2012 Election | Mitt Romney | News

New Balance Distances Itself from $500K Donation by Chairman James Davis to Anti-Gay PAC Backing Mitt Romney

In response to revelations late last week that New Balance Chairman James Davis had donated $500,000 to the campaign of NOM-supporter and anti-gay GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, the company has responded with a statement on Facebook.

Davis New Balance Statement on Political Donation
A letter from our CEO:

Dear New Balance associates, customers and consumers:

Earlier this year, a private donation was made by our Chairman to a political action committee that is affiliated with Mitt Romney. First, let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance. We encourage civic engagement at all levels and will always respect the right of any of our associates to engage in the political process as they see fit. We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different.

Mr. Romney recently signed a pledge that challenges same sex marriage and that has offended many including those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Mr. Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis’, my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community. As a company, New Balance embraces the differences in all people and we work tirelessly to create and sustain an environment where everyone – our associates, consumers, customers and guests – are treated with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,

Rob DeMartini
President/CEO

Here's the pledge they're referring to, if you missed it last week.

Change.org had demanded answers from the company. Is this sufficient?

(image source)

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Comments

  1. More weasel words from the LDS and their evil minions.

    Posted by: ggreen | Aug 10, 2011 9:32:36 AM


  2. "our associates, consumers, customers and guests – are treated with dignity and respect" Translation: "We're happy to take your money, even though we want you dead."

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 10, 2011 9:34:02 AM


  3. No more New Balance shoes for me.

    Posted by: David Groff | Aug 10, 2011 9:38:30 AM


  4. "Our CEO wants to legislate you out of existence, but in the meantime, please keep buying our products."

    Posted by: prophet | Aug 10, 2011 9:39:59 AM


  5. "No one who isn't a frat boy or Steve Jobs has any business wearing New Balance. Ever."

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Aug 10, 2011 9:45:58 AM


  6. Yes. For me it is sufficient. The donation came from the private funds of one individual, the Chairman (NOT the CEO), and not from the company. He has the legal right to make donations to the candidate of his choice, just as I have a legal right to make similar (much smaller) donations. I might change my mind if there are further revelations of donations to Mr. Romney directly from the corporation.

    Posted by: james | Aug 10, 2011 9:48:11 AM


  7. In a word, "NO".

    While your chairman is certainly welcome to support whatever candidates and issues he pleases, I am also welcome to spend my dollars with companies who leaders are not trying to legislate me out of existence.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 10, 2011 9:48:16 AM


  8. @prophet: You have it exactly right.

    Not that I'm a big fan of trainers, but it's good to know that I can discount NB from *ever* getting a single penny from me.

    Posted by: justinw | Aug 10, 2011 9:48:52 AM


  9. bye bye new balance...

    Posted by: Gay American | Aug 10, 2011 9:49:43 AM


  10. So, yes... officially we abhor discrimination.

    But, please take solace in knowing that with the purchase of every New Balance product, you are now in fact, funding your own.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Aug 10, 2011 9:49:50 AM


  11. I have no problem with this. I don't think we should expect companies to control their employee's private actions (however repugnant we find them). New Balance has made it clear that they do not share the views of one of their chairmans.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Aug 10, 2011 9:53:46 AM


  12. Same crap that came from Jockey underwear when their President went off the rails two years ago. Love your money, hate you. Now please keeping buying our sh*t so that we can share it with your executioners. Stopped buying Jockey, eating at Chick-Fil-A and will now stop buying New Balance shoes.

    Posted by: JKM | Aug 10, 2011 9:54:10 AM


  13. Anti-gay pledge aside, surely Jim Davis knew of Romney's general anti-gay positions. $500k is a huge donation, so Romney must have something that REALLY appeals to Mr. Davis for for him to consider the anti-gay positions incidental.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 10, 2011 9:58:40 AM


  14. Kind of ironic that there was a New Balance banner at the top of the page greeting me.

    Well at least some of their money is coming back to you!

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 10, 2011 10:03:11 AM


  15. The paragraph regarding "Mittens" recently signing a pledge against marriage equality is a little iffy. Romney is Mormon, therefore it's understood(to me at least) that he will represent the church's stance on the issue, which is no, no, no. The statement about him signing the pledge makes it seem like Davis had no idea until Mittens put pen to paper. After all, who was the big funder and pushed hard for Prop 8 in California? The mormon church, remember? Knock knock, yoo-hoo! helloooooo-anybody home?
    Sure, he makes a "private" donation, but where did the money come from? Surely not the sale of shoes! A curious aside-where are the shoes made? USA? Offshore? Hmmmm. And why did the President apologize for the CEO? Shouldn't the CEO be issuing his own statement? He states in the letter his "support for the gay, lesbian..., etc" but if the CEO is supporting a candidate that is in no way going to support lbgt rights, just how exactly does that qualify as support? It says to me that we(New Balance) will support lgbt rights only as much as the government says we have too, and no more. And if getting our business agenda behind a political candidate means denying rights to individuals, so be it.

    Just sayin.

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 10, 2011 10:09:29 AM


  16. No more Nike's. No more New Balance. Not that I ever purchased either. Puma and Adidas were founded by ex-Nazi's (now dead), but the company has had labor issues (low wages, etc) and pollution issues. Which is a shame because I really liked Puma's, but won't buy them. Even Converse, an all America company, is now made with cheap materials and labor overseas. So what's left? Bare feet, I guess.

    I think Chairman Davis should resign for the good of the company. I sure do wish we could get money out of politics. Publicly funded elections will be this nation's only salvation. As it is now, our government is bought and controlled by corporate America and is in fact a plutocracy.

    Posted by: Bob R | Aug 10, 2011 10:09:52 AM


  17. I would take their apology more sincere if the company donated to pro equality movement. Perhaps they do, I am unaware, but until then their apology is merely what "Prophet" posted.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 10, 2011 10:11:02 AM


  18. Many companies with anti-gay sympathetic chairmen/presidents will have this as a template now as they make even more political contributions in the future.

    This statement is as hollow as it gets. In other words, "you gays should keep buying our products and we will keep using that money to make private contributions that in no way represents the views of our company."

    They want to have it both ways.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Aug 10, 2011 10:14:29 AM


  19. Oops! My bad! I confused the Chairman and the CEO in my previous post. More coffee please. Apologies.

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 10, 2011 10:16:08 AM


  20. I agree with Andrew (above; 10:11:02AM)

    If NB gave $500K to AFER (or similar) that would say a lot more than a few words do.

    Posted by: Oliver | Aug 10, 2011 10:18:34 AM


  21. his money comes from nu balance. in turn it comes from the people buying their product. so boycotting these shoes will deny the chairman large bonuses to give to people who hate us. their are a lot of other companies out making trainers. beside i thought there was a limit to how much an individual can contribute to a candidate.

    Posted by: walter | Aug 10, 2011 10:19:45 AM


  22. One thing that should be clarified is that political contributor Jim Davis is not just the Chairman of New Balance but also along with his family the private owner of the company.

    Posted by: Sean Chapin | Aug 10, 2011 10:22:35 AM


  23. @David in Houston, Mr. Davis is not just an employee of New Balance. He is the owner of the company. New Balance is a privately held company, so there really is no seperation between Mr. Davis and his company.

    Posted by: Travshad | Aug 10, 2011 10:31:54 AM


  24. Argh screw that! New Balance is anti-gay and wants Mitt Romney to ruin our lives. Why should we give money to people that only hurt us?? Sorry, but I don't need to support homophobes.

    Posted by: X | Aug 10, 2011 10:41:23 AM


  25. Good bye New Balance! This gay money is going somewhere else.

    Posted by: ayct | Aug 10, 2011 10:49:50 AM


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