Alex Blaze

Bolthouse Farms Update: Tony Perkins ain't too bright

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 07, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: AFA, AFL-CIO, American Family Association, Bolthouse Farms, Bolthouse Foundation, Family Research Council, Madison Dearborn Partners, Pride at Work, William Bolthouse

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (the thinking person's right-wing anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-sex hate group) has an "Alert" out concerning Bolthouse Farms. Apparently, some gay people deciding not to purchase Bolthouse Farms products is an "intimidation tactic." I missed the part of the action alert where Tony criticizes the American Family Association for boycotting McDonald's, but, hey, intellectual consistency just isn't the Religious Right's thing.

But here's where it gets really, really stupid. I posted about Bolthouse Farms when William Bolthouse donated $100K to the ballot initiative to write "one man, one woman" into the California Constitution. The word in the blogosphere was that he still owned part of the company, I found evidence and received a few emails that William Bolthouse was probably not still the owner of the company (including one from Good As You's Jeremy Hooper), I did quite a bit more research, and I posted what I found about the connections between Bolthouse Farms and the extreme right. Nowhere did I find any proof that Bolthouse Farms was still owned by William Bolthouse, but that doesn't stop Tony from spreading that around.

The FRC's email along with complete debunking, after the jump.

Here's what Tony Perkins wants you to send to the AFL-CIO (how they're involved is another story):

Send to: AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney

Subject: Please stop suppressing free speech!

Message: Dear AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney,

I am writing to you in outrage over the AFL-CIO's support of intimidation and scare tactics against those who speak out in defense of man-woman marriage. Recently your union sent out an alert to boycott Bolthouse Farms because of a minority owner's support of the marriage petition drive in California, a matter clearly unrelated to collective bargaining. As the head of the nation's most powerful group of unions, you must be concerned that this issue does not involve the interests of U.S. workers and that moreover, the policy views being expressed lack the approval of the vast majority of American workers, who support traditional marriage.

To truly represent the American working man and woman, the AFL-CIO should disavow any connection with these scurrilous attacks on a family business.


OK, let's talk about this in ordered list format:

  1. "Please stop suppressing free speech!" - There is no suppression of free speech. Speaking out against Bolthouse Farms's right-wing operations is an act of free speech.

  2. "intimidation and scare tactics" - The most that Pride at Work (the LGBT constituency group at the AFL-CIO) did was put up an email page that asked people to:

    let Bolthouse Farms and their distributors know that you will no longer be purchasing their organic products

    Wow, I'm sure that some people were definitely intimidated by that. They probably cowered under their beds waiting for the pedophilic gay labor union mafia to come and break their legs after reading that strongly-worded message.

    But, seriously, how is this worse than any action the AFA has taken against a corporation?

  3. As far as I can tell, there's no call to "boycott." It was an educational campaign, an internet action, which is different in that the point isn't to get Bolthouse Farms or the Bolthouse family to change (they won't ever, ever, ever, ever change their opinions on gay marriage because of a few emails), but to make LGBT people and Bolthouse Farms's distributors aware of what's going on.

  4. "a minority owner's support of the marriage petition drive in California" - What I set out to prove was that William Bolthouse was still a minority owner of the company. The company denies it and I found nothing. Does Tony have evidence of that? Because I'd love to publish it.

    But I'm 99% sure that he's just too stupid to figure out what's going on.

  5. "does not involve the interests of U.S. workers" - Last time I checked, U.S. workers were going to be the ones getting married in California. Sure, some of them might be foreign, some of them might be unemployed, and some might not have jobs that qualify as "work" under the scope of what the AFL-CIO does. But that doesn't mean that LGBT U.S. workers don't have a stake in the institution of marriage! It just means that Tony Perkins is an idiotic douchebag.

  6. "policy views being expressed lack the approval of the vast majority of American workers" - Of course, since everything a labor union fights for has to already be supported by a majority of Americans.

  7. "these scurrilous attacks on a family business" - It ain't a family business, unless Madison Dearborn Partners, an equity investment firm that operates out of Chicago and buys and sells other companies, qualifies as a family business. Because that's who owns Bolthouse Farms.

I have a feeling, though, that I can post all the ordered lists I want and it won't stop Tony Perkins from being stupid.

But I think it's hilarious that they're taking this to the head of the AFL-CIO. Here's a group of people (the Religious Right) that has done everything it can since the Reagan years to marginalize labor unions and union participation. It hard to see much of a purpose for the Religious Right other than to elect government officials who'll cut taxes, make it harder for American workers to organize, and work to benefit corporate America at the expense of the working class.

Tony Perkins's whole job is to help protect the rich corporate folk from the people by getting votes out for Republicans and blaming working families' problems on gays and uppity women. And here he's doing basically the same thing - asking PAW to stop an educational campaign related to one of Madison Dearborn Partners' private holdings. The fact that he labels a large equity firm's investment a "family business" and implies that LGBT people aren't workers (we just sit around sipping champagne and listening to opera, right?) just shows how far he's willing to go to fight for one rich man's right to take away rights from a minority.

It's more up-is-down, but this one was built on a solid foundation of "we didn't do our research." That makes it a bit more fun.

(Thanks to davidhart for the find!)

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I'm struck by the repetitive use of the phrase 'vast majority'. I (think) I know the meaning of 'vast', and of 'majority'. But I'm struck by the feeling that when the phrase is employed rhetorically, it's used to inflate the actual numbers.

So, let's start quantifying 'vast majority' with actual defensible numbers.

Rendering the Right's scare-words (including freedom, liberty, rights and truth,) meaningless would go along way to furthering The Homosexual Agenda. Besides, as George Orwell said so eloquently, "It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words." (sarcasm used only to drive home a point...)


We must never forget that virtually ALL of the opposition to GLBT civil rights is choreographed and funded by a single, well funded special interest group - The Christian Right. Millions of children in the US are malnourished, undereducated and lack proper medical care. Yet, these "Christian" organizations (FoF, FRC, CWfW, etc) and their lawyers (Liberty Counsel, ADF) have a combined annual operating budget in the neighborhood of a half BILLION dollars - and they are not spending ANY of it on poor, sick children.

David Hart

And let's keep in mind that while Bolthouse Farms isn't "family owned" any more, Wm. Bolthouse's money came from somewhere. Oh yeah! Bolthouse Farms!

He's been giving that money away through various shadow orgs on the right that then funnel it to other rabidly anti-gay and anti-woman groups.

There's a reason why Perkins wants to defend an extremely large donor to the religious right. How much of Perkin's salary is funded by Bolthouse money?

Gosh! I don't care if William Bolthouse doesn't own the company anymore. It's profits from the company he's using, and they admit it - while saying he doesn't have an interest (what the heck are profits anyhow? Disinterest?) in the company.