Ethics Group Targets General Electric over Jesse Jackson’s Support of Slick Rick
Peter Flaherty, President of an ethics group called the National Legal and Policy Center, plans to speak in support of a shareholder proposal asking that General Electric disclose details of its charitable giving at the company’s annual meeting tomorrow (April 25) in Greenville, SC. The NLPC seeks to find out just how much money GE is donating in support of Jackson. According to a press release from the NLPC, Flaherty claims that Jackson’s recent stance on obscene lyrical content in rap music is hypocritical and does not reflect his past actions. Flaherty points out in 2002 Jackson refused to cancel an invitation to rapper Slick Rick, who appeared at his Wall Street conference, after the NLPC requested that he do so. At the time, the group cited Rick’s song “Treat Her Like A Prostitute” as evidence of his vulgar and offensive content. “Not only was Slick Rick allowed to speak, but a member of my staff asked Jackson to condemn Slick Rick’s lyrics at a press conference, which he declined to do,” Flaherty claims in his press release. In the past, the NLPC has filed similar charitable giving resolutions on behalf of shareholders to such companies as Wal-Mart and Verizon. In 2004, the NLPC targeted Sean “Diddy Combs” and his Citizen Change organization, claiming that they violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by masquerading as a neutral voter registration group, but supporting candidate John Kerry over President Bush.