A group of corporate limousine companies is handing out millions of dollars to the Democratic Party, and its own lobbyists are giving a $25,000 annual check to the Vermont branch of the Republican National Committee.
The cash comes in the form of a new perk for companies with employees at the corporate level.
The company, the Boston Consulting Group, is giving away its own employees’ union dues to the Republican Party.
The benefit is meant to reward companies that hire union workers for their work in helping to improve the quality of corporate life, said the group’s president, William O. Bell, in an interview.
Bell has worked for years with Republican and Democratic lobbyists to promote corporate welfare at the expense of workers’ rights.
Bell said he and his colleagues have found some of the most lucrative deals in the industry to be in the hospitality industry.
“The most profitable thing I’ve ever done was I helped put together a bill that put together the bipartisan bill that was passed in the Senate,” Bell said.
“And it’s called the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of America Act.
That’s why they’ve got that bill that the Senate passed.
Bell and his company are helping to promote the Republican-sponsored bill in Massachusetts, which has the highest percentage of workers employed by the hospitality sector, according to the American Hospital Association. “
It’s like, ‘Well, if you don’t like us doing that, you don`t like us going to work for us,'” Bell said, referring to the Republicans’ opposition to his bill.
Bell and his company are helping to promote the Republican-sponsored bill in Massachusetts, which has the highest percentage of workers employed by the hospitality sector, according to the American Hospital Association.
But the legislation also includes provisions to promote unionization, improve corporate governance and expand the state’s work-life balance law.
Bell’s lobbying firm has worked on the bills behalf of the state of Vermont, the state Senate and the Republican Governor, Peter Shumlin.
Bell declined to say how much his company has given to the Democrats.
“I don’t talk about it,” he said.
The Boston Consulting group is one of more than 1,400 companies, including Starbucks and General Electric, that have been lobbying the state for their own union-busting legislation.
“We don’t have a policy,” said Bill Stover, a spokesman for the state senate committee that oversees the legislative affairs of the hospitality and retail industries.
“There is no policy.”
He said the state doesn’t have an annual campaign finance report.
“If you look at the filings from the last few years, the hospitality is one that we don’t fund,” Stover said.
He said Bell’s firm is not involved in the state`s lobbying effort.
“Bill Bell is a longtime, active Republican lobbyist who works with the Republican majority on all of their issues,” Stove said.
But that didn’t stop some lawmakers from criticizing the state.
Democratic state Sen. Diane Savino said in a statement that the “dishonest and greedy” practice of using the Boston group’s money for political purposes is an affront to the hard-working taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
“This brazen abuse of taxpayer funds by one of the largest private employers in Massachusetts is nothing short of a slap in the face to taxpayers, who have worked so hard to provide jobs and affordable housing,” Savino wrote in the statement.
She added that the group has been “a major beneficiary of a state government that has proven it is a ‘party of the rich,’ an ‘elite’ that treats corporations like ‘a public utility.'”
The Boston consulting group’s decision to give away union dues is a slap to the public, Savino noted.
“For years, companies like Boston Consulting have been paying their employees union dues and contributing millions of taxpayer dollars to their political campaigns,” she said.
In fact, a Massachusetts Senate committee recently sent a letter to the Massachusetts General Assembly and Gov.
Shumilzhan Cavoukian asking them to stop the practice of giving unions an additional $15,000 per year in state funding for their political activity.
“Companies that have benefited from a political affiliation and have been rewarded with tax breaks should not be able to give their employees this special, taxpayer-funded perk,” Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat, wrote.
Carper noted that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has recently announced that the company that owns the Boston Business Center is going to buy an additional 100,000 parking spaces at the city’s airport to help with traffic flow.
“They can have their political clout, but we have a right to know what they do with it,” Carper said.
Bell called the Massachusetts legislature’s decision a “slap in the nose” to taxpayers.
“What we do is we make our clients better,” he added.
“But we do it on behalf