No matter what you’ve heard about New Balance’s chairman giving money to Mitt Romney’s campaign, the shoemaker wants to assure gay people it’s on their side.
CEO Rob DeMartini posted a letter today that put him in the odd position of distancing the company from its chairman, Jim Davis.
“Let me be clear that this was a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance,” DeMartini wrote. “We typically do not comment on private political donations; however, this situation is different.”
What’s different this time is the $500,000 donation by Davis went to a candidate who signed a pledge from the antigay National Organization for Marriage, which also attracted the backing of Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum. The ensuing uproar was encapsulated in a petition posted on Change.org, titled “Tell New Balance: Stop Supporting Anti-Gay Politicians.”
“Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis’, my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community,” DeMartini wrote. “As a company, New Balance embraces the differences in all people and we work tirelessly to create and sustain an environment where everyone — our associates, consumers, customers and guests — are treated with dignity and respect.”