Entries in Petition (5)


Petition Urges Macy's to Dump Donald Trump Ads, Merchandise

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A petition urging Macy's to "dump" Donald Trump and his branded goods from its advertisements and stores could reach 500,000 signatures Tuesday as some consumers react to the retail giant's relationship with the controversial critic of President Obama. Among those consumers was Cher, the singer and actress, who eloquently aired her frustrations via Twitter on Sunday.

"Racist cretin who'd lie like 'his rug' to get some cheap press! I can't believe Macy's thinks he's the right 'man' 2 represent their name!"

The so-called "Dump Trump" petition, which users sign through the site, was organized by 30-year-old lawyer Angelo Carusone. Carusone cites Trump's post-election tweets, one of which urged a "march on Washington" after the election. Carusone said he also believes a Macy's Christmas ad in which Trump doubts a man who claims to be Santa, presumably in a nod to Trump's "birther" argument that Obama may not have been born in the U.S., has helped encourage people to sign his petition.

"When I saw Trump's repeated calls for revolution on Twitter and the $5 million birther stunt, I realized, as a lover of Macy's, that the company was getting publicity from Trump's chicanery consequence-free," Carusone told ABC News.

Carusone organized a similar "Stop Beck" effort in 2009, which focused on another controversial figure, Glenn Beck, and urged his advertisers to reassess their relationship with Beck. Carusone called his left-wing campaigns "advertiser education efforts."

"I don't believe people really care what Trump has to say," Carusone said, "This is about Macy's benefitting from Trump's unacceptable behavior."

Macy's released a statement Tuesday evening that distanced the company from Trump's statements without naming him.

"Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy's -- or at any retailer, for that matter -- express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company."

Trump has not spoken publicly about the petition. However, the business mogul did respond to Cher's comments via his own Twitter account.

"@cher -- I don't wear a "rug" -- it's mine," Trump tweeted Tuesday, "And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn't work."

Earlier Tuesday, Trump also tweeted, "My fragrance -- "Success" -- is flying off the shelves @Macys The perfect Christmas gift!"

Trump's Twitter account has nearly 2 million followers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oregon Meth House Owners Deliver Petition to Freddie Mac

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An Oregon family who unknowingly bought a house that had been used as a meth lab is delivering a petition to Freddie Mac to require that the government-sponsored housing organization's homes be tested for methamphetamine residue before being sold on the market.

The Hankins family thought they had a good deal when they bought a foreclosed home in Klamath Falls, less than 20 miles north of the California border.  A realtor showed them the home, which was sold through HomeSteps, a listing service for Freddie Mac.  They purchased it for $36,500.

Jonathan Hankins, 32, and his wife, Beth, 29, started renovating the home in early June and moved into the two-bedroom 850-square-foot home before the end of the month.

After three weeks of living in their home, however, they started having severe headaches.  Their 2-year old son also became sick, past the point of being just a moody toddler.

"We mostly experienced extreme dry mouth and had mouth sores, making it extremely painful to even drink water," Hankins said.

The family moved out of their home and stayed with Beth's parents for six weeks before renting a property 10 blocks away from their home.

"We like to keep an eye out on it," Beth, a nurse, said of their home.

The Hankins were not sure why they were sick until neighbors told them they suspected the home may have been a former illegal methamphetamine drug lab.

The couple said they contacted contractors who advised them to have the home tested for meth residue.  They bought a kit for $50 and swabbed their home.  After submitting their results to a lab, they learned that they had 38 micrograms of methamphetamine residue.  The Oregon Health Authority's minimum to require a homeowner to clean up their home is 0.5 micrograms per square foot.

The family contacted Freddie Mac, trying to get answers about why they were not informed about the home's history.  The problem is the local authorities did not contact the Oregon Health Authority, as is customary, because there were no recent drug-related enforcement actions related to the home.

"It's kind of sad," Hankins said.  "It's a great block.  It's one of those neighborhoods that went through a rough stage and it's on the upward swing.  People are taking care of their yards and homes.  Now it's another abandoned property."

The couple started a petition on to "stop selling former meth labs to unsuspecting buyers," garnering over 200,000 signatures.

They have also been on a national media circuit since earlier this month, trying to spread awareness about an issue that homes across the country have experienced.

A spokesman for Freddie Mac provided a statement to ABC News, saying they bought the home in an "as-is" condition.

"We empathize with the Hankins but neither we nor the listing agent had prior information about the home's history," the statement read.  "If we had, such information absolutely would have been disclosed.  We strongly encourage buyers to inspect homes and to conduct any tests they want to before making a purchase decision."

Freddie Mac said it encourages "home shoppers to see if the addresses of homes that interest them are on the registries state and federal agencies keep of known clandestine meth labs."

The federal registry can be found on the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Clandestine Laboratory Register website.

Freddie Mac also said "concerned home shoppers can also check an address with local law enforcement."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Verizon Wireless Drops $2 'Convenience Fee'

Verizon Wireless(NEW YORK) -- The country's largest wireless carrier announced Friday its decision to drop its “convenience fee” after thousands of angry customers petitioned against it.

Verizon Wireless announced Thursday that it would begin charging customers $2 for every payment made online or over the phone, effective on Jan. 1.

The new policy was an effort to encourage customers to use free payment options by paying their bill via an electronic check or by enrolling in an automatic payment system, though it was not well received by customers.

In less than two hours after the announcement of the new plan, 50,000 consumers signed a rapidly growing petition on calling on Verizon to stop plans for a new $2 fee.

“At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time,” Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said in a statement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Target Employee Collects 190K Names To Stop Thanksgiving Opening

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) -- Upset that he and others have to work starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, part-time Target employee Anthony Hardwick of Omaha, Nebraska started a "Target to Save Thanksgiving” petition to convince the retail discount giant not to open so early on Black Friday.

On Monday, a half-dozen bags of petitions claiming to have 190,000 signatures of Target workers, customers and others were delivered to corporate headquarters and are supposed to be sent to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

Hardwick says his reasoning was simple: "If you're having your employees show up at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, they're going to spend their day sleeping so they can get ready for the busiest shopping day of the year."  In other words, they'll miss most of the gathering with family and friends.

Walmart, Kmart Macy's, Gap, Kohl's, and Best Buy are all getting early jumps too on Black Friday sales too.

Bottom line? In this economy the other retailers are concerned about their bottom lines. A statement from Target's human resources department read, "The decision to open at midnight on Black Friday was not one we took lightly.  As that is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is imperative that we be competitive."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bank of America Customer Delivers 153,000 Signatures in Petition over Fee

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Molly Katchpole, the 22-year-old Bank of America customer who organized a grassroots campaign against the new $5 debit card fee, delivered more than 153,000 petitions to a bank branch in D.C. Thursday. Katchpole closed her accounts, cut up her debit and credit card on the sidewalk, and left with $400 cash she says she intends to deposit in a credit union.

“Five dollars might not seem like a lot of money to the people who made the decision, but to thousands of people right now an extra $60 a year to a company they just bailed out with their tax money is not OK,” she said.

Bank of America President Brian Moynihan told ABC News on Wednesday that the fee “is meant to provide great service” and that customers with a balance greater than $5,000 will be exempt. Katchpole called the explanation unacceptable: “The actual reasons don’t matter to a lot of Americans. What they’re seeing is a company that doesn’t pay any federal income tax asking for more money to go to a feature that people have been using for free.”

Asked by ABC News if she was able to meet the $5,000 threshold to be exempt from the fee, she said, “Hell no. No, I’m not. Absolutely not. How many people are right now? And even if I was, I would probably move [my account] anyway. I’d probably leave the bank, and a lot of people are doing that.”

What was the bank’s response to her delivery? “They didn’t have much reaction to it,” she said after meeting with a banker for about 10 minutes. "I asked if they could pass it off to their higher up and they said OK.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio