The Corner

More on the Brown Bailout

Yesterday, I talked about how FedEx and UPS are at war over a provision under consideration in the Senate that would expand union power at FedEx. The sad part of this story is that in this political capitalism that we have (which is quite different from capitalism), UPS’s best business move is to try to impose high costs upon Fed Ex through the legislative process, instead of fighting to free itself from the unions.

Today the drama continues. Politico brings us this incredible story:

The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

For the $2 million+, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and / or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)”

The conservative group’s remarkable demand — black-and-white proof of the longtime Washington practice known as “pay for play” — was contained in a private letter to FedEx that was provided to POLITICO.

The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.

Read more here and dream of a world where businesses are fight on the basis of their own merits, where lawmakers do not decide who will or will not be unionized, and where principles matter.

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