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Starbucks CEO’s open letter: ‘I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington’

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Nicholas Ballasy
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      Nicholas Ballasy

      Nicholas Ballasy is the Senior Video Reporter for The Daily Caller covering Congress and national politics. Ballasy has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and celebrities including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. John Kerry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, Neil Munro, Stevie Wonder, etc. His work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.

Starbucks Coffee Company CEO Howard Schultz called on “concerned Americans” Friday to send a message to Washington: “[T]he time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.” Schultz said he is “deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington” and asks Americans to join him on a national “call-in conversation.”

“Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs,” said Schultz on Friday in an emailed open letter addressed “Dear Starbucks Friend and Fellow Citizen.”

Schultz explained how 100 business leaders representing American companies have joined him in signing a two-part pledge to “withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached” and do everything they can to “break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.”

Schultz concludes by asking “concerned Americans” to participate in a “national call-in conversation” hosted by “No Labels,” a centrist organization “dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government.” The group’s web site says the town hall event called “A Conversation with America” will take place at 7:30 PM on September 6 — immediately preceding that night’s Republican candidates’ debate in Simi Valley, Calif.

“We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world,” he said.

“And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.”

Read the full letter below:

September 2011

Dear Starbucks Friend and Fellow Citizen:

I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.

Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.

We are better than this.

Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.

In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.

We cannot let this stand.

Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit www.upwardspiral2011.org

America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.

Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.

With great respect,

Howard Schultz

chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

  • Patrick Henry

    What we have here is a self-serving businessman who is trying trying to curry favor with the public but at the same time not distance himself from Mao’Bama.

    Here’s his plea to leadership,”“Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington”

    There is only one leader and that is the President. That’s why they call it the Executive branch of government.

    This guy is trying to read the tea-leaves before he dumps Mao’Bama but doesn’t himself have the leadership skills to come right out and say Mao’Bama is the problem.

    My guess is his Board of Director’s knows exactly who is the leader of Starbucks , surprisingly he can’t figure out who is leading America..

  • Hokiedad

    Is this man so naive that he thinks the unions will withhold their political campaign contributions made to ensure further public union and government expansion?

  • Graverobber

    I find it funny that a deadlocked Washington today is being blamed for everything wrong in this great nation.  I would rather see DC deadlocked on everything and not get anything done than to screw things up more.

     

  • Anonymous

    The “No Labels” group is a group that is afraid to reveal their true label. “Dishonest Insiders” would be a more truthful label than “No Labels.” “No Labels” is a dishonest label. What does that tell you about the people involved in the group? 

  • Anon

    While you may disagree with his politics, one thing cannot be denied: America *is* paralyzed with partisanship. No one side has all the right answers (or all the wrong ones) at least this guy is using his nominal level of celebrity to try and change things in America.

    • thinker

      Exactly put.  We don’t care about speeches, nominations and elections nor political parties.
      WE WANT ACTION NOT WORDS!

  • Anonymous

    I see.  You are going to hold this little love-fest right before the Republican Debates?  Why not just before BamBam’s big Job’s Speech, huh?

    This takes the cake!  Howard, I have one piece of advice for you … “stick to coffee and retailing.”  You know your product and your market but you don’t know your right from your left.  What a schmuck!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OJ3NJSXLSJCUY64Q4CTOZLCMUI John

    Where is this idiot’s creditability ???
    First he has to explain his donations to Obama! What did he base it on?
    The man said what he would do:
    Raise Taxes
    Spend us into debt
    Increase enery bills (Triple them, remember)
    Pass  ObamaCare
    Pass EPA regulation

  • DJS

    You must think conservatives and small government advocates are stupid.  What a transparent attempt to shill for the White House.  Americans don’t want politicians to get along…they want their freedom…BACK!  You’re a clown and the president is an unmitigated disaster.  Probably a nice guy.  No clue as to what drives the economy.  You, on the other hand, should know better.  The only thing I can think a boot licker like you is up to is that you’re attempting to curry favor to the monster in order to avoid being eaten….until last.  You have the courage of  a Hyena.   You have the subtly of a brick being thrown through a window.  Civility, ha!  You’re friends on the left are the most uncivil, race baiting, violence peddling bunch of whiners I’ve witnessed in 35 plus years of watching the political scene.   Let me tell you how civility works…we wait ’till the election and throw you’re butt’s out of power.