Who is “Killer Coke”?

As Frank Phillips reported today, and as we’ve already discussed, an outfit called “Killer Coke” doesn’t think much of Deval Patrick, and doesn’t want him to be elected Governor of Massachusetts.

So who is “Killer Coke,” also known as the “Campaign to Stop Killer Coke,” anyway?

Here’s what a little digging turns up.  It’s got a 718 (New York City/Brooklyn) phone number, and its mailing address is a PO Box in the 10276 zip code (Cooper Station, at the corner of E. 11th St. and 4th Ave. in southern Manhattan).  Its email is an unimposing “stopkillercoke@aol.com.”

Despite its “.org” URL, neither “Killer Coke” nor the “Campaign to Stop Killer Coke” is registered with the IRS as any sort of 501(c) non-profit organization.  Nor does the IRS or the FEC have any record of its being registered as a PAC, 527, or other political advocacy organization.  For that reason, no doubt, the “Campaign to Stop Killer Coke” donation page nowhere indicates either that donations are tax-deductible, or that they aren’t (as is required for political fundraising by organizations registered with the IRS).

In fact, the “Campaign to Stop Killer Coke” isn’t even registered as any kind of corporate or other business entity with the New York Department of State.  Really, the only thing we actually know about it is the name of its director, Ray Rogers.  So if you write a check to this “Campaign,” where does it go?

It appears – though we can’t be sure – that it goes to Ray Rogers’ private consulting business, called “Corporate Campaign, Inc.” (CCI, for short).  CCI, despite its “.org” URL, is a New York for-profit business corporation that specializes in advising unions on media and fundraising strategy and other aspects of their battles with private or public employers.  CCI’s telephone and fax numbers are identical to those listed on Killer Coke’s site.  Although material on the CCI site routinely speaks in the first person plural (“We are a team of experts…,” “We know where to find…,” etc.), there’s actually no indication from the site that CCI consists of anyone but its “president and director,” Ray Rogers.

So is the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke just a bank account owned by CCI, or by Ray Rogers?  We have no idea, and no way to find out {UPDATE: the answer seems to be “yes,” according to Bob’s interview with Rogers}.  There’s no doubt, though, that CCI and Killer Coke are closely related (if not identical).  In addition to the identical phone and fax numbers, Killer Coke is listed and linked as a “current campaign” on CCI’s home page, and all of Killer Coke’s web pages have two addresses – you can find every “killercoke.org” page at the alternate URL “corporatecampaign.org/killer-coke.”  (E.g., the “who we are” page (1 , 2 ), the “contact us” page (1 , 2 ), the “support us” page (1 , 2 ).)

All of which is to say that Killer Coke appears to be whatever Ray Rogers wants it to be.  Ray Rogers obviously doesn’t like Deval Patrick, so Killer Coke has inaugurated a campaign to defeat him.  But at this point, one has to question Frank Phillips’ description of Killer Coke as “a group of labor activists.”  It appears to be just Ray.

UPDATE: One last thought.  If, as appears to be the case, Killer Coke has no existence independent of CCI, which is a for-profit NY corporation, does an in-state campaign against Deval Patrick’s election (such as handing out leaflets) risk running afoul of Mass. campaign finance law?  I’m not enough of an expert on OCPF details to know – anyone?

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43 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. One of my childhood heroes

    Roy Rogers. Right up there with Roy Campanella.

    Or at least he was, until he put up those greasy restaurants on the Mass Pike. If Christy Mihos got rid of those, maybe I'll vote for him for Gubernor.

    Oh, wait! RAY Rogers? Never mind!

    Great post, David. Oh, boy, this is gonna be fun!

    I love the fact that all this innuendo is going to be called out for what it is. We better gear up, because the mud is going to be slung fast and furious. This "reality-based" community is going to have its hands full! Somehow, I think we're up to the task.

    This was just a super piece of research, and I do so look forward to more of the same.

  2. COKE, TEXACO, UNITED AIRLINES,and AMERIQUEST.

    What do these corporate giants all have in common? 

    Hint: Each one of these corporations have had to deal with serious human rights issues, ethics violations, environmental crimes and labor disputes. They needed to call on a lawyer willing to compromise his values in order to save the coproration money. Answer: Devall Patrick made a boat load of money as their lawyer and then stockpiled  millions into his bank account. He is the champion of corporate greed! (Now he's asking to be our Governor and he won't even spend his tainted money.)

    • Seriously?

      Patrick joined these companies TO CLEAN THEM UP. He left Coke because they were being unethical! Do you even read, or just swallow talking points?

      • Duvall was the only won who cleaned up.

        Don't be so naieve. Devall Patrick knew how to make money at others expense. He is NOT the man he claims to be. Sorry you were fooled.

  3. VERY Impressive

    Dave - I'm in total awe - that was some great, quick research you did. Kudos.

  4. David I believe you are right...

    This is not legal advice, but I believe the following to be true, if in fact this is a for-profit company:

    A for-profit New York company on its own will, transporting and distributing flyers which are clearly for political purpose in the Commonwealth of MA breaks a number of laws, under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State, not just OCPF rules.  MA rules are strict - any form of campaigning or political action in the state where money is raised must be done by an individual, or an individual's campaign committee and associated organization, or a PAC/People's Committee.  By not filing with OCPF, they would probably not impose a $500 contribution limit on people, request employer/occupation and other required OCPF information, and could theoretically have just a couple of large donors (which is what MA tries to prevent), and if any of them reside in MA, could be breaking several laws regarding individual limits for campaign finance.  Further, I believe this company, by infringing on corporate trademarks/copyrights (by not substantially altering company logos) has also put itself in a bad position with regard to other New York laws as well.  If by some chance this company's financial records end up in a court of law, and any Massachusetts citizens or groups are found to have contributed to this group for the purpose of printing political flyers against a candidate here, this information is sure to end up in the public spotlight and there may be some accountability. 

    If you see anyone distributing these flyers, or assisting anyone else in doing so, and recognize them, please notify an authority.  I might also suggest you carbon copy any complaint to the Patrick campaign as well, with the same information, to make sure that the authority you contact remains honest. 

    Negative campaigns are bad for everyone - and certainly, Killercoke and related organizations do not better their cause by doing this.  That flyer and much of what comes out of that campaign does not really elevate awareness for what I would hope is their true cause, which is preventing the mistreatment (or even worse) of multinational corporation workers in other countries.  I was aware of these allegations against Coke in the past, and I was actually sympathetic to this group standing up for those poor workers' rights.  However, I find this personal caricature attack on a man who no longer works at Coke and has no influence on their policy, in very poor taste.  It seems these people think that by causing some media storm through this negative publicity of Patrick, it helps to raise awareness of their cause (and we are all fueling the flame by blogging about it).  However, it is my genuine feeling that the result will not be mass-boycotts of Coke, or pickets lining Washington D.C. to change labor standards at U.S. companies operating overseas - no, in fact, by getting involved in a heated gubernatorial campaign, I think a lot of people in MA will be disgusted and will choose to start cracking down on these dirty campaign tactics, perhaps even pressing our federal legislators (and perhaps even legislators in NY like Clinton) to pass harsh laws against people/companies/organizations that spend significant money to campaign in other states (in non-federal elections) using libelous personal attack methods (and perhaps our state legislators should look at harsher laws for people who aid such campaigns within MA) - and if nothing else, not registering as a formal PAC or special interest organization with the Secretary's office. 

    Killercoke has certainly had some influence on me - I no longer believe they are good people, and I do not have plans to ever support or promote their cause.  I will write to my legislators and see what they can do to put places like Killercoke - with a mixed message of worker's rights and distasteful personal attacks - out of business.

  5. So what if...

    you were not a Mass-hole, and you took your own money ($100,000 of it, for example) and hired a bunch of people to stand at the last rest stop before MA on 95, 84, 91, 90, etc., handing out fliers.

    Since many people your employers came in contact with were MA residents, you'd get reach.  Since all of your activity is outside MA (the donation, the printing, and the leafleting), could MA law touch you?

    • Interesting hypothetical

      that poses questions about whether Mass. jurisdiction can constitutionally extend to such activity.  My guess: yes, since it's obviously intended to influence a Mass. election.  But it's not really apt here anyway, since (as far as we know) these leaflets are expected to be handed out inside Massachusetts.  Furthermore, Rogers has already talked to a MA reporter, and his website reaches inside MA, which is probably enough for MA to assert jurisdiction over him.

      • A similar scenario...

        which I didn't mention is billboards just out of state, betting that half the folks live in that state (and the other half are returning to their own state).

        What would MA do?  Enter the bordering state to arrest the guy?  Why would the other state play along, especially if the actions of the rogue campaigner would have been legal in his home state's elections?

        IANAL, I just find this stuff interesting...

  6. Thank You

    Very illuminating post, David.  I find it depressing that a political reporter for the state's leading newspaper was unwilling or unable to do the kind of basic, invistigative research that--in short order, no less--you were able to do.  Thanks for your work.  It helps make clear the importance of BMG in the media ecology of Massachusetts.  And since some of the news people (well, at least Kim Atkins and one or two others) seem to spend time on this site, let me add, on the off chance that he's not also too lazy to visit this site and read about his work's shortcomings:  shame on you, Frank Phillips.  Do your homework next time.

     

  7. Is this an in-kind donation?

    And who does it benefit?  Chris, Tom - even Kerry and Christy?  And do ANY of them have any control over the 'group'?

    It's as bad as the MTA!  Somehow, the plethora of issue mailing they cram mailboxes with never turn up on a campaign finance report....

    • what does the MTA do?

      I agree that the Killer Coke campaign finance stuff is crazy, but I'm wondering what kind of stuff the MTA send out. All I know about them is they're my wife's union and we get lots of discounts and stuff cause of it. Are the issue ad mailings targeting candidates? I'm going to assume it's more legit than this stuff though...

      I wonder i the MTA is how Gabrieli's campaign got my wife's name and address. We don't get Patrick ad mailngs (only fundraising letters) cause we're both pledged to vote for him in September...

      • To my knowledge

        The Patrick campaign has not started mailers yet.  Probably because right now, in towns all over the Commonwealth, there are hundreds of Deval Patrick volunteers knocking on doors and delivering lit personally.

        I know this because on any given weekend, I'm one of the volunteers. :-) 

  8. I don't know doodley about campaign finance law

    But if I form a for-profit corporation; ask for donations; then put up billboards saying that Mr. Patrick hugs fees, etc...are you saying I'm breaking the law?

    I'm skeptical. 

    Killer Coke is more anti-Coke than anti-Deval.  Mr. Patrick has simply gotten snagged in the collateral damage.

    But back to Killer-Coke, the Campaign laws aren't so restrictive so as to limit one 'activist' from speaking his mind on Coke's activities are they?

    • Good questions.

      There are a couple of issues here.  First, is it Ray Rogers, or is it CCI?  Obviously, since CCI is a corporation, it is greatly restricted in the extent to which it may participate in electioneering activities.  Second, if donations to the "Campaign to Stop Killer Coke" are used for an overtly anti-Patrick campaign - and I would disagree with you that Killer Coke's activities are only "collaterally" about Patrick, since at least since this page went up it's pretty overt (one of the sub-pages is called "Why Would Any Democrat Vote for Mr. Patrick?") - seems to me that the usual rules about contribution limits, disclosure, etc. should apply, yet there's no indication that Killer Coke is registered with OCPF or the FEC as any sort of political committee.  We're continuing to look into this and will update, hopefully later today.

      • UPDATE:

        I've tried to answer these questions in the post I just put up.  Your billboard hypothetical would turn completely on whether the message in that billboard constituted "express advocacy" (i.e., advocated the election or defeat of a specific candidate), or was just "issue advocacy" (i.e., saying nice or not nice things about a candidate).  If it's express advocacy, it might well be illegal.  Read the post, and then let me know what you think.

    • It's tricky

      From MGL Chapter 55 Section 8:

      [N]o business corporation incorporated under the laws of or doing business in the commonwealth and no officer or agent acting in behalf of any corporation mentioned in this section, shall directly or indirectly give, pay, expend or contribute, or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, any money or other valuable thing for the purpose of aiding, promoting or preventing the nomination or election of any person to public office, or aiding or promoting or antagonizing the interest of any political party.

      It seems to me, if you as a citizen want to put up a billboard, that is okay, but maybe subject to in-kind limits.  If you take those funds from your company to do it, then it's a violation.  When you're dealing with one-person companies, though, the distinction is very blurry.

  9. Deval's Hush Money?

    Deval got a seven figure going away package from Coke right before the Governor's race started. There is a clause in which Deval agrees to not speak of any activities concerning his involvement with Coke. Hmm, Did God blackmail Coke for $$$ to finance his campaign?

    Why didn't he blow the whistle on this South American activity? Why can his moral concerns be so easily boughht?

    Why will Kool-Aid Drinkers ignore issues concerning Deval that ordinarily would send them into a frenzy?

    Why? Why? Why?

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • It's a timeline for a novel

      EBIII is right.  There are some interesting things going on.  I look at it as 'business as usual' but others may not.  A (perhaps redundant) timeline of Mr. Patrick's employment history:

      1999-2001 Texaco. VP and General counsel

      2001 Joins Coke as Corporate General Counsel. Starting pay according to Globe of $1.5m.

      2002 Added title of Corporate Secretary of Coke.  A typical Corporate title held by many General Counsels.  Pay was increased to $2.0m somewhere between 2002 and 2004.

      2002 July Purchases property in Richmond, Massachusetts. Suntrust mortgage in the amount of $472,500.

      2003 Suntrust bank loaned $1.2 million taking back a mortgage on Milton property.  Suntrust doesn't record the mortgage. 

      Now that's odd.  Why wouldn't the bank secure its interest?  I could speculate, but won't.

      2003 In Fall, 2003 Mr. Patrick, in a public event sponsored by "Equal Justice Works" offered to create an independent body to investigate the allegations made against Coca-Cola. Coke CEO Douglas Daft (THE good business decision BTW) rejected the idea. Mr. Patrick was affiliated with EJW and frankly made a promise that probably wasn't in Coke's best interest.  IMHO.

      Guessin' that things went down hill from here between Coke and Patrick.

      March or April 2004 Resigns on Easter Sunday from Coke but agreed to resign effective 12/31/04. Receives $2.1M in 2004 for severence.  Severence in 2005 or 2006 or later? Dunno.  Mr. Patrick makes some statements to the effect that he sought no severance and that the BOD's opinion of his work product was not the reason for the resignation.

      So, if he resigned and sought no severance, why is there severance? Is it important for the electorate to know the terms of the severing? Dunno.  In my experience, that is one heck of a severance package.  Why? 

      June 16, 2004 Discharge of Suntrust mortgage on 6/16/2004 and refinances with Berkshire Bank on 8/2004.  Sounds like ties are being severed with Coke/Suntrust. Makes sense.  Sounds like the relationship between Suntrust and Coke is quite close.

      2005 Suntrust bank records $1.2 mortgage (the loan advanced to Mr. Patrick in 2003). 'bout time.

      2005 June Mr. Patrick purchases additional land in Richmond (Berkshire bank is Mortgagee)

      Today Total loans outstanding approximate $6.00 - $6.8 as of now (best guess). 

      Whoa! Now that's a debt load: 

      --Wife probably makes about $1.0m as an equity partner at Ropes & Gray. Plus or minus.  --Govenor of Mass makes what?  $200K?  $250K?  --How to swing debt service of $450K on combined after tax of $1.1K?

      There's definitely the makings of a novel here.

      • We Know He Made Money With Coke?

        No problem there. But how much extra $$$ did he get from Coke for keeping his mouth shut about terrible going ons after he left.  Aren't we talking allegations of human rights abuses?  That is a legitimate issue.

        He needs direct questions concerning coke, his relationship to coke, human rights abuse allegations, his role in investigating them his reason for leaving Coke, is there a clause that he not talk? If so how much was that clause worth in the good bye contract?

        eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  10. great work

    David:

    This might be your best work so far.  Highly informative.  Has Frank Phillips' contacted you yet? The Globe is having some serious credibility issues these past few weeks.

    • Yeah, it's a Big Nothing

      But the Kool Aid drinkers won't let it go.

      The only poeple who care about this coke nut in new york are you guys.

      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • Us and Frank, apparently.

        • No, Just You,

          It's worth a one day story and an ocassional mention. Which is what a political reporter, who writes every day just about, would give a little attention to. You guys take it a hundred times further. Then of course you get a hate going for the messenger, in this case Frank Phillips. Other times it is Joan Vennochi.

          I'm on to you David.

          eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
          • Ooooo, I'm scared!

            You're "on to" me?  Come on, Ernie.  You won't even tell anyone who you are.

            • LOL

              I'm on to your biases as far as your posts.

              But if you chose to take that as some sort of threat, I suggest that speaks more of the far lefts ability to relate with the common guy. Or lack there of.

              Because I am not in with the lefties and have some moderate views, and appear to be "old Boston", you are predisposed to think of me as some red nosed guy with a temper who's ready at the drop of a dime to punch you, or anyone else I don't agree with, in the face.

              I am certainly not intellectual enough to know all the right things, therefore, what I lack in intelligence I make up for in a willingness to engage in donnybrooks.

              You elitist bastards.

              LOL

              eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  11. Ray Rogers is not evil

    As a Deval supporter, I regret seeing this campaign.  Nevertheless, Mr. Rogers has done good work for many progressive causes over the past few decades, starting with the J.P. Stevens boycott in the 1970s.

    As progressives, don't we support most of the causes listed here? About Ray Rogers

    • Sure,

      but this isn't really about his other work.  It's about his decision to inject himself and/or his company into a Massachusetts election.

  12. What about the substance of Rogers' claims?

    Even if CCI is entirely run by Rogers (though it appears he has mobilized plenty of protestors around the world, and has significant labor ties), still, he lays out the case against Deval's recent career as well as I've seen it. This link contains more info than the flyer David linked to in an earlier post. I don't want to see Deval run out of this race by an anti-corporate jihad. But, seconding MaverickDem's recent post, I would like to see a defense of Deval's record as detailed as Rogers' brief.

    As to this post, I'm a bit troubled by its implications that 1, Rogers is a nutjob loner; and 2, we should be interested in legally muzzling him.

    Here's an independent profile of Rogers and his KillerCoke campaign, though it could be attributed to Rogers' apparently formidable PR skills.

    This is a reprint of a 1986 Fortune magazine profile, seems much more balanced.

    • Well,

      I wouldn't agree that the link you cite "lays out the case" in any substantially different form than it's been laid out before, other than that it uses lots of invective like "culture of unbridled greed."  The allegations are exactly the same as what we've already seen: he claims that Patrick "misled the public" about the situation at the Colombian bottling plant (but doesn't give us any more information, including specifically what it was that Patrick said publicly that was misleading), and then he jumps to Patrick's resignation in 2004.  Nothing new there.  He also talks about the Ecuador situation at Texaco.  It's tough to cut through the hyperbole on the site, but it sounds as though someone filed suit against Texaco in US courts, and Texaco moved to have the case dismissed under the doctrine of forum non conveniens (i.e., that the case should be litigated elsewhere, in this case in Ecuador) - an very standard tactic in cases like that one.  It's unclear to me whether Patrick himself initiated the motion, or whether Texaco used outside counsel (as would be the more common practice, since general counsels rarely litigate cases themselves).  In any event, if filing a motion for dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds is the worst thing Patrick has ever done, hard for me to get too worked up.

      • Okay but

        It may not contain new facts, but it underscores that at both Coke and Texaco the legal strategy while Deval was general counsel was to shield the corporation from U.S. standards on human rights in its foreign operations. I wonder if Deval, with his domestic civil rights experience, was out of his league in this global context. But when you bring your conscience to such companies, surely you go in knowing that the greatest predations will be in places where people have the least power.

        And I don't think the pedestrian nature of a legal tactic somehow divorces it from its moral and political context.

        • But again...

          How do you justify making Deval Patrick responsible for the entire legal and business strategy of two major multinational corporations?  Especially when, as David pointed out, it's not clear the extent of his involvement, if any at all, or the extent of any wrongdoing?  If he were that powerful, he'd be running for President.  And he'd win.

          This seems to me to be a pretty crazy discussion in general.

          • Exactly right.

            What a huge worthless distraction this all is.  Aaaarrrgh!

            As I said in a previous comment, a campaign for public office is about the future.  When we go into the voting booth, we are voting for the candidate's vision of the future, not giving the candidate a grade on what s/he did lawfully in the past (unless, of course, the candidate is an incumbent running for re-election). 

            This site is going to chew up and spit out the first exciting candidate to emerge in Massachusetts in years.  This is the sort of endless naval-gazing and kvetching that creates the disconnected wackiness the larger blogs suffer from.  Democratic cannibalism at its worst.  Daily Kos?  Oh no, we got your masturbatory perseveration going on right here. 

            • Devall Patrick is an unknown. WE HAVE QUESTIONS!!

              Are you saying that we should not check a persons credentials before supporting them as our party leaders? Are you Tom Reilly

            • That's absurd

              These are valid questions. And while DailyKos has largely stopped discussing issues, we want to make sure BMG remains a place where everyone is free to question. Heck, I'd be happy if the Healey supporters here were more vocal.

          • Don't panic, he's still in the lead

            I don't think it's going to decide the election, but it's not crazy to talk about it. If I were considering supporting Deval, I would be very concerned about it and want to know what his role was.

            And of course he's not responsible for these companies' business strategies, but as general counsel, wasn't he connected in some way to their legal strategies?

            It's probably true, though, that Deval was not in much of a position to influence these things, as evidenced by his departures. The bottom line may be that his business experience over the last decade is a wash for his candidacy. What should be among his top credentials will have to be played down, because it brings up too many thorny questions.

            Lightiris's feeling from this thread that BMG "is going to chew up and spit out" Deval's candidacy is an example of the attitude among too many Deval supporters here that when he comes under any criticism, it's a sign of the end times. It's a bit rich given the frequent mockery and condemnation aimed at the other two candidates.

            And if a candidate's past work experience isn't relevant to their ability to do the job, then what is? I don't vote on a candidate's "vision of the future," because they are all the same: everyone pulls together, empowered by my innovative, unifying leadership, and we all live happily ever after.

  13. What's the bottom line?

    I feel like we've been through this before with the financial statements 4 months ago.  I'll say it again:  If someone has something solid against Deval specifically, I'm listening.  If he recommended to Coke that they maintain substandard conditions in a bottling plant in South America in some type of memo, then fine.  I've got problems with that.  Otherwise, what you're really saying is that because: a.  He's made a ton of money from, b. multinational corporations, he's unfit to be governor.

    That's just naive.  Would you really have it so that every candidate we run up there is poor with no corporate experience?  We don't you just cede the corner office to the Republican party from here to eternity?  Get real.

    • It might even help Deval

      On the campaign trail, as a Deval canvasser, I have come across at least 5 Republicans who are voting for or leaning towards Patrick.  They LIKE the fact that he has worked in corporations and knows the inside of that world. 

      It's not why I like him, but being able to speak the language of the corporate world seems to be a good selling point for those so inclined.  I believe that it was one that Romney used effectively to get elected.  Perhaps, Deval will, unlike Romney, even follow through and use his insights to help the state economically.  I know that we could use some job creation help in Southeastern Mass.

      I think Frank Phillips should stop digging for dirt on Patrick and get a life.  So far his writing on the campaign has exemplified the worst form of journalism - heavy on innuendo and light on substance.

      As for Killer Coke, even lefties have questions about Ray Rogers.

       

  14. Look At The Facts

    1. Deval worked for Coke, at a time when there were allegations of human rights problems in a foreign plant - Coke has had many many such allegations against them well before Deval worked for them.  As with any high level employee anywhere, Deval had to sign a Non Disclosure, Non Solicitation, Non Compete, SEC disclosure docs, and a bunch of other documents which restrict what he is allowed to say about internal happenings at Coke (both during and after his employment).  Coca Cola is the Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School number one business case for trade secret/intellectual property protection.  Generally this is in reference to their "formula", however, go ahead, ask someone who went to business school here or a professor - they all know Coke is the most fierce company with regard to corporate secrecy.  In the past century, no other company has had quite this same reputation - therefore, nobody in their right mind would ever break a legal agreement with them.  2. Deval was hired for a position which held him accountable for legal/ethical considerations regarding the entire global network of Coke workers.  He had hundreds of active legal and labor issues to deal with at any moment in time.  Coca Cola provided him with authority and the budget to do his job, which among other things, could be used to hire outside counsel/investigators for particular cases; the CEO, as with any executive administration, has the right to veto the use of funds for particular expenditures.  At some point during the course of his employment Deval may or may not have become aware of details concerning human rights with respect to employees or contracted employees in another country - however, it is known that he wanted to launch an investigation. 3. Deval left the company amidst an internal political battle, and made a statement that upper management did not respect his request for Coke to hire an outside independent counsel/investigation.  Deval and Coke did not issue any additional statements on the matter, and Deval was offered a regular consulting fee which he still collects.

    As David pointed out earlier, it is generally known that top legal people in companies often hire outside investigators or counsel, so that the company does not appear to be doing a fluff-investigation and exonerating itself.  Further, independent investigators might often bring a special expertise on certain matters like labor law/union-busting and related violence.  Deval claims that Coke refused his request, thereby leaving him with a job conflict; Coke has not denied that this happened.  It was Deval's job to investigate this matter, but his superior refused him the resources to do his job.  If Deval stayed within Coke, surely his name would be tarnished, and his superiors would ultimately find a way to silence him or terminate him, as no major company retains "troublemakers".  If Deval left Coke and used company information to assist in the prosecution of people within Coke as a whistleblower (Coke is such a hugely distributed company, it may be the case Deval could never have obtained enough hard evidence to convince a prosecutor that anybody did anything wrong - there may be very little paper trail, taped conversation or other evidence), surely the Dow Index-component company would unleash the fury with multimillion dollar lawsuits on him for breaking NDA, he would be in court for 5 years or more, face possible disbarment, and his life would be ruined.  They would likely have framed him as a disgruntled employee looking for revenge - and he would never get a job, let alone, enter politics. 

    However, Deval, faced with no feasible option, and no means of justice, decided to leave the company and I applaud him for "taxing" his former company and insisting that they compensate him for his future loss of income, and potential damage to his reputation.  He did so in a way that avoided the court system, which I also applaud because our taxes often pay for these outrageously drawn-out civil and criminal cases which often end up costing millions.  Deval stood up against one of the largest companies in the country, and for that, I think he is incredibly brave, and makes him a great leader.  Further, I believe strongly that he made the right choice not to fight Coca Cola in a civil suit or criminal case which could not be won (and which would have been held largely behind closed doors, so it is not as if Deval could have done much to bring this issue to public light in any significant way), especially if the criminal case were largely tried in a foreign country, which would have happened, without a doubt. 

    If you can not win a war, you need to know when to pull out, taking with you whatever you can, and fight another battle.  Our leaders in the White House need to take Deval's lead. 

     

  15. ernieboch3, lighten up a bit, will ya?

    I won't and don't want to try to speak for anyone else, such as David or other BMG hosts, but I will say that what you refer to as "biases" in the posts on this site might actually be more aptly named "underlying beliefs, values, or principles".  Heck, maybe that's what a bias is!  I don't know everything but I do have values I will stand by quite firmly, and I have some solid knowledge in a few areas that I try to share with others in useful ways: nursing practice, health care reform, and being a Mom, to name a few.  I'm sure you've got useful knowledge too and that this site values and repects that.

    Anyhow, I would suggest you lighten up and refrain from calling people "bastards".  That's not nice nor very civilized and simply serves to have folks shut their ears to you and to other things you might say.

    • No worries, Ann.

      I'm a big boy.  And I think Ernie's cute when he's mad.  ;-)

    • That's true

      David you can handle it, but it degrades the atmosphere at BMG. Ernie, you can make you points without being rude. Please try to be more witty and less insulting.

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Wed 27 Aug 10:57 AM