One of the best ways to fight right wing extremism in our daily lives is with our wallets. You and I may not be able to make million dollar donations to our favorite candidates or causes, but we can still make our voices heard by choosing where we spend our hard earned dollars….and where we don’t.
Between now and November one way that we can continue to show our support for Liberals and Progressives and the values and priorities we all stand for is to pay attention to where we spend our money. And one of the best ways to do that is to go after major right wing donors and their companies and hit them where it hurts most…in their wallets.
So I’ve listed a few of the right wing companies that are either major donors to extreme Conservative causes and candidates or that run their operations directly against core Progressive values. Now this is certainly not an exhaustive list, sadly there are many many more, but this list of very common brands is certainly a good place to start.
I’ve also made a list of some alternative suggestions of some great Progressive companies who either strongly believe in Liberal values or who donate large amounts of money to Progressive causes and candidates. The truth is that there are millions of businesses in this country who are constantly vying for your patronage. And wouldn’t it be nice to know that you are contributing to those who will use your hard earned dollars to fight for the left?
This way you can actually use your money to send a message that reflects OUR values and priorities. And again, this is certainly not an exhaustive list.
So first the companies to AVOID:
According to OpenSecrets.org Amway/Alticore Inc is a solidly Republican/Conservative corporation, giving 100% of their political contributions to Conservatives and right wing extremists and their causes.
2. Exxon Mobil and Chevron
OpenSecrets.org has Exxon listed as solidly Republican/Conservative, with them giving 87% of their political contributions to Conservatives and their causes. Chevron is rated only slightly better with them giving 82% to right wing extremists and causes.
This one is likely no surprise to you because their anti-gay stance has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years. But not only are they completely against gay marriage, they also are huge donors to extreme right wing candidates and causes.
4. Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is another business that has gotten a lot of media attention because of their extreme Conservative views. Hobby Lobby is not only against a woman’s right to choose, but they are also against birth control. After Obamacare was implemented they vehemently fought against the employer mandate for birth control to be included in their insurance policy. They actually took their fight all the way to the Supreme Court….and won.
You know, the really ironic part of this story is that Hobby Lobby and Conservatives claim that they were fighting this mandate because they are so against abortion. But without affordable access to contraception, there will surely be more abortions. I’m not sure that they thought this one all the way through…..
5. United Parcel Service (UPS)
While UPS does contribute to both Democrats and Republicans, between the years of 2002 and 2015 they gave nearly double to Republicans and Conservatives according to The Center for Responsive Politics.
6. Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. has been notorious for objectifying women in most of their highly sexual and controversial ads. But they also have been huge supporters of extreme anti-abortion causes. And if that’s not enough reason to avoid this fast food restaurant, they are also totally against gay rights. As a matter of fact, gay rights groups actually started calling the food “Bigot burgers” after the company’s founder, Carl Karcher, came out in support for a 1978 proposition which would have allowed school boards to fire any teacher for being gay or for advocating homosexuality. In addition Carl’s Jr. is also a big time donor for Conservative Super PACs and the Republican Party.
7. Angel Soft, Brawny, and Dixie
Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, and Dixie cups are all subsidiaries of Koch Industries, headed by the Koch brothers. And they donate Millions of dollars every year to groups like The National Rifle Association, The National Right To Life Committee, and Grover Norquist.
Over the past several years Walmart has consistently gotten into trouble for controversial practices. It is widely known that they pay their employees extremely low wages and are totally against any sort of raising of the national minimum wage. They are also famous for being anti-women. Many of their female employees have continually spoken out about wide-spread discrimination. In 2011 several female employees actually filed a class action law suit against Walmart and took it all the way to the Supreme Court.
9. Verizon Communications
Verizon is another company that does contribute to both Democrats and Republicans, but according to OpenSecrets.org and Market Watch they are still giving more than 60% to Conservatives and right wing causes.
10. Waffle House
Waffle House is another restaurant run by extreme Conservatives who are major donors to right wingcauses and candidates. As a matter of fact, 100% of all of their donations went directly to Conservatives. Waffle House’s CEO, Jim Rogers Jr., has been a big supporter of Republican causes for a very long time. In 2006 he joined the finance team for Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, Common Wealth PAC.
OK…and now for the GOOD NEWS:
1. Dairy Queen
Just like Angel Soft and Brawny fall under the umbrella of the Koch brothers, Dairy Queen is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, which is owned by Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett is a major donor for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and a long time donor to the DNC, Planned Parenthood, gun safety causes, and many Democratic candidates over the years.
2. Time Warner
According to Market Watch and the Center for Responsive Politics, Time Warner does contribute to both Republicans and Democrats. But between the years of 2002 to 2015 they gave more than three times as much money to Democrats and Liberals than they did to Republicans and Conservatives. The company also makes a point of standing up for Liberal and Progressive causes.
Crayola is one of those companies that neo-Con sites like to warn against. The arts-and-crafts company stands for some very strong Liberal core values. They believe in a woman’s right to choose, they advocate for same-sex marriage, and they are very strong on environmental issues.
Levi Strauss & Co. is actually the original maker of jeans. And they have been a long time supporter of gay rights. In 2010 they were even awarded a GLAAD award for their positive depiction of the LGBT community in their advertising. They are also big donors to Liberal causes and candidates with more than 97% of their donations going directly to Democrats.
And if all of that isn’t reason enough to shop there, they are also very highly recommended in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which is a guide that highlights companies that strongly believe in LGBT rights.
Avon is another great company that stands for core Progressive beliefs and values. They fund the YWCA which is part of the coalition to stop gun violence. They also support cap and trade and carbon tax legislation and support clean energy policy. And if that wasn’t enough to make the righties flip, we can also add pro gay marriage and support for the expansion of nationwide safe abortions to the list of their bonus features.
Costco makes the list for a several reasons. First of all they actually believe in paying their employees a real living wage with great benefits. They literally pay their workers nearly 50% more than their rival, Sams Club. In addition they run this company based on principles of equal rights. Costco is also a major donor to the Democratic Party. 99% of their donations go directly to Liberal causes and candidates. It’s no wonder that people love to refer to Costco as the “anti-Walmart.”
Always feminine products is a big supporter of equal rights for women and girls. In 2011 they joined in a partnership with The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which promotes basic human rights and is dedicated to finding solutions to bring about international peace. Always is also believes in the empowerment of girls through literacy. Most recently they launched their“Like a Girl” campaign which directly challenges the stereotype that girls are weak.
By any definition Sonic is a Liberal company. The fast food restaurant prides itself in its support of educational opportunities for youth and the arts. They are also big supporters of teacher’s unions and projects across the country. In addition they are also very supportive of Liberal causes and candidates. They give 98% to Democrats.
9. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Martha Stewart is a lifelong Liberal Democrat. She is a big supporter of gay marriage and equal rights. Martha Stewart Living is also a major donor for Liberal causes and candidates. 99% of all of her political donations have gone to Democrats.
10. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s is a great place for responsible Liberal shoppers. They believe in being environmentally friendly and they are against animal cruelty. They by far lead all other grocery store chains in carrying only cage-free hen eggs and are totally against any kind of testing on animals. In addition they are also major contributors to Liberal causes and candidates.