Money-Grubbing Company’s CEO Praises Politician Who Paid Him


It’s tempting to wonder whether Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo made a governor-praising op-ed by CEO Bob Baird a condition of the state government’s tax-dollar handout to pen-company A.T. Cross:

Enter Gov. Gina Raimondo. In 2014, soon after she was elected, Governor Raimondo called to tell us she loved our history in Rhode Island and looked forward to using a Cross pen to put her signature on official documents. Later, when the governor and her team learned we were talking to other states about pulling up our roots and beginning anew somewhere else, they made it clear they value Rhode Island companies that have been here all along. The governor, Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and their team made a compelling case that our business is best served by staying in Rhode Island and that our employees will find everything they are looking for here at home.

Most likely, though, the CEO’s public promotion of the governor was more of a wink and nod affair than a contractual stipulation, or maybe it’s simple etiquette in the you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours crowd.

I will say that I’ll never deliberately buy an A.T. Cross pen, now, although if the company decides to send a thank you gift to every Rhode Islander for our involuntary contribution to the company’s bottom line, I’ll take one.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Trying to think of the last time I saw a once distinctive A.T. Cross pen. I thought they were already history.

    • Raymond Carter

      To be fair they are great pens. I got a pair for graduation 35 years ago I still use. Very easy to write with.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        Yeah, 35 years ago! Not denying they are good, just thought they were already gone. If you think they are easy to write with, try a fountain pen.