April 08, 2016
After this week, PayPal may need a pal! After pulling the plug on a major expansion in Charlotte, the money transfer business is getting hammered over their political posturing that is clearly inconsistent with their corporate actions and policies. CEO Dan Schulman kicked off the controversy when he announced earlier this week that he was so outraged by North Carolina’s H.B. 2 that he was scrapping plans for their Charlotte office. Why? Because the state won’t force businesses to let men in the women’s restroom. Like most Americans, Governor Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) thinks that decision belongs in the hands of individual companies -- not imposed on them by the government’s heavy hand.
Unfortunately, Schulman must not have read the bill he’s blasting because he made the knee-jerk reaction to pull out of the state over a measure that actually empowers businesses to operate their way. Executives like Schulman now have the right to set their own bathroom policy (which PayPal apparently has -- and not in favor of the agenda they supposedly support). But that’s just the first of many duplicities reporters say. “Becoming an employer in North Carolina,” Schulman argued earlier this week, “where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable. The new law perpetuates discrimination, and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture.”
That’s interesting, Congressman Robert Pittenger (R) points out, considering that PayPal has no trouble doing business with more than 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal “including five where the penalty is death. Yet, they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men into the women’s bathroom?” North Carolina hasn’t outlawed homosexuality or discriminated against anyone. It hasn’t even barred men from women’s restrooms. All it did was guarantee that businesses have the freedom to set those policies themselves!
Unfortunately, Big Business, like the cultural bullies it reports to, is too busy complaining about the phony speck in someone else’s eye to realize the plank in its own. While Apple, Google, Home Depot, Facebook, and others sink their companies’ time and money fighting laws they think are “anti-gay,” their own companies are partnering with countries that actually are! How is it that PayPal can take conservatives to task for protecting business’s autonomy, when they consistently turn a blind eye to international partners that stone or jail the very population they claim to support? No wonder Rev. Franklin Graham is calling PayPal the “hypocrite of the year.” “PayPal operates in countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Yemen for pete’s sake. Just last month PayPal announced they would be expanding in Cuba, a country in which people who identify as homosexual and transgendered have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed. PayPal only agreed to come to Charlotte in the first place after holding out for millions in corporate incentives. And under the current law that they are so strongly protesting, PayPal could have chosen their own corporate bathroom policies.”
As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, Erick Erickson reminded readers that Schulman’s group is already in plenty of hot water for violating U.S. sanctions. According to the Wall Street Journal, PayPal was processing payments for blacklisted countries like Cuba, Sudan, and Iran -- as well as a man operating a nuclear weapons black market. “In all, nearly 500 PayPal transactions, worth almost $44,000, potentially violated U.S. sanctions, according to the Treasury Department.” Who is PayPal to lecture anyone on business ethics? While Schulman gets on his moral high horse, his own company is forking over more than $7.7 million in fines for helping to arm America’s enemies! So maybe, when it comes to common sense local laws, PayPal should do what North Carolina’s law suggests -- and mind its own business.
For more on the Big Business backlash, set your DVRs for Sunday around 12:40 p.m. (ET), watch me on Fox News’s “America’s News Headquarters,” as I discuss the fallout from the Mississippi law.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.