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WARNINGS oF DIRE PERIL… A _Era GIANT RUSK… A IIUGE BLAND Ciltek.,. THIS ALL SEEM FAMILIAR.,. desperate to save the TRCC. Given the industry’s political pull, you have to like its chances. The state’s biggest political donor, home builder Bob Perry, donated $141,000 to the 2006 campaigns of legislators sitting on the Sunset Commission, according to the nonprofit watchdog group Texans for Public Justice. The biggest contribution$45,000went to Republican Sen. Glenn Hegar of Katy; vice chair of the Sunset Commission. Republican Sen. Bob Deuell of Mesquite received $40,000 from Perry. Melissa del Bosque Corporate Citizens U.S. COMPANIES SPURN THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE In 1997, Ralph Nader sent letters to the 100 largest U.S.based corporations, asking them to begin their next shareholder meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. The nearly unanimous responserecently reported in Pat Choate’s new book, Dangerous Business: The Risks of Globalization for Americaprovides a revealing portrait of corporate citizenship in this country. \(You may remember Choate as Ross Perot’s vice Choate writes that 99 of the 100 corporate CEOs rejected the idea \(only Federated Department Stores, now known as others said it would be a waste of shareholders’ time. Allstate Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Boeing Co. called the pledge “inappropriate at a business meeting” Choate tells us the CEO of Boeing has said “he hoped the world would soon think of Boeing as a global corporation, not an American one.” \(Boeing is also a builder of the federal government’s border wall between Mexico and the United States, for which the company “The Ford Motor Company,” Choate writes, “said it did not believe the concept of ‘corporate allegiance’ is possible.” These corporations, Choate reminds us, have received trillions in government subsidies, tax breaks, and research and development assistance. Local and state governments also have provided tax-exempt loans for corporations. Choate is particularly concerned that these same corporations not only receive contracts to privatize government functions, but also play a big role in our elections to make sure their advantaged position is maintained. Their justification? Former General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch states, “My job is to take care of the stockholders of GE. It’s the president’s and Congress’s job to take care of the nation.” Geoff Rips OCTOBER 3, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7