Hmm. If you knew that John N. Nordstrom gave $25,000 to finance the political schemes of the leader of a local chapter of the John Birch Society, would you be more or less likely to shop at his family’s department stores? If you knew that the gay-bashing recipient of Nordstrom’s largesse had once sponsored a city initiative to overturn the sexual orientation provisions of Seattle’s fair employment and open housing ordinances, would you hesitate before spending your hard earned cash at our city’s most famous retailer?
Well… now you know.
As of the latest public disclosure period, Nordstrom is by far the largest contributor to Initiative 920, which would repeal Washington’s estate tax. Indeed, his $25,000 comprises over a third of the total contributions raised thus far.
And the initiative’s sponsor and committee director is none other than Dennis Falk, a disgraced ex-Seattle police officer and lifelong Bircher, who was removed from active duty in 1978 after killing a retarded man by shooting him in the back. (Two officers who were near the scene testified that they never heard Falk yell any warnings before shooting the suspect.)
Falk is man who clearly does not represent the views or best interests of the majority of Washingtonians, as evidenced by what he told the Seattle Times in 1978 after the failure of his anti-gay initiative:
“I think we may have attempted to solve a problem a year or two in advance of when we should have put it on the ballot… Maybe we should have let these homosexuals carry on with their recruiting of our children for another year or so. As they flaunt their deviant behavior in the face of the general public, the public will become concerned and we’ll get it on the ballot again.”
Falk is a man who thinks Ronald Reagan was “a liberal” and who believes right-wing talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh are under the thumb an internationalist conspiracy:
“I appreciate him stirring the pot. But the day Rush attacks the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations is the day he will no longer be on the national airwaves.”
And that’s the kind of far right-wing, hate-filled political nutcase who Nordstrom is financing with his $25,000. It’s bad enough that Nordstrom — a company director and former co-chairman who owns a 3.6 percent stake — is putting so much of his family’s money into such a blatantly selfish initiative… but backing a man like Falk is simply inexcusable.
Public corporations and their principals — especially retailers — need to be very sensitive about the political figures and causes to which the contribute… lest they risk generating some awfully bad publicity for themselves and their business. So let this be fair warning to any other prominent businessperson who intends to back I-920: I intend to scour the PDC reports from here on out, and loudly publicize your financial contribution to the gay-bashing, back-shooting, lifelong Bircher, Dennis Falk.