Follow the Money: Macy's

Two years ago the so-called Progressive Congress went after Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren for his involvement with the nonpartisan Fix the Debt Coalition. The liberal group accused Lundgren of betraying the “spirit of Christmas“ by lobbying for common-sense economic reforms like lowering taxes, reducing the deficit and fixing Medicare and Social Security, which the Huffington Post was more than happy to insinuate amounted to “Grinch”-like behavior.


Thanks to massive advertising campaigns, retail giants like Macy’s earn just as much public scrutiny as they do in sales revenues this time of year. Just last week, a television audience of over 50 million tuned in to see another 3.5 million in live attendance at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an event which has become synonymous with Thanksgiving Day morning and unofficially kicks off the Christmas shopping season. In the coming weeks, as families get ready for Christmas by watching movies like “The Miracle on 34th Street,” the Macy’s brand will be even more closely tied to the excitement of the season.

Given Macy’s investment in Christmas marketing and the reliance of all retailers on seasonal sales to buffer the year’s bottom line, it’s not surprising that many of these same companies and their CEOs would advocate for policies that support a strong economy for consumer spending. Joining Macy’s as members of the Fix the Debt Coalition are corporations like Marriott International, General Electric and CVS Caremark.

Yet, many of these companies, including Macy’s, are heavily involved with liberal advocacy groups on several issues. For example, the Macy’s Foundation has made direct contributions to abortion provider Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights advocates such as the League of Women Voters, the YWCA and Girls, Inc. On the marriage issue, Macy’s is listed as a Bronze level partner of the Human Rights Campaign and has also supported the Tides Foundation which supports efforts “to shift the landscape” on same sex marriage. The Macy’s Foundation has also contributed to numerous liberal environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Foundation and others that advocate for policies like Cap-and-Trade, carbon tax legislation and limiting oil and gas development, including opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.


The clever ruse of leftist groups is that they position their advocacy as “humanitarian” activity. However, the recent midterm election season showed that groups like Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Defense Fund do not limit their activities to mere service and education. These liberal organizations consistently activate their grassroots networks and fund television advertising in key races across the country just like they did this year in Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina to name a few.

Macy’s will operate in its own self interest as evidenced by the willingness to take a strong stand for responsible economic policy. However, a portion of every dollar that conservatives spend at Macy’s this Christmas shopping season will go to support liberal groups that actively work against the values that those very conservatives vote for each election. Unfortunately, Macy’s feels comfortable enough to fund these liberal activities because conservatives do not hold the company accountable.
Chris Walker is the Executive Director of 2nd Vote, a conservative shopper app. To find out more, download the free app or visit


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