Conservative Group Tried to Sell its Support for $2M

Offered to launch campaign backing FedEx in legislative battle
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2009 8:21 AM CDT
In this photo from May 12, 2009, a cable car passes a FedEx truck in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – A major conservative group offered its backing to FedEx on a bill before the Senate—for a price tag of at least $2 million, Politico reports—and then, when FedEx didn't take the bait, switched sides. A letter to FedEx shows the American Conservative Union proffered services like writing op-eds in support of the company's position against a bill interpreted as favoring competitor UPS. But when FedEx didn't ante up, the ACU backed UPS instead.

The measure at issue is a provision, already passed by the House, that would replace one union contract for FedEx's US employees with a separate contract for each location, a huge headache already borne by UPS. Says the letter: “For the activist contact portion of the plan we will contact over 150,000 people per state multiple times at a cost of $1.39 per name or $2,147,550 to implement the entire program.” It offers more services for a total of $3,397,550. Two weeks after the date of the letter, ACU signed a letter supporting UPS and accusing FedEx of “misleading the public and legislators.”