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LL Bean Protesters: Dump Trump-Supporter Heiress and We'll Drop Boycott

Image: LL Bean Protesters: Dump Trump-Supporter Heiress and We'll Drop Boycott

Linda Bean (Photo by Joe Phelan/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 12:34 PM

A group calling for a boycott of L.L. Bean says it will drop its demand if the popular Maine clothier removes from its board of directors a Bean family heiress who bankrolled a political action committee supporting Donald Trump for president.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Grab Your Wallet, a consumer-action non-profit, will lift its call for Americans to consider not buying L.L. Bean products once Linda Bean, granddaughter of the company's founder, is ousted.

Last week, the Federal Election Commission revealed Bean made excessive contributions to a PAC she created to support Trump.

The heiress gave $60,000 to the Making America Great Again LLC, although the group was limited to individual contributions of $5,000 in a single year, according to the newspaper. The PAC could now face punitive action or an audit, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The boycott spurred company officials to cry foul earlier this week.

"We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L. Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President," L.L. Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman said late Sunday the company's Facebook page.

"Our owners, employees, and customers hold views and embrace causes that are individual and diverse … Like most large families, the more than 50 family member-owners of the business hold views and embrace causes across the political spectrum, just as our employees and customers do.

"And as every member of the family would agree, no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company that L.L. built. With this in mind, we are deeply troubled by the portrayal of L.L. Bean as a supporter of any political agenda."
Gorman added the Freeport-based company does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions and said we respectfully requested that Grab Your Wallet "reverse its position."

But the group's co-founder Shannon Coulter said it's no dice until its ties with Linda Bean are cut.

"As fans of L.L. Bean's products, everybody is hoping that the company is really seriously evaluating whether or not Linda Bean's presence and contributions to the company are worth the damage she continues to inflict on L.L. Bean's brand and reputation," Coulter told the Daily News.

A well-known supporter of Republican causes, Bean, ran for the U.S Congress twice — in 1988 in which she lost the GOP primary, and again in 1992, where she won the primary but lost to incumbent Thomas Andrews.

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A group calling for a boycott of L.L. Bean says it will drop its demand if the popular Maine clothier removes from its board of directors a Bean family heiress who bankrolled a political action committee supporting Donald Trump for president.
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Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 12:34 PM
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