Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Immelt Must Go: Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold, former Democratic senator from Wisconsin, is calling for the resignation of Jeffrey Immelt as head of Obama's White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  Immelt, CEO of G.E., got some bad press last week when news broke that the largest corporation in the country paid no taxes last year.  Not only that, says Feingold - Immelt's salary doubled and he has the nerve to ask for "concessions" from his unionized workers.  Here's the email Feingold just sent out --

It's everything that's wrong with corporate power today:
News broke last week that General Electric, America's largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes -- that's right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.
But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
That's wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits -- and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled -- should not lead the administration's effort to create jobs.
We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the president's jobs panel -- and if he won't, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.
Help us build public pressure on GE's Jeffrey Immelt to step down or President Obama to get his resignation from the jobs council: Sign our petition at today!
How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt's direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes.
All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.
It's time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn't reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation's economy.
Be a part of this meaningful fight. Help us tell President Obama that if GE isn't paying taxes or treating workers well, Immelt Must Go!
President Obama has been talking about how we must "win the future," and I agree with him in that goal. Jeffrey Immelt is not the person for that job.
Thanks for uniting as a progressive,

Feingold is emerging as the progressive leader many of us have been clamoring for.  According to The Washington Post, MoveOn.Org will also be joining the petition drive to get rid of Immelt.  Let's see... how about a petition drive to oust Timmy Geithner while we're at it?  That's the guy who has the president's ear about gutting Social Security sooner rather than later, to make his Wall Street friends feel more "confident."  That's the guy who orchestrated the no-consequences bankster bailouts.  And, lest we forget, misremembered to pay some personal income taxes not too long ago.  I need my confidence restored, bigtime.


turnipseed said...

Feingold for President! I like the sound of that! Russ is no autopilot liberal--he is true to himself and has at times, angered me; but I've always respected him and he served this state very well. He was tossed out for the "crime" of voting for the Affordable Care Act. I think there's a fair amount of voters' remorse about that around here right now.

I've already made a monthly (small) donation to Russ' new group, Progressives United--feel free to do the same, a one time is good too.

Janet Camp

Anonymous said...

Obama has drunk the tea from the other side of the isle. He's cozied up to Boehner and compromised one to many times with his Republican buddies. He's turned a blind eye to what the Republicans and the corporate greed vultures are trying to do to this country, and is not protecting the people whose backs this country was literally built on.

I say we send HIM a message. Stand up for and protect the the working middle class and true main street folks or we'll send him a BIG message in 2011. A one term president.

He's the biggest disappointment I have ever voted for.


Anonymous said...

Dear Liberals,

The people around the President are Democrats not members of the Tea Party. The people on Wall st. That fund the Democrat campaign machine are for the most part Democrats and not members of the Tea Party. I could go on but are you seeing the beginnings of a pattern regarding the people that collect around the man you helped to elect? They are not members of the tea party they are rich Democrats.


John said...

Agreed! Let's get rid of Geithner and replace him with Paul Krugman. Now THAT would be a step in the right direction.

@ Richard: People from BOTH sides of the aisle have been corrupted by the corporate interests. For cryin' out loud, who do you think funds the tea party? And in the wake of the Citizens United ruling things are going to get worse before they get better.

Anonymous said...


"First clean your own house before you clean others" a old proverb in many languages comes to mind. No matter what you think of them the "Tea Party" would not be in Washington in such force if it were not for the excesses of the Obama administration. Are there crooks on both sides of the isle? Absolutely. You take care of yours and we will take care of ours. Right now a large group of yours is occupying the White House. What are you going to do?

On the subject of the Citizens United decision I agree that we would be better off with a revision of the campaign contribution rules but one excluding all groups from running ads and donating to campaigns , including corporations. That would still leave rich individuals who also need to be limited in donating and running ads. Do you think that the folks in Washington can do a fair job or any job at all? It maters not what party they are from and the necessary changes may require a Constutional amendment because of the recent Supreme Court decision.


Anonymous said...

@Richard: Apart from a small misstatement in your first post ("The people around the President are Democrats..." -- they're not; despite their self-labeling, they're really corporatists through and through, mainly from the financial sector) your comments are spot on. We desperately need campaign finance reform, but that's not all we need.

We need a viable third -- no, second -- party, since what we currently have are Republican and Republican-Lite. The Greens are great, but they don't have traction and aren't likely to get it any time soon. Feingold, however, might just be able to build a solid -- and politically savvy -- organization capable of challenging the current power structure.

Like Janet Camp, I've become a founding member of Progressives United because I hope this group will grow and eventually develop sufficient clout to thwart the evil machinations of the fascist oligarchy. Maybe Feingold will be the hope and change we were falsely promised during the 2008 election campaign.

Rose in Michigan

Anonymous said...


You may not think they are Democrats, but they do and they run the current Democrat party. Have you looked into the FLP as an independent party again? Marie Burns is likely a still a member from the old days.


turnipseed said...


Anyone who used the phrase Democrat Party in a post is a troll and I won't respond further--nor should anyone else.


Glad to hear you are on board with PU (unfortunate acronym, but let's laugh all the way to the undoing of Citizens United). I hope Russ Feingold will be the new Governor of Wisconsin once the dictator Walker is removed. Then he can run for President.

Janet Camp (What's your name, Anonymous?)

Ari said...

I humbly and respectfully -- but strongly -- disagree.
Mr Immelt is doing a fine job for us right where he is.
The recent revelations about GE's tax status have been shocking to most Americans (tho' not to anyone who's been paying attention).
But they've had far greater impact than they would otherwise have specifically because it's their boy Obama's “reached out” to. (Lord do I loathe that locution.)
Similarly, Immelt's being in the position he's in -- chair of Obama's White House Council on Further Corporate Sellouts and Betrayals -- leverages the impact of the GE tax news, and makes it infinitely easier to see what the realities of our polity and economy have become.
Pretty hard for the FoxFollowers to portray Jeff Immelt as a socialist; much easier for them to begin to start to get a hint that maybe the reichwing lies about Obama's ideology, intent, and actions so far don't hold water.
Consider what it is that's behind the recent drastic drop in the popularity of the Tea Party "Movement." (Of course that "popularity" was always a creation and construct of the corporate media -- but it's one that did have impact on perceptions, and on voting.)
What's caused the collapse of support? They won.
Their candidates took a good number -- sorry, a LARGE number -- of Governors' seats, and a larger number of seats in the House.
So now Jane and Joe Sixpak can see -- can't avoid seeing -- exactly what it is that the Publicans really mean, and really do, once in power.
It is, of course, nothing like the rhetoric on which they ran -- and it's thus nothing like what Jane and Joe thought they were voting for. And they are horrified.
(Understand I'm not blaming Jane and Joe. I'm not calling them stupid, or lazy, or selfish, or sheep -- let alone "sheeple." They've been lied to, manipulated, and exploited. And as good liberals/progressives/whatever, we don't go blaming the victim -- do we?)
Jeff Immelt -- and not Immelt alone, but Immelt and his ilk (that’d make a good name for a band; I want 1/10 of 1% in royalties if anyone uses it) -- will do all of us a lot more good right where he is, where everyone will be reminded regularly of what corporatist sellouts want with our country, with our economy, and with us, than he would back under the rocks, out of sight and out of reach.