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Wells Fargo Teaches Ford a Lesson
Huffington Post
Gene Stone
December 6, 2005

As many people now know, Ford Motors is in the middle of a public affairs fiasco. Last week, after a meeting with the ultra-right wing American Family Association (AFA), Ford announced that it would abruptly pull all its advertising from gay publications.

Ford's spokesperson Mike Moran announced that Ford had agreed with the essence of AFA's complaints--that the company was far too tolerant, even supportive, of gays.

According to John Arovosis' Americablog, the two representatives of Ford who negotiated the deal with the AFA were a former Bush staffer and major GOP donor named Ziad Ojakli, who was also the Senate liaison for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team, as well as a legislative assistant to Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), one of the Senate's most rightwing members; and David Leitch, a former deputy general counsel to President George W. Bush, and currently the general counsel at Ford.

In other words, Ford's total capitulation to the AFA and its homophobic demands was accomplished by former members of the Bush White House.

Why is this not surprising?

Meanwhile, another far-right group, Focus on the Family, has announced that it will close all its Wells Fargo accounts because the San Francisco bank contributed to a gay rights group that promised to use the funds to "fight ... the anti-gay industry."

"We don't expect corporate America to do our bidding on the issues, but when they use the proceeds from our business and give them to others who clobber us over the head, we say enough is enough," said Focus on Family's Tom Minnery.

How did Wells Fargo respond? Did they immediately cave to the far-right, as Ford did?

From SFGate.com comes this quote from Chris Hammond, a spokesmen for Wells Fargo, which gives about two million dollars a year to gay and lesbian organizations: "We absolutely made a $50,000 grant to GLAAD, and we're absolutely proud of our support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."

Wells Fargo has made it clear that it will spend its money, donate to community causes, and advertise as it wishes, not as the Bush White House and its rightwing cronies desire.

Wells Fargo: a corporation willing to stand up to bigotry and intolerance. What a difference from Ford, the corporation that now seems to stand somewhere to the right of Antonin Scalia and Attila the Hun.

If you feel like it, send Wells Fargo a note telling them you appreciate their integrity. Contact them at: