Wanting Your Business but Backing Those Who Take Your Money Away


Why businesses involve themselves with electoral politics — as distinct from policy matters and ballot questions — is a question worth considering.  All things being equal, companies (especially retail companies) should be disinclined to make public political declarations that they are under no obligation to make, and yet, Ted Nesi reports:

Noted: Tasca Auto, Cardi’s Furniture and Carpionato Group (!) out with a mailer to Cranston voters today backing Mattiello (D) and Fung (R)

Tasca and Cardi’s spend tens of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars trying to make everybody in the area think well of them.  Why would they turn around and risk angering a large segment of their consumer base?  My household is finally getting to a place at which new furniture and cars are not out of the question, and I know this mailer makes me less inclined to contribute to Cardi’s and Tasca’s establishment-reinforcing bottom lines.

Granted, unlike the nation as a whole, Rhode Island isn’t exactly a fifty-fifty state, but even so, these companies must expect to derive greater profits through political support of the status quo than they would from all of the customers who’ll shop somewhere else because of it.  That, ultimately, is the problem, because mixed in with every other issue that voters must consider, it distorts the entire process by which we decide how we want to be governed.

  • Joe Smith

    Why would they turn around and risk angering a large segment of their consumer base?

    Thanks Justin..I needed a good laugh…do you honestly think a “large segment” of their population even *know* let alone care that Cardi or Tasca endorsed anyone??

    This is simple cost-benefit; Mattiello and Fund can impact them (or at least have the potential to) so a few bucks of good will as an insurance policy is a minimal cost for the benefit as compared to the highly unlikely potential cost of an ill-informed and barely majority participating (54% in 2012) electorate thinking about anything other than cost/convenience/product offerings when it comes to their purchasing?