Financial Firm Claims it Had No Position on Employee Free Choice — While Lobbying On It

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Reuters picked up TPMDC’s story from yesterday on the union federation Change to Win’s request to deny bailout money to Principal Financial Group.

Curiously, Principal executives told Reuters that they have “not taken a position on the Employee Free Choice Act, nor do we plan to take such a position.”

The company did not deny lobbying on the union-organizing legislation in its statement, so we can only presume that spent money last year to tell Congress it took no position on the Secret Ballot Protection Act, which appears on its public disclosure reports. That Secret Ballot plan was intended as a direct counter-attack on the union-backed Employee Free Choice push, as this statement from a supportive conservative group makes clear.

A response to Principal from Change to Win’s Michael Garland, director of value strategies for the union’s investment group, follows after the jump.

In a transparent attempt to rewrite history to qualify for $2 billion in TARP assistance, the Principal Financial Group, issued a statement last night asserting that it has not taken a position on the Employee Free Choice Act. The public record indicates otherwise.

Principal disclosed lobbying on the Employee Free Choice Act throughout 2007 and 2008 in six separate reports filed with the U.S. Congress. Principal is also funding opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act through its membership in two leading business associations, the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) and the Business Roundtable, that are also lobbying against the Act. In fact, Principal’s Chairman, J. Barry Griswell, is on the board of directors of the FSR, which lobbied against the Act in 2007 and 2008 and has made it a legislative priority in 2009.

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