24 Sep 2012 FedEx CEO Frederick Smith “Gets It”
At Shareholder Meeting, FedEx CEO Says Company Won’t Be Bullied by Left-Wing Radicals Opposed to Free Markets
Memphis, TN / Washington, D.C. – Citing the many attacks on the corporate funders of conservative and free market organizations, National Center for Public Policy Research executive director David W. Almasi publicly congratulated FedEx CEO Frederick Smith today for not caving to the demands of the organized left to terminate the company’s financial support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In front of the company’s executive staff and investors at today’s FedEx shareholders in Memphis, Almasi issued a warning to the shipping giant and other businesses that capitulation to fringe political groups is bad business strategy.
In response, Smith didn’t back down from FedEx’s support of political organizations. Smith supported the company’s affiliation with public policy organizations as helping promote the goals of the business.
The exchange can be heard on YouTube at http://youtu.be/TBgOdMFeVWM.
“Fred Smith gets it. He realizes that FedEx can support a multi-faceted group such as ALEC for one reason and not be bullied out of that support for a completely different reason,” said Almasi. “Devoid of a defensible agenda, the left is engaged in a systemic campaign to attack conservative ideas by attacking the benefactors of conservative idea factories. Fred Smith and FedEx today acknowledged that there are businesses willing to support the creation and the free-flow of ideas that won’t be intimidated by the hard-nosed tactics of left-wing political operatives.”
Almasi’s prepared remarks for the FedEx shareholder meeting are available on the National Center web site.
FedEx is a supporter of ALEC, particularly the group’s Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force. This task force “develops policies that enhance competitiveness, promote employment and economic prosperity, encourage innovation, and limit government regulation imposed upon business.”
Leftist radicals seek to choke off ALEC’s corporate donations by trying to link companies to ALEC’s past work on state-level voter ID ballot protection and “stand your ground” legislation — claiming such laws are racist and threatening to launch minority boycotts of the businesses. Even though ALEC ceased working on both issues in April of 2012, radical groups such as Color of Change continue to falsely and deceitfully campaign against ALEC on these issues.
“Arriving in Memphis a day early, I had the opportunity to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. I wish the critics of ALEC and of voter ID could see what I saw,” said Almasi. “The museum features a carnival-style wheel listing many Jim Crow-era excuses to deny blacks a vote. One can spin it to see how easily a vote might be taken from them. It makes the simple act of presenting identification at a polling place to prevent identity fraud — the thing the left inexplicably hates so much — pale in comparison. Furthermore, that whole museum is a testament to how important it is to protect the sanctity of our voting process.”
Even though ALEC stopped working on the ballot safeguard issue, the National Center for Public Policy Research continues ALEC’s work in supporting commonsense polling place protections with its own Voter ID Task Force.
FedEx’s shareholder meeting was held at the FedEx Express World Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. Almasi is a personal shareholder in the FedEx Corporation. Along with proof of stock ownership, government-issued ID was required for attendees.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving approximately one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.