A leftist group that targeted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line in the fall is now targeting the L.L. Bean clothing and equipment company because one of its 50 co-owners dared to donate $60,000 to a pro-Donald Trump political action committee (PAC).
The donor in question, according to the Daily Mail, is “Linda Bean, one of 50 co-owners and a member of the founding Bean family.” Her donation was sent to Making America Great Again LLC, according to the Associated Press, and came to light because the Federal Election Commission (FEC) complained the contribution was 12 times higher than the maximum allowable $5,000 individual limit. (PACs are subject to limits; super PACs are not, but may not coordinate politically with campaigns.)
Making America Great Again LLC chair David Jones said that he had been unaware of a letter from the FEC, and that the PAC was taking steps to convert to a super PAC.
The story, however, was enough to catch the attention of the “#GrabYourWallet” campaign, which has added L.L. Bean to its list of “Additional Entities to Consider Boycotting,” on the grounds that “Company leader raised funds for Trump PAC.”
The impression given is that the donor is the company leader. As L.L. Bean has been at pains to point out, however, Linda Bean is only one of 50 co-owners. In a Facebook post, the company’s Executive Chairman, Shawn Gorman, said:
We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L.Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President.
L.L.Bean has been a family-owned business since it began back in 1912. L.L.Bean is a values driven company that has long been inspiring people to live life outdoors. For the last 105 years, L.L.Bean has been singularly focused on offering high-quality, satisfaction-guaranteed products and outstanding customer service in the Maine tradition. This commitment has allowed us to not only employ 5,000 hard-working people, but also donate tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations promoting environmental stewardship, educational attainment and a host of other worthy causes at the local, state and national levels.
L.L.Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions. Simply put, we stay out of politics. To be included in this boycott campaign is simply misguided, and we respectfully request that Grab Your Wallet reverse its position.
“#GrabYourWallet” is officially boycotting 39 companies, including Kmart and Macy’s. It advises supporters to “consider” boycotting an additional 22 companies, but advises that another 10 Trump-linked companies (such as bookstores carrying Trump book) should not be boycotted because their association with him is incidental. (Regarding bookstores, #GrabYourWallet adds: “Note: this policy does not necessarily cover bookstores that may choose to feature Ivanka as an author in live events for her upcoming book release / tour. That activity will be evaluated at the time it takes place.”)