Lanny Davis: Whole Foods Dust Up An Example Of Extremes On Both Left And Right

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Turns out Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who brought heat upon himself and his company yesterday by penning an anti-health care reform op-ed in the Wall Street Journal–has at least one familiar defender: Clinton special counsel, and Lieberman ally Lanny Davis.

“The John Mackey piece, which I actually helped him a little bit on, has really been distorted as often happened in the blogosphere where people have short attention span,” Davis told me.

Davis represented Whole Foods in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, in which they charged that the upscale grocery store giant was engaging in monopolistic practices. Davis is a supporter of single payer health care, but, he says, disagreements with Mackey aside, Whole Foods is a progressive company that has instituted a strict cap on executive compensation and that provides 100 percent of their employees with health insurance. (Mackey says that Whole Foods covers 100 percent of premiums for 89 percent of all employees.)

Davis says the dust up over Mackey’s op-ed is “an example of how we on the left start to mirror the extreme tactics on the right.”

“He didn’t attack Obama. It was an issues oriented piece.”

In the wake of yesterday’s controversial piece, health care reform supporters have threatened to boycott Whole Foods.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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