THE BLOG

Ameritrade (Moral) Stock Is Plummeting

05/17/2012 12:54 pm ET | Updated Jul 17, 2012
  • Mike Lux Co-Founder, Democracy Partners

This morning we learned about the latest far-right smear campaign in the works, aimed at using race against President Obama in a series of SuperPAC-funded ads.

The confidential planning memo published by the New York Times makes it clear that Republican extremists will stop at nothing when trying "to inflame their questions on [Obama's] character." This deplorable effort demands a swift and strong response. If Republicans won't be the adults and repudiate this awful plan, we need to take action. The only way to get through to a person who is willing to stoop this low is hit him where it hurts.

The man behind this plan is Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. We need to use our voices -- which in this case is our money. I'm joining with other groups and activists in asking all those who have a TD Ameritrade account to close it. For Ricketts, the sound of TD Ameritrade accounts closing will echo loud and clear -- this divisive behavior will not be tolerated. That message will resonate across the corporate spectrum: consumers will not reward those corporations that spread hate with their business.

We will not stand idly by while these billionaires use their massive wealth to spread a message of character assassination. This concrete action can halt this outrageous spending that threatens to drown out voters' voices. This effort has a proven track record of working -- when you jeopardize a company's bottom line, executives tend to pay attention.

It is clear Republicans and their supporters will go to any length to win this election, but, as consumers, we do have a chance to change that. We have to say we will not permit our money be co-opted by firms whose founders, owners or major stakeholders promote division. We are putting the heads of these corporations on notice -- sponsor hate at your own risk.