CommunityPam's House Blend

Mega-shareholders 'helped' Ford make the right decision

Not to take anything away from the efforts of the multiple LGBT organizations (AmericaBlog) to let Ford know about the error of the automaker’s ways — cozying up with the flea-ridden dogs of the American Family Association – but it looks like another factor that pushed Ford over the edge was the influence of heavyweight institutional (and gay-friendly) shareholders. In the end, it’s all about the Benjamins, isn’t it, Wildmon? (365gay):

But the decision may not have been the result of pressure from gay groups, but rather from at least two large institutional shareholders who supports LGBT issues. One of them was the New York State Local Retirement System – the biggest state pension plan in the country.

Its administrator, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi confirmed Friday that he contacted Ford Chair William Clay Ford Jr. to voice his displeasure that the company had appeared to cave-in to demands from the AFA. In a letter to Ford, Hevesi said he wanted the know the reasons behind the decision.

“I am interested to know what cost/benefit analysis you performed in order to reach the conclusion that ending advertising to that particular customer base would be a positive strategic move for the company,” Hevesi wrote in his letter to the chair.

Hevesi not only pointed out the importance of diversity, but the importance of being seen as unbiased. He also noted that the LGBT market is worth an estimated $610 billion annually.

Hevesi is the sole trustee of the retirement fund which controls about 9.4 million shares of Ford stock valued about $107 million.

As we’ve said many times before here, the Right’s worst nightmare is that the cultural war has been lost, because corporate America has realized there is nothing to be gained financially by either ignoring or discriminating against gay and lesbian employees or consumers.

All that is left for the Don Wildmons, Lou Sheldons and Bob Knights of the world to do is go on unhinged rampages of demonization and fear-mongering. That may work with the sheeple (and ball-less Dems and self-loathing GOP closet cases), but in the end — in this country — the almighty dollar is all that matters. Bad PR runs a close second, though.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding