'Rhetorical Flourish' Leads to Ad Boycott: Lobbyist for Small Business Group, Upset by Oregon Newspaper's Editorial on Health Care, Calls for Retaliatory Ad Boycott

By Stein, M. L. | Editor & Publisher, December 3, 1994 | Go to article overview

'Rhetorical Flourish' Leads to Ad Boycott: Lobbyist for Small Business Group, Upset by Oregon Newspaper's Editorial on Health Care, Calls for Retaliatory Ad Boycott


Stein, M. L., Editor & Publisher


A LOBBYIST FOR a small business organization seemingly rallied his members to boycott an Oregon newspaper because he didn't like its editorial on health care.

Joe Gilliam, state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), was annoyed by an editorial in the Pendleton East Oregonian that criticized NFIB and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) for opposing employer-man, dated health insurance.

Editor Bill Crampton wrote that the NFIB and NRA "pretend to support small businesses in the raging debate over health care reforms" but actually represent "freeloaders" and "moochers'

Crampton acknowledged the burden that health care placed on small businesses but asserted that business owners who don't provide insurance for their employees contribute to rising premiums for those who do. The latter, he said, wind up paying for the uninsured workers.

Gilliam fired off a letter to the East Oregonian as well as one to NFIB members in Umatilla County where the 12,788-circulation daily newspaper is located.

After recapping the editorial, Gilliam wrote, "I hope the next time you consider patronizing the East Oregonian with your advertising dollars, you remember that you are nothing but a freeloader and a moocher."

The letter also charged Crampton with refusing to print his letter to the paper, calling the editor "arrogant."

Crampton, in an interview, denied the accusation, saying, "We published his letter even before his members received it. …

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