforced by an entrenched bureaucracy. In the frog case, FWS targeted Poitevent’s land already knowing it’s unsuitable, and that clearly shows that FWS bureaucrats fully recognize the unbridled power of the ESA statute behind them.

The bureaucrats that make these decisions, as in the Poitevent case, are unelected and unaccountable to anyone. The frogs, flies and mice are only a means to an end because the cases are really about control. The agency officials go after farming, ranching, timber or any activity they choose, entirely backed by an ESA battering ram.

The case is expected to be argued before the justices as early as October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Black Deal on Immigration Explained on Fox Business

Recommendations in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” for stopping wealth transfer from black citizens to illegal aliens were explained by Co-Chairman Horace Cooper during a recent interview on the Fox Business Network.

In all, there are $113 billion in benefits bestowed on illegal immigrants living in the United States. Of that, $85 billion comes from state and local governments that are getting their money from within their communities.

Project 21’s Blueprint says illegal immigrants should be prohibited from accessing all but emergency public services because the cost of these services unfairly and disproportionately falls on black families.

In particular, the Blueprint recommends:

  • Barring illegal aliens from accessing any public services, except emergency services.
  • Terminating federal funding of any social service agency that provides non-emergency services to illegal immigrants.
  • Prosecuting providers and recipients who allow scarce federally-funded social services to be used by those who are in the country illegally.
  • Ending states’ special programs for assisting unlawful immigrants, redirecting those funds to needy citizens.

On the June 21 edition of the Fox Business Network program “Varney & Co.,” Horace told host Stuart Varney:

The reason that we know working people, and many African-Americans, are ending up paying for this is that most state governments use regressive taxation. They use excise taxes. They use sales taxes. They use property taxes. Some of them – but the not the majority – use progressive income taxes.

The result of that is that, generally speaking, the beneficiaries of social programs at the state and local level end up actually paying for it. But – with the influx of illegal immigration – what you have is poor and black people paying for the services, but then they have to get in line behind illegals who are using the services as much or more than they can.

When Varney asked if Project 21 supports a ban on all public aid for illegal immigrants, Horace explained:

There’s already a soft ban in effect. We’re asking to harden that for emergencies only, and to also get state and local governments to agree that they’re  not going to the same thing.

It’s fundamentally unfair to have to pay for these social programs that you don’t get to use and – if you’re independent and you work for yourself – these illegals compete with you, and they can underbid you.

With immigration reform now being debated in Congress, Varney also asked why blacks exhibit such strong political support for the policies and policymakers causing this wealth transfer away from the black community. Horace cited the root cause being that people don’t realize exactly what’s happening regarding immigration policy. This is something Project 21’s recommendations aim to clear up:

One of the problems is that there’s very little understanding or appreciation of what’s going on.

Our report is intended to make sure people understand. The liberals like Nancy Pelosi have been taking black America for granted for decades. Now, we’re seeing and we’re showing that black Americans are actually having to pay the bill for the fancy ideas and schemes that are not working for America.

Kathy Griffin’s Comedy Lacks Hart

A white woman implying that a black man is being a traitor to his race doesn’t make for good optics as that woman tries to reboot her career in entertainment.

But we’re talking about Kathy Griffin.

Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are lauding the target of Griffin’s ire – superstar comedian and actor Kevin Hart – for his performance style, lack of politics and racial authenticity.

Griffin, an alleged comedian and self-proclaimed D-list celebrity, is planning to tour again after a hiatus she brought upon herself after posing for now-infamous photos in which she held up a bloody, severed head of President Donald Trump. She lost her show bookings and a New Year’s Eve gig on CNN for that unfunny act.

In an interview with USA Today, Griffin was unapologetic about her anti-Trump ranting. Warning people to go elsewhere if they don’t want to experience the Trump-hating, she said:

And look, if you want to not hear about Trump at all, go see Kevin Hart. He doesn’t even mention Trump. I personally think that’s a [expletive] move because he’s a black man. But I guess he’s selling more tickets than I ever will.

At least the last comment is true.

Kevin Hart is a very successful funnyman with stand-up videos, starring roles in movies such as Jumanji and Central Intelligence and hosting the new television show TKO. He’s A-list. She’s D-list.

At a time when too many Hollywood stars think their celebrity comes with a duty to share their liberal and anti-Trump political beliefs, Hart is not getting involved.  And it’s likely helping boost his appeal with audiences looking for a break from polarizing politics.

Someone reported to be close to Hart told Fox News:

Everyone has something to say about Donald Trump, and that’s the reason Kevin isn’t speaking on him. Kevin honestly feels the Trump bits are overused and knows that people are tired of the political banter from comedians.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington, a syndicated radio talk show host who recently appeared on CNN to discuss the over-the-top politics of Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr, said about this Griffin/Hart controversy:

Kathy Griffin continues to wow us with her ability to sink to new lows.

As she has utterly destroyed her own career with her deplorable representation of the President of the United States, Griffin now attempts to drag Kevin Hart into her misery. Hart is magnificently successful with his recent forays into cartoon movies. His family plays a huge role in his online persona. Hart is a shooting star whose stratospheric trajectory is based upon entertaining everyone instead of engaging in partisan commentary disguised as comedy.

If anything, Griffin should take a page out of Hart’s book: write jokes to make people laugh regardless of their political affiliation.

There is plenty of room for that type of entertainer. Americans are desperately searching for good, enjoyable content.

Derryck Green

Project 21 member Derryck Green, Ph.D. added:

Kathy Griffin is right – but not in the way she thinks.

We do live in an anxiety-ridden time precisely because so many people are sharing her mindset and politicizing everything.

When people go to comedy shows, they want to be entertained. Many want a recess from politics. Kevin Hart made a smart business decision by not attacking the President. He probably realizes that both liberals and conservatives buy tickets to his shows. He’s obviously not catering to a small audience like Griffin.

More to the point – Griffin’s diss is a not-so-subtle attack on Hart’s racial authenticity. Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he has to be a Trump-hating liberal. It doesn’t mean he has to be on the attack. It doesn’t mean he has to think Trump is a racist or whatever the perceived outrage is at any given moment.

Kevin Hart is an individual. He shouldn’t be defined by how he “should” think or what he “should” do because of his race. Demanding otherwise is the rot and result of identity politics.

Trump-Kim Meeting a “Teensy Little Bite” – Temper the Speculation

It’s too early to assign too much to the initial meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Appearing on the Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast-to-Coast,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington compared it to a first date. She suggested a lot of people are reading too much into it, and expecting far more from a relationship that really hasn’t even begun.

Pointing out that the pundits are often ignoring the dynamics at play, she explained to host Neil Cavuto:

We’re talking about a dictatorship – a regime that literally still has gulags and things we haven’t heard of for almost a hundred years during the height of communism and all that. So I like to temper the expectations.

It’s not that I was looking for – you know – basically sex on the first date. They just met. This is the first time looking each other in the eye. Now that they’ve established just the initial first teensy little bite – where they can actually have a relationship, Neil, now we can have move forward cautiously and tentatively.

And I want to point out that everyone’s getting upset about President Trump saying that the exercises – the war games – are gonna be postponed or cancelled. They’re still on the schedule. Nothing has changed. So, if – 90 days from now – there’s a lot of drama going on, those war games will still happen.

So, I think, give President Trump a little credit. And also temper the cheerleading and just understand it was the bite.

While he was thrown off guard a bit by Stacy’s analogy, Cavuto still remarked, “That’s a very profound comment.”

Hogg SWATting Incident Bolsters Project 21 Blueprint

In Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” a recommendation to end “SWATting” is among provisions for improving public safety and police-community relations.

SWATting is when police respond to a report based on a false threat. In responding to these pranks played upon them, police have mistakenly breached the homes of innocent people incidents that resulted in damage to property and even death.

A high-profile example of SWATting happened on June 5 to the family of David Hogg, the anti-gun activist. SWAT officers were dispatched to the Hogg home after the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a gunman inside. On the scene, police determined the house was empty. The family was out-of-town.

Project 21’s Blueprint specifically recommends:

Taking aggressive steps to stop SWATting – prank reports of imminent danger, often claiming a home invasion or hostages – that are designed to trick dispatchers into deploying SWAT teams.

In its effort to give black communities (and everyone) a better deal in community safety, Project 21 seeks significantly increased penalties for making false reports – especially when incidents result in serious injury. More resources should also be made available for technologies to detect SWATting, and for more special training on SWATting for dispatchers and responding officers.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II, a Pennsylvania state constable, noted:

David Hogg has gotten under peoples’ skin and in their faces, but that doesn’t justify someone playing a dangerous trick on him and the police by falsely sending a SWAT team to his family’s home.

Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” calls for aggressive steps to stop SWATting, including stiff penalties for those who send the police on wild goose chases that could hurt innocent people.  SWATting not only endangers the public — it also threatens to seriously damage police-community relations.

Time for Consensus on Coarseness

Treatment of Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee revealed a tremendous double-standard. Neither offender deserves mercy for their high-profile contributions to the coarsening of American culture, yet Bee received it.

Project 21 member Jerome Danner suggested we agree upon a standard and stick to it.

Barr, who – drugged or not – dragged us down into her stupid and racist attempt at humor, lost her hit television show. Not only that, episodes of the previous incarnation of her show are being pulled from the air as well. As if it were the Stalin era, Barr is being removed from history.

Bee called the President’s daughter the dreaded c-word and implied incest. She apologized – like Barr did – and lost some advertisers. But her show is still on and she even still received a planned award for her work. Her liberal critics largely chastise her for putting herself in a bad position and putting her “important voice” against the Trump Administration at risk.

Both were wrong. Both caused the coarseness envelope to be pushed further, if not ripped open. The consequences were not equal. Jerome thinks they should be.

In a Newsmax commentary, Jerome noted the liberal defense of Bee by actress Sally Fields. He wrote:

It would be quite difficult to reach a consensus on which is worse, the racist post by Roseanne or the disgusting term used by Samantha Bee. Regardless, they both lack civility and both are inhumane towards their subjects. It is interesting that Bee’s use of a vile word could find any support from anyone, especially after the brouhaha stirred up by Roseanne’s post. Someone like Sally Field seems to think that another vile word could have been used for Ivanka Trump, based off of Field’s logic in a social media post.

Field’s Samantha Bee-supporting post received quite the number of retweets and likes. This reveals the inconsistency that is found in our society today. Barr’s show was cancelled swiftly, Bee has apologized, lost some sponsors, but so far still has a show.

It is quite strange that there can be as much outrage for one thing, while the other receives less anger from the same group of people.

It may be time that leftists, centrists, and those on the Right find a standard to adhere to regardless of the situation. If something or someone is wrong for using a particular expletive or making a certain comment, then it is only right to be consistent with one’s outrage when the expletive is used or the comment is made by a person who politically aligns themselves with our beliefs.

To read Jerome’s Newsmax commentary – “Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee and the Need for Consistency” – in its entirety, click here.

Stacy Washington’s Buzz on Bee Makes CNN’s Lemon Sour

CNN host Don Lemon says that Samantha Bee’s use of extremely coarse on-air language against presidential daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump “makes me cringe.” From the behavior of Lemon and the panelists on his show who faced off against Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington, the cringe-worthiness of it all seems to be that they are having to defend their double-standard.

After ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr’s hit show in the wake of her comments likening former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape – something Stacy called “ridiculous,” “awful,” “disgusting” and “demeaning” on CNN – Bee aired a produced segment on her show in which she criticized Ivanka Trump for posting a photo posing with one of her children. While many Trump Administration critics have seized on this photo as a means of complaining about immigration policy, Bee ripped open the envelope of civility by calling Ivanka Trump one of the most crass terms that can be used against a woman, and suggested she lobby her father to change the policy while wearing provocative clothing.

Bee’s show runs on a network that is owned by CNN’s parent company, Time Warner.

In beginning the conversation, Lemon asked Angela Rye, a former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, if this “epitomize[s] the lack of civility and polarization of America.” This is the way the left is explaining away their own extremism – as an equal and opposite reaction to what they perceive as coming from President Trump and his supporters.

Rye, citing the Barr comments, pivoted to a backhanded defense of Bee. Noting it came in the wake of the Barr’s controversy, she implied it is being talked-up by those wanting to defend Barr and the President, saying, “all of a sudden, this is the most egregious harm ever.” Calling what Bee said “tasteless,” Rye alluded to Bee’s standing in the liberal hierarchy was at risk by the incident, say “she needed to apologize – she has a platform that’s too important to do otherwise.” But Rye also noted that the term Bee used “doesn’t personally offend me.”

In cutting through the attempt to obfuscate what Bee did, and what Hollywood allows to happen in their efforts to defame conservatives and raise up their own flawed heroes, Stacy said:

If we’re going to talk about the civility or lack thereof, why does Bill Maher still have a show? If just tweeting something vulgar out is the standard, then a lot of other people in Hollywood should not be on the air. They should not be on television if that’s the standard.

So, I think ABC and the production people – the management there – they have every right to fire or not fire. Do what you’re gonna do. But then Samantha Bee says what she said about Ivanka Trump.

It’s the [vulgar comment] – yeah, Don – but it’s also “you know what, put on something low-cut and racy and seduce your father.” Like they have an incestuous relationship. That’s disgusting, vile and hateful toward women.

Angela Rye interjected: “He said he would date her.” Noting Rye’s comment, Stacy continued:

And so he said that ridiculous comment. So we justify adding onto it? Not for me. That’s not OK for me. So I think what we have to do if we want to be honest and have our experiences validated is to admit there’s a double-standard.

So Roseanne lost her job. I’m not defending Roseanne. I’m asking: How does Samantha Bee still have a job?

Dean Obedallah, a CNN “opinion contributor” and SiriusXM radio host, called Bee an “important voice” that he hoped would not be silenced. He spent his time complaining about Barr and President Trump. And he certainly wasn’t prepared for Stacy to call him out on-air when he said: “I would love to see the outrage of Stacy and others on the right to the bigotry and racism of Donald Trump…”

Stacy commented: “I’m sitting here wondering when I became Donald Trump… Please help me understand.” Lemon asked: “Do you criticize him for his comments?”  Stacy replied:

I have thousands of hours of radio out there – and podcasts – where I have definitely criticized the President as well as praised him when I think he’s done something right. I’m not a sycophant.

But it’s not fair for Dean or anyone else who called themselves an opinion writer or reporter or anyone in the media or in the Fourth Estate – when you’re supposed to be reporting, not emoting. For you to equate statements made by someone else to me – unless you researched it, stick to what I’ve said.

At that point, a sour-faced Lemon said: “I gotta go.” End of the segment. Back to the one-sided panels that usually dominate CNN news coverage.

Calling Out the Left for Selective Racial Outrage

While no one was there to defend what Roseanne Barr tweeted out the day before that got her television show cancelled, there certainly were differences about what role President Donald Trump played in it.

Two of Project 21’s finest were part of the discussion, calling out those who were landing low blows in the debate.

On the May 30 edition of the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” host Laura Ingraham began with a monologue about how the left pounced on Barr’s possibly drug-addled tweeting in which she insulted Obama Administration senior staffer Valerie Jarrett. Barr rightly took her share of lumps and lost her show, but there were many spurious allegations against the President by those who claim his mere presence fuels Barr and other hateful individuals.

Hence the name of the segment: “Blaming Trump for Roseanne.”

Ingraham noted that those who now claim Trump’s merely complementing Barr’s ratings earlier this year and the show’s pro-Trump message is toxic were among the same group that downplayed President Barack Obama’s known ties to the hateful Reverend Jeremiah Wright and were not appalled by the cover-up of Obama’s meeting with the equally hateful Louis Farrakhan while he was a senator.

In a discussion that included Ingraham and liberal commentator Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper and member Niger Innis pointed out the hyperbole and disconnect used by Cook and other members of the liberal cadre who seem obsessed with the notion that President Trump and his supporters are racist.

Horace pointed out that outrage over hateful speech and actions appear to be a one-way street, because things deserving condemnation comes from both the right and the left. He said:

Why don’t we see, when Alec Baldwin says to a black man – uses the n-word in a reference to him – why doesn’t he get to have his show taken from him? Why does Joy Behar get to say and post some of the most obnoxious things and all we see are great accolades?

What I’m saying is – I’m not asking for anyone’s show to be taken away from them. What I’m asking about is why is it the condemnation seems to only go one way?

Later in the discussion, he added:

When Condoleezza Rice was characterized as a “mammy” in a cartoon strip… where was the outrage? Where was the condemnation?

An assertion was made by former Obama Administration official and current CNN host Van Jones that America entered a cultural free-fall around the time Trump began his presidential campaign. Of course, the left says this free-fall is steeped in racism that emanates from the actions and statements of the President.

Ingraham, who agreed with the notion that American culture is broken, but considered it the fault of liberals over 50 years ago, flat-out asked Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook: “Do you think Donald Trump is a racist?” Cook quickly replied, “yes, I do.” But she refused Ingraham’s request to name three instances where she could prove a Trump statement to actually be racist.

Niger said he was “very disappointed” by Cook’s assertion.  He added:

Racism is one of the most powerful words and weapons that is used in our culture today.

It is not 1955. It is not 1965. It is not 1980. Today, racism is a charge that is incredibly powerful. And for you to say automatically and somewhat – I believe – flippantly that Donald Trump is a racist? Was he a racist when he was having events with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton on Wall Street?

Later, it was noted that MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted that he thought a “significant chunk of the Trump base” is racist. Asked her opinion on that assertion, Cook said, “I’m in circles that totally agree with that.”

Horace asked:

So when surveys also show how many people said “I voted for Obama twice and then I voted for Trump,” when did they become a racist?

These are white Americans that changed their votes. In fact, these are black Americans that changed their votes… So I’m willing to vote for Barack Obama, and I’m willing to vote for Trump – because I’m a racist… This is religion [to Trump critics].

Farm Bill, Compliant With Project 21’s Blueprint, Gets Second Vote in June

Welfare reform found in the Farm Bill that is considered compliant with Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” is expected to get another chance in the U.S. House of Representatives in June.

Language in the “Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018” (HR 2) is written to simplify, refine and standardize a work requirement for eligibility in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”). It institutes a 20-hour minimum work-participation requirement for able-bodied recipients.

Because the Farm Bill’s welfare work requirement is consistent with the goals of the black leadership network’s Blueprint, it was the first piece of legislation to receive Project 21’s “Blueprint Compliant” designation.

Among the 57 policy suggestions in its Blueprint, Project 21 offers several designed specifically to reduce black unemployment. One of these is welfare reform that includes a work requirement for the SNAP eligibility. This provision was included in the Blueprint, Project 21 members noted, to build upon the success of landmark 1996 welfare reform provisions which dramatically reduced welfare rolls and encouraged employment and training for millions of Americans while doing so. The Farm Bill, it was determined, aligned with the goals of the Blueprint.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper noted: “We don’t live in a world of unlimited resources. We absolutely must separate out the greedy from the needy. When those who are able to provide for themselves are not competing for help, the truly needy will find that substantially greater resources remain.”

In a May 18 vote, the Farm Bill was not able to obtain enough votes for passage. While liberal lawmakers opposed the welfare reform aspects of the bill, conservatives allied with the House Freedom Caucus voted against the bill over the issue of immigration reform. But House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, however, said at the time that “[w]e all want to pass a farm bill, myself included.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise pledged to revive the Farm Bill: “We’re not done with this. We’re going to continue until we get it done.” Making good on that pledge, a deal has been reached to bring an immigration bill, the “Securing America’s Future Act” (HR 4760), up for a vote and clear the way for a second vote on the Farm Bill.

Majority Whip Scalise recently announced: “We’re looking at moving the farm bill on June 22 and having the Goodlatte-McCaul [immigration] bill come up the third week of June.”

United CEO’s “Personal” Decision Against NRA Deemed “Political” by Experts and Employees

It was another “Tim Cook moment” for corporate America – this time involving United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz. And, once again, it came courtesy of the National Center’s Justin Danhof.

Munoz, answering a question posed by the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), was forced to answer for what he called a “personal” decision he made on behalf the company. It’s a decision that offends supporters of the Second Amendment. And, after FEP’s questioning and

Munoz digging in his heels, it became clear he offended the business community as well as his employees.

FEP’s participation in the United shareholder meeting is a great example of how it is working hard to keep the business community loyal to the free market and investors rather than harming themselves with forays into partisan politics.

The term “Tim Cook moment” came from when Justin enraged the otherwise serene Apple CEO in 2014 by questioning him about the company’s risky use of government-subsidized “green” energy. Cook spat back at Justin: “If you want me to do things only for ROI [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.” When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got mad someone pointing out the importance of shareholder opinion a year later, it was called his Tim Cook moment.

Now it’s Munoz’s turn to assume the mantle.

In Corporate America’s newest Tim Cook moment, Justin took Munoz to task at United’s shareholder meeting for his recent decision to cancel a discount airfare for National Rifle Association (NRA) members traveling to the group’s annual convention. This was Munoz’s decision, made in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Justin Danhof, Esq.

At United’s meeting, Justin asked:

I suppose you are ignoring the fact that the NRA had nothing to do with what happened in Parkland and that the perpetrator had zero affiliation with the NRA. But, hey, congratulations on your virtue signaling. What exactly did investors get out of that? The company is willfully giving up money. That’s an odd choice for an airline company in a hyper-competitive industry…

[Bekrshire Hathaway CEO Warren] Buffett… explain[ed] that corporations that make in-the-moment political decisions are subject to the fickle nature of politics and are constantly reacting to events rather than standing on consistent principles.

Can you tell us – your investors – how it makes sound business sense to alienate millions of potential customers who support the 2nd Amendment, and explain why you have this right while Warren Buffet has this wrong?

Munoz replied that his decision “wasn’t political.” Instead, he claimed it was “personal with regard to my family at United.” He noted that one of the Parkland victims was the daughter of a United pilot.

In FEP’s post-meeting press release, Justin said:

[T]his explanation insults the intelligence of United’s investors and customers. United has 90,000 employees and has been around for nearly 100 years. In all that time, has no other United employee or a family member experienced gun violence? That’s hard to believe. It would seem the company, like so much of the mainstream media, regularly ignores shootings in areas such as the South Side of Chicago [where United is headquartered]…

United fell in line with the liberal mob. Of course its decision was political… [H]e refused to address how this decision might affect United’s business. That should concern the company’s investors. That’s a leadership failure of epic proportions.

The business media picked up on the story, and there was no good news for Munoz.

Inc. actually reached out to dozens of members of Munoz’s corporate “family” and found that, of its sample, United employees disagreed with his decision by a 4-1 margin]. Inc. reported:

The CEO of United Airlines often speaks his mind. But now some United employees aren’t very happy about what he has to say.

It’s all about what happened Wednesday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

There were the usual airline-issue kinds of things on the agenda: rising fuel prices, the search for a new CFO.

But then there was also an activist investor from an organization called the National Center for Public Policy Research, who came with an agenda of his own. And CEO Oscar Munoz took the bait…

Munoz’s response was stunning and frank, according to Bloomberg: “Sir, it wasn’t political. It was personal with regard to my family at United.”

And those three words resonated and rebounded around the Internet quickly: “It was personal.”

Inc. reported these responses from United employees about Munoz’s decision and his stated reason for making it:

  • “It is a political decision.”
  • “If it was political then he doesn’t speak for us that do support the NRA. If it was personal, then I suggest he step down since he [can’t] seem to separate personal decisions from business decisions.”
  • “It was his personal opinion. Not mine! Shame on him.”
  • “He doesn’t speak for me and he is NOT my family!”

In a discussion about the meeting on CNBC, the majority of the guests – as Justin pointed out – thought the move as a bad one for the company in a competitive market:

  • “He doesn’t own the company. It’s not Munoz Air.”
  • “A decision like this is big enough that he has to go in front of the board and pitch it to them and sell it. And, if he sells is right, they are all gonna be on board with him.”
  • “If it’s such a no-brainer, the board would say yes.”

That last comment was from the CNBC host!

FEP’s activism did not escape the notice of the NRA itself, which wrote about it on the website of their America’s 1st Freedom magazine:

Corporations might have thought they were immune to criticism after they sided with outspoken liberals in their decisions to denounce the NRA and the firearm industry, but if shareholder meetings are any indication, they are being called to answer for their decision.

Justin Danhof, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP)—a national proponent of free-market investor activism—has been making the rounds at annual meetings of shareholders and criticizing the political move, saying companies are bowing to outside pressure rather than doing what’s best for the shareholders…

Hats off to Danhof and the FEP. It’s time that big business hears from someone on the other side of the aisle. Maybe once the corporate leaders start seeing the effect on the bottom line, they’ll recognize the voices of reason.

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The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.