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Originally published Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:00 PM

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Consumer groups ask Starbucks to stop political spending

WashPIRG and Public Citizen will lead a press conference outside Starbucks at Pike Place Market at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Seattle Times business reporter

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WashPIRG and Public Citizen plan to deliver petitions to Starbucks headquarters Tuesday asking CEO Howard Schultz to institute a corporate policy against spending money in elections and to ask other CEOs to do the same.

Two years ago, Schultz asked other CEOs to stop making campaign donations because of gridlock in Washington, D.C.

The request comes as Starbucks has its annual shareholders meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.

Investors are voting on a shareholder proposal that would prohibit political spending.

Starbucks’ board of directors recommends investors vote against the proposal, saying the company has a responsibility to advocate for public policies that support its business, employees and communities.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or Twitter @AllisonSeattle.

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