Saturday, January 29, 2005

Power Line and TCF Bank: The Sinclair Broadcasting of the Savings and Loan Industry?

Pride and Gout are seldom cur'd throughout.--Poor Richard

TCF Bank has recently announced advertising boycotts of the Star-Tribune and City Pages because of negative publicity regarding the Republican activist blogging of its employee, Scott Johnson, founding partner of the militant, law-suit happy Republican blog, Power Line, and City Pages coverage of TCF Bank's exclusively Republican political contributions. With these actions, TCF Bank has effectively announced to the world that they not only intend to explicitly and self-consciously promote and support right-wing Republican causes, but they will also use their corporate assets to defend them from any and all criticism through their advertising practices. It is becoming increasingly clear with each passing day that the right-wing side of our current "information restoration" is in large part simply one more platform for corporate lawyers like Scott Johnson, and corporate patrons, like TCF Bank and its president, Bill Cooper (former chair of the Minnesota Republican Party), to pose as the voice of "the people" while advancing a corporate Republican agenda.

(In the case of the Star-Tribune, it could be argued that Cooper was responding to Nick Coleman's suggested boycott. Given Power Line's founding goal of delegitimizing Democratic political views and any paper that occasionally voices them, the Star-Tribune's lack of sympathy is hardly surprising. The boycott of City Pages, however, puts in writing that TCF's official corporate position is promotion of the Republican Party, and defense of the activist Republican agenda of its highest profile employee.)

Tired of reading confused right-wing propaganda on the blogosphere? Pulling your money out of TCF is a simple way to make a statement about Republican political activism that says at least they won't be promoting their cause with your money. (Besides, as a bank they suck. I pulled my money out years ago because they are a punitive, penalty-charging user-nasty, slum-lordish money-trap of a bank.)
Now if we could just get a similar degree of transparency in the Executive Branch of the federal government...


Power Line and TCF Bank: A Match Made in Republican Heaven

Mike Mosedale:
TCF...was a struggling S&L before Bill Cooper took control...Politically speaking...the company is a straight-up high roller, and an avid fellow traveler of the Republican political machine.

To begin with, there is Cooper himself, who is the former chair of the state Republican Party, former board member of the Center of the American Experiment, and founder of a group called the Conservative Council, which has made a mission of purging Republicrats--i.e., moderate Republicans--from the party. Meanwhile, over the last three election cycles, Cooper and his wife Sharon have been among the party's more generous benefactors, doling out approximately $171,000 in contributions to assorted GOP candidates and causes.

More notable, however, is the overall giving pattern at TCF. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics, TCF has consistently ranked in the top 10 savings & loans nationwide in terms of overall political contributions. In 2002 and 2004, according to the Center, 100 percent of the TCF contributions went to Republicans; in 2000--an off year for company ideologues?--the figure was a mere 99 percent.

By way of comparison, the top 20 savings & loans were considerably more evenhanded in their giving patterns. In 2004, for instance, 53 percent of S&L contributions went to Republicans and 47 percent to Democrats. Among the top 10, TCF was the only organization to give exclusively to Republicans.

continued below:
TCFU

Update:

Mobjectivist on The Big Trunk doing Power Line blogging on TCF's time and TCF's inexplicable pretense that it doesn't happen (I don't care that he does it, but why deny it?):
What I Believe

The New Patriot on TCF's coming even further out of the Republican activist closet:
Don't Cross TCF