Outdoor clothing company that said Trump ‘stole’ Bears Ears endorses Democrats

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, May 8, 2017 | File photo by Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia jumped into two competitive Senate races Friday, endorsing Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Jacky Rosen of Nevada in what the company called its first foray into elective politics.

Ranking Member Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., speaks during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2018 | Associated Press file photo by Alex Brandon, St. George News

The company described Tester and Rosen as champions of public lands and the outdoor industry. Tester is seeking a third term in the Senate while Rosen is a freshman House member who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

The move follows a lawsuit the California-based company filed last year challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to drastically shrink Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

The company also sparred with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who accused Patagonia of lying after it claimed on its website that Trump “stole” public lands by shrinking Bears Ears and another monument in Utah.

Patagonia said in a statement that it has fought for the protection of wild places since its founding and has been encouraging its customers and employees to vote “with the planet in mind” since 2004.

The company is endorsing Senate candidates for the first time “because of the urgent and unprecedented threats to our public lands and waters,” said spokeswoman Corley Kenna. Nevada and Montana are two states where Patagonia has significant history and a long record of conservation accomplishments, Kenna said.

Patagonia’s action is highly unusual. Many corporations, including Patagonia, have established political action committees that take donations and contribute to political campaigns, but the companies themselves usually stay out of politics.

Tester’s campaign spokesman Chris Meagher said there’s a stark contrast between Tester and Rosendale on public lands. “Jon Tester has worked tirelessly to defend our state’s way of life and make sure our public lands stay in public hands. Matt Rosendale talks a big game, but he wanted to transfer public lands and has voted against protecting and expanding access to land for Montana’s hunters and anglers,” Meagher said.

Rosen spokeswoman Molly Foley said the campaign was thrilled to have Patagonia’s support and said Rosen would fight to keep public lands in public hands.

Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev. listens during a breakfast event at TC’s Rib Crib as she campaigns in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 29, 2018 | Associated Press file photo by John Locher, St. George News

A spokesman for Heller said simply, “Dean Heller is a Carhartt guy,” referring to another company known for its work clothes and jackets.

Patagonia operates a global distribution center in Reno, Nevada, with more than 650 employees. Its retail operations in Montana go back three decades.

Patagonia CEO and President Rose Marcario said Rosen has a strong record of defending public lands in Congress and protecting access to clean air and clean water.

“We need her leadership to protect Nevada’s economy and the basic health of its people, so the business community can thrive and so Nevadans can prosper,” she said.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said Patagonia was backing Tester “because he gives a damn about protecting public lands — and like us he’s committed to fight back against anyone who doesn’t.”

Tester is running against Republican Matt Rosendale, the state auditor. Trump campaigned for Rosendale at a raucous rally Thursday night in Missoula, Montana. Trump said Tester has been a “disaster for Montana.”

Written by MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Not_So_Much October 20, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Another company to avoid following Citi Bank (Costco visa) Levi to name a couple more.

  • iceplant October 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Beat the Republicans at every single turn and obliterate the entire party. One vote at a time.

    • Real Life October 20, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Right. Obliterate the party. Extreme lefties like yourself will never get it. When one side is in complete control, it’s not good for any of us. Do you really think that if Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi ran everything, we would be in a better place?

      • Redbud October 20, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        Here is an example of integrity displayed by the Democratic party, compliments of Nancy Pelosi. Listen as she is caught on a hot mic telling him to say that he is a Muslim.

    • Pa Triot October 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      One vote at a time, eh. Can I assume that includes dead folks and illegals? America saw everything it needed to see at the recent confirmation hearings. Nov. 6th is just around the corner and I’m guessing we’ll see a whole new array of tantrums and despicable behavior when the left doesn’t get its way. Tick tock……..

    • KR567 October 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Only an idiot would suggest a one party system

      • iceplant October 21, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Yet it takes a REAL idiot to assume I’m suggesting a one-party system. Try to keep up.

  • Mike P October 21, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    What I find amusing is I have never heard of “Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia”. And who really cares who they endorse (other than fellow Democrats) I don’t get it, what’s the story here and why would this be news? I’d also like to know how much of their product is manufactured “OFF SHORE” ? I heard they are made in 16 different countries. I don’t buy their excuse that there just isn’t enough “American” company’s that do this work. The reason is they make their products over seas is because it’s cheaper which equals more profit. And the reason there is not enough “American” company’s to do the work is for the same reason, they had to close down because they sent jobs overseas. If what they say is true, then why didn’t they create jobs here by manufacturing their products “IN HOUSE” Yeah, that why! This is just my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

  • chris keele October 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Yes Mike P you are exactly correct, what Patagonia is really upset about is that there are now less square miles of National Monument, so therefore less potential customers for their outdoor products, and the point you make about how they exploit the cheap child labor in the 3rd world countries they have manufacture their products, is again spot on, maybe if they had more faith in America and helped President Trump continue to bring more jobs home to our Country they could put something on their merchandise like ” made in America” or ” we are proud to be made in America” or something corny like that, I guess that goes against their socialist politics. I sure hope some of these people grow up soon!

    • redrock4 October 22, 2018 at 9:58 am

      The unemployment rate is about 4%. Everything we use does not have to be made in the U.S. Practically everything that currently surrounds you is made in another country. While you two are working the keyboard, Patagonia has donated millions of dollars to do good on the planet. Patagonia is the leader in the outdoor industry and their motive has always been about more than profit. It’s not about protecting areas so that people who buy Patagonia jackets can recreate there. What a dumb small town mentality thing to even think. Wake up, there are people and companies now that actually care about things more important than parroting conservative rhetoric.

      • Mike P October 22, 2018 at 12:01 pm

        redrock4. You obviously didn’t get it. (the gist of my post) And that’s alright. I’m not going to argue about it. I just wish that since “There are people and companies now that actually care about things more important than parroting conservative rhetoric.” That they would at care a little about bringing manufacturing jobs back to America.

        • redrock4 October 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm

          No, I understand what you are trying to say. The article above has not a thing to do with outsourcing in the U.S. It is a completely different issue. This is not about Patagonia – it’s about what Trump did – and we’ll deal with that in court. We’re going to “lock up” as much land as we can. And we’ll prevail – maybe not in court this time. But the Retailer show is gone – poof, millions of dollars lost because of short sighted politics. You’re welcome.

          • Redbud October 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm

            Patagonia will go out of business, and when it does, good riddance! No one will miss them!

  • redrock4 October 23, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Um, Chouinard is worth 1.5 Billion dollars, so maybe think before posting.

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