Conservative groups launch campaign to fire GE CEO Jeffery Immelt
Two conservative groups launched an ad campaign Monday against General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt. The campaign will include television and online ads and an online petition to generate support to have Immelt fired after President Obama appointed him to head his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
According to a press release, FreedomWorks and the Free Enterprise Project – the two groups pushing the campaign – believe Immelt’s appointment is a sign that more favors will be traded between the White House and GE.
“It’s time to break up the unethical romance between government and big business,” said FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in a statement. “For too long, corporate elites have lobbied to profit from the size and growth of government at the expense of hard-working Americans.”
Tom Borelli, the director of the Free Enterprise Project added that Immelt is the “poster child of what’s wrong with business leaders today.”
“True economic growth and job creation come from private sector innovations, independent from taxpayer money and government mandates and regulations,” said Borelli.
The campaign comes not only after President Obama tapped Immelt to head his advisory council, but also on the heels of a November poll that showed when consumers are told about GE’s lobbying activities, public opinion of the company drops.
The poll showed a decline in opinion of the company from 50 to 20 percent among self-identified conservatives when they are told of GE’s political lobbying and progressive business practices. Then, Kibbe and Borelli announced they would begin rallying Tea Party supporters to boycott companies like GE.
“We’re here to let President Obama and Jeffery Immelt know that the days of easy money through backroom deals are over,” said Kibbe.
Among other things, GE and Immelt lobbied heavily for the stimulus bill and borrowed $16 billion from the Federal Reserve just last year. The company has also heavily pushed for cap and trade.