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Press Release

    FreedomWorks, Utah Tea Party Groups Demand GE “Fire Jeff Immelt”

    04/26/2011

    Salt Lake City, UT- Tomorrow, FreedomWorks will lead a coalition of Utah tea party groups to protest General Electric Chief Executive Jeff Immelt’s cozy corporate relationship with the Obama Administration. The “Fire Jeff Immelt Rally” will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Mountain time) at the GE annual shareholders meeting, held this year at the Salt Palace Convention Center on 2nd and West Temple.

    “Jeff Immelt is the face of government-corporate cronyism in America today,” commented Russ Walker, vice president of political and grassroots campaigns for FreedomWorks. “As President Obama’s hand-picked chair of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Immelt abandoned the tenets of free enterprise to lobby on behalf of rent-seeking General Electric and restrict its competitors in the marketplace.”

    At GE, Immelt currently employs a staff of over 900 tax experts and lobbyists, who by exploiting green energy deductions and loopholes in our broken tax system, allowed GE to avoid paying a nickel in taxes this year. Despite these tax breaks GE still receives government handouts and earned $14.2 billion in profits. In the 2008 elections, GE’s political action committee contributed $1.55 million to mainly Democratic candidates, with then-candidate Barack Obama as the largest recipient. In the years since, the Immelt-led General Electric lobbied for the passage of the $787 billion “stimulus” bill, borrowed $16 billion from the Federal Reserve, and supported the passage of an energy-killing cap and trade bill.

    This protest is part of a larger national campaign led by FreedomWorks and the Free Enterprise Project to fire Jeff Immelt, including online video ads, and a petition.

    The campaign is supported by a poll of conservative voters conducted by FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research, which revealed that companies supporting President Obama’s big-government policies risk suffering a dramatic drop in customer favorability. An overwhelming 81 percent of conservative voters active in the Tea Party are less likely to buy products from companies like General Electric that have actively lobbied in favor of Obama’s legislative agenda. FreedomWorks and tea party activists are gathering to support several shareholders resolutions in the meeting calling on GE management to fully disclose the business risk of GE climate change strategy to shareholders.