Dishonor roll

Mar 26, 2008 at 12:00 am

If you're hankering to vote for something while other states are still determining which Dem will face McCain, you can help the group Corporate Accountability International select this year's Corporate Hall of Shame dis-honorees.

Found at, the eight nominees should make even the most ardent capitalist cringe. They've manufactured toxic toys, contributed to global warming, preyed on the poor and contributed to childhood obesity.

Among the nominees are a few with Michigan connections.

You'll find Blackwater USA, the North Carolina-based private security corporation founded by Michigan native Erik Prince. (See "Soldiers of fortune," Metro Times, May 9, 2007). The company provides contractors — read: mercenaries — in Iraq and is being investigated because of some of those contractors are accused of gunning down civilians.

You can also vote for Toyota, selected for its hypocrisy in marketing its environmental leadership while lobbying against increased fuel economy. See, Toyota is a member of the trade group, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — which has a Southfield office and plenty of other membership in this area and is suing to stop California's new law to reduce global warming pollution.

Multinational corporation Nestlé is noted for its interference in local decision-making over water rights, an issue that started for Nestlé here in Michigan.

In 2000 one of Nestlé's subsidiaries, the Perrier Group of America, applied to dig two water wells in a protected hunting area of Mecosta County. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation fought the corporation all the way to the state Supreme Court. But the justices sided with the Nestlé in 2003.

The controversy continues: In December Terry Swier, the president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, testified before a congressional subcommittee assessing the environmental risks posed by the water bottling industry's extraction of groundwater.

You get three votes in this contest. Unlike your primary vote, if you're a Michigan Democrat anyway, this one will count toward something.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]