When I read that Angie’s List had protested Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act by withdrawing a proposal before the Indianapolis City Council to expand its headquarters, I sent the following message to Angie’s List:
Knock it off. It’s tiresome and irksome. I subscribe to Angie’s List for information about local merchants. If one cent of my subscription fee goes toward your political posturing, I’m being short-changed.
The reply was (expectedly) replete with doublespeak; for example:
The company is putting the [expansion] project on hold until it can fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on its employees, both current and future.
Angie’s List has a number of employees who are members of unrepresented groups. The expansion project calls for Angie’s List to make a substantial commitment to hiring. We are concerned that this bill may create an atmosphere where it will be difficult for us to retain and attract talent.
“Unrepresented groups” seem to have plenty of representation. If Angie’s List is really worried about the “atmosphere” in Indiana, it should leave Indiana, not just delay an expansion project. As I said: posturing.
A lot of other subscribers to Angie’s List must have complained, with this result:
Bill Oesterle, co-founder and chief executive of Angie’s List, announced he is stepping down from his position just weeks after the company took an outspoken stance against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Oesterle’s announcement comes after Angie’s List decided to withdraw a proposal before the Indianapolis City Council to expand its headquarters….
Oesterle told TheStatehouseFile.com the debate over religious liberty “came at a time when I was naturally thinking about what I might do for the rest of my life.”
“So I came to just the obvious realization that you have to pick,” said Oesterle. “You have to be a public company CEO or you can go work on political and social issues. You can’t do both.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in a statement that Oesterle “jumped on the left’s misinformation bandwagon, using his company as leverage in the fight against religious liberty.”
“His position as CEO, he explained, is ‘incompatible’ with his political involvement–a view that was no doubt reinforced courtesy of former subscribers,” said Perkins.