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Home Depot stops doing business with federal government (even cash!)
Saint Louis Today ^ | June 16, 2002

Posted on 06/16/2002 11:29:08 AM PDT by John Jorsett

Edited on 05/11/2004 5:33:47 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

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To: thepitts
I work at a Home Depot here in South Florida. I'm almost positive this has to do with long term government business. Home Office probably got wind of some regulatory monsters coming down on them and decided to bail on official, large scale government business.

We're not going to piss off our customer base by telling guys in Uniform to go pound sand.

This will be straightened out when the guys at Legal sit down with the Justice Dept. and make sure that our butts are covered. What the people at Lowe's haven't figured out is that when you do big business with the Feds, they can often call the tune.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

51 posted on 06/16/2002 12:49:54 PM PDT by section9
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To: Lessismore
LOL in the Navy ONE hammer is $2500.00 once all red tape paper work is done that is why I do not understand Home Depot.
52 posted on 06/16/2002 12:50:22 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: John Jorsett
"LOWES"
53 posted on 06/16/2002 12:51:27 PM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: inkling
Home Depot's response is to refuse service to uniformed military personnel? How patriotic.

Take another look at the policy. They seem to be trying very hard to NOT be considered a "government contractor" and thus subject to all sorts of laws and regulations.

If you go in to buy something for your own PERSONAL use, as opposed to buying supplies for your BASE, then they would have no reason under that policy to refuse you

54 posted on 06/16/2002 12:57:05 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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To: madfly
fyi
55 posted on 06/16/2002 1:20:13 PM PDT by Fish out of Water
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To: cake_crumb
Well I am one of the many owners of HD. They are a publicly traded company on the NYSE and one of the few that have at least held off major declines in their stock price the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in the next week or two.
56 posted on 06/16/2002 1:31:16 PM PDT by tall_tex
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To: SauronOfMordor
We will probably find out that they have had some trouble already with those specific statutes and they want to protect themselves. They are well within their rights to sell to someone who imposes unacceptable terms and conditions on them.
57 posted on 06/16/2002 1:32:11 PM PDT by Mike4Freedom
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To: glm
Blame elected officials - not the government workers that have sworn to carry out these laws.

I wish it were that easy. True, Congress passes vague laws that give bureaucrats way too much leeway. But the bureaucrats stay up late and night thinking about creative ways to twist the laws even further to harass businesses even beyond the level Congress intended.

I have mixed feelings about HD. My brother, who is a manufacturers' rep for a number of US companies, sells to them, and he's PO'd because they are constantly beating up on him as to when he's going to have his client companies manufacture stuff in (slave labor Communist) China. So on the one hand, I'd be more impressed with HD if they didn't appear to be so hell-bent on getting goods from foreign countries, especially China.

OTOH, I admire them for trying to avoid business with the government. They had better be ready for a helluva fight. The bureaucrats' weapons will at least be the following:

- Conducting stealth purchases by government employees for cash ("temporary exceptions to the GSA's under-$2500 rule"), and telling HD that they're doing biz with the Feds whether they like it or not, and whether they know it or not.

- Sending out every OSHA, EPA, and EEOC auditor they can round up to give their respective root canals to every store, every branch, and every office.

- Pit-bull IRS auditors on every audit relating to their income tax returns and employee-benefits plans

- Rumor-mongering from "sources withing the SEC" about "dubious accounting practices" or "insider trading."

- Antitrust actions from the DOJ, alleging that HD has used predatory pricing to eliminate the small-time hardware stores.

- Lawsuits by the Feds claiming that HD engages in interstate commerce, and is BY DEFINITION subject to the laws and orders they are trying to avoid having to comply with. After all, how do customers get to the store (federally-funded interstate highways)? Who do their trucks pay excise taxes to (the feds)?

- The probably pounding that the stock will take when various items of bad news referred to above are reported.

Like I said, they had better be ready.

58 posted on 06/16/2002 1:36:01 PM PDT by litany_of_lies
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To: A. Morgan
I salute them. This is the only way that reverse discrimination can be fought. Unfortunately numerous jackles will take up the slack.
59 posted on 06/16/2002 1:42:57 PM PDT by Righty1
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To: inkling
Let's see, the United States is at war.

I get really tired of this 'We're at war' crap. It worked when Osama bin Laden was alive. But now the war is against everyone Muslim, and it's going to last forever, and oh by the way, the FBI needs to read all your e-mail now, even though there's irrefutable evidence that the September 11 attacks could have been prevented if it had merely bothered to read its own e-mail.

Yes, we are at war. We are at war with politicians who wish to use a bizarre terrorist attack as a pretext for vastly expanding the power of the federal government and vastly curtailing our civil liberties. I'm not biting, and neither is Home Depot.

60 posted on 06/16/2002 1:47:00 PM PDT by 537 Votes
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To: Hank Rearden
Before giving us a purchase order, they sent me a 16-page "qualification" form to fill out - all kinds of bureaucratic gibberish and PC nonsense....

That is a weird way to do business. If these guys sent me a 16-page form to fill out, I'd tell them the same thing: "The only paperwork I want to see from you is a check or purchase order."

61 posted on 06/16/2002 1:49:51 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: John Jorsett
I don't know what other facts there are beyond those in the article, so I could change my opinion. But my first reaction is...

Good for Home Depot.

They are precisely right. The government does (thanks to liberal judges and Democrat-ally trial lawyers) expand their control scope in just this manner. And the government is hoping that the soldiers and such who are declined service at Home Depot will cause a sympathetic backlash that forces Home Depot's hand.

I honor and support our troops. Thank you for your service. But kudos to Home Depot for knowing the nature of the leftist expansion.

62 posted on 06/16/2002 1:50:49 PM PDT by Dales
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To: Dales
I don't have a particular problem with all this, beyond thinking that it's nice to see *someone* standing up to the feds.
63 posted on 06/16/2002 1:54:31 PM PDT by Anotherpundit
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To: inkling
The problem is... the government then can use that as a reason to claim that they can regulate the hiring practices and other aspects of the Home Depot company. "Anyone receiving government funds must comply...". Sound loopy? Tell me you don't know that some leftist judge wouldn't just love to expand the government reach that way.

Sounds to me like if the government puts in writing that the sales would not cause Home Depot to fall under the auspices of those laws and orders, that they would be more than happy to do business with out servicemen.

I am with Home Depot on this.

64 posted on 06/16/2002 1:55:26 PM PDT by Dales
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To: 537 Votes
I get really tired of this 'We're at war' crap. It worked when Osama bin Laden was alive. But now the war is against everyone Muslim, and it's going to last forever, and oh by the way, the FBI needs to read all your e-mail now, even though there's irrefutable evidence that the September 11 attacks could have been prevented if it had merely bothered to read its own e-mail.

Wow, Cynthia McKinney is now a Freeper! Good to see that the war is over. Radical Islamists are no longer trying to kill Americans at home and abroad... they now just want to give us all candy and a bug hug! Whew, that takes a load off. Guess we can all just go back to pretending 9-11 never happened.

Thanks Cynthia!

65 posted on 06/16/2002 1:56:23 PM PDT by inkling
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To: Wonder Warthog
Choosing not to sell to a government agency (or any or all of them) is in no wise either illegal or unpatriotic. Its called FREEDOM,

While it is an expression of Freedom, and they are able to not deal with the government, I would say that under the conditions indicated, it is unpatriotic. They can't be complaining about government paperwork, there is none for cash purchases. I don't know what their reason for not dealing with the government, especially the military, is, but absent a better explanation than that given in the article, I would call it unpatriotic. If that supply sergent had to go farther or spend more of your money to satisfy his unit's needs, then that's just that much less they can do to accomplish their mission, under fixed limits of money and personnel.

66 posted on 06/16/2002 2:02:08 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: Barbara14
When I was getting out of the Navy in late 1994, we had a hard time getting certain repair parts because several companies that sold to us decided to stop doing business with the government. They said that all the paperwork and hassle factor just wasn't worth the money that they were getting from selling them the repair parts.

When you do business with the government, you have to fill out a huge paperwork package for the privilege of having them buy from you. Then you're subject to all kinds of audits and have to file and track mountains of paperwork because every single purchase has a paperwork package involved.

More and more companies are deciding that the mountains of paperwork, intrusive audits, and being treated like a criminal if you get dinged on an audit just isn't worth the money. Good, maybe the government will scale back their paperwork and bureacracy if companies stop doing business with them.

When you go to the grocery store, you don't make the cashier review and sign a 16-page stack of paperwork. The government shouldn't make that demand on businesses, either.

67 posted on 06/16/2002 2:05:40 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Wonder Warthog
READING COMPREHENSION ALERT!!!!! The article says NOTHING about refusing service to "uniformed military personnel". It says it will refuse PURCHASES BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, which is a whole 'nother thing. I am sure that if the guy in uniform was buying something for his/her own use, Home Depot would happily sell it to him/her.

If a 19-year-old boatswain's mate needs to run to Home Depot for a couple extra gallons of haze gray paint, I don't think he should be denied service. And until they're willing to treat our military at least as well as they treat any other customer, they don't need the business of this ex-Navy man. It's called the free market... I can shop where the military isn't rejected.

According to the article uniformed personnel can't even purchase items in cash. So much for letting them buy things for personal use. I'm all for limited government, but when hatred of the Feds spreads to contempt for the military, I'm not going to play along.

68 posted on 06/16/2002 2:05:43 PM PDT by inkling
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To: John Jorsett
This story left out a lot of details. I have to shop at home depot quite often for our business and have grown to know the management there. They were given reasons on why they are not supposed to sell to government people after they made repeated calls to corporate headquaters and spoke to some of the management there. The Government was doing large amounts of business with them, and was assuming regulatory powers of them. Even though Home Depot never signed the proper paperwork, by accepting money from the government for government use, they left themselves vulnerable to types of "Good Citizen in Standing" rules that those who do business with the government must follow, on contracts and bids, etc. They are currently involved in a lawsuit in which the government is using, as part of its claim, that Home Depot violated some of the regs that busines's who work with or do business with the government must follow. Despite there having been no written and signed agreement. This left Home Depot open to a lot of government rules and regs that would not normally apply. Long story short, they would have run themselves as if they were a government agency or risk sanctions or exposed liability. It is NOT A DON'T ASK DON'T TELL POLICY. Employees many not sell if they reasonably believe that the product is for government use, this only applies to the Federal government, not state or local. The lawyers at home depot are drafting up procedures, and will eventually seek to engage the lawyers at either GAO or the Justice department, if something satisfactory is not worked out, then Home Depot will contine to discriminate against any and all federal agencies. By the way, Home Depot is not the only company who refuses to do business with the government, there are supposedly several others.
69 posted on 06/16/2002 2:08:24 PM PDT by Sonny M
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To: A. Morgan
Don't worry, I'll pick up the slack.
70 posted on 06/16/2002 2:09:25 PM PDT by nygoose
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To: John Jorsett
I don't do as much business with Homo Depot anymore since they had the little give a Homo a life program, but they are still are a convenient source of home improvemnet and repair items.

I wouldn't hold a company as anti American or anything that refused to do business with the U.S. government. There are plenty of other valid reasons such as:

The federal government always takes a long time to pay. It can be up to six months after you deliver the product before they send the check. Unless you are selling special designed $600 dollar hammers it hurts your cash flow.

Paper work reporting requirements are costly. I know more than one business that folded after they failed to read and understand all the fine print in the contract. The feds will withhold payment until you comply with all the paper submittals and they can be complex. If you think your income tax return is burdensome, then try adminstering a federal contract. When I used to propose defense contracts we always added the blurb, "to comply with FAR and DAR" in the proposal to justify costs. The Federal Aquistion Regulations and Defense Aquisition Regulations contain thousands of pages and dozens of volumes that in turn reference other government regulations and specifications.

No Joke. The old specification for fruit cake used to get faxed around for laughs. It was 26 pages long and had required dimensions for the dried fruit particles.

When I used to farm out, "out source" defense contract items I was always careful to warn new vendors. "Your books have to be clean and well documented. All it takes is for one bad audit and you could loose everything you've worked for." The profits are there, but you have to play the game by their rules or you loose.

71 posted on 06/16/2002 2:11:43 PM PDT by SSN558
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To: A. Morgan
I just stopped doing business with Home Depot.

I just started.

72 posted on 06/16/2002 2:12:12 PM PDT by meyer
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To: Paulus Invictus
So totally true. There is a Home Depot near me. I drive right past it on my way to Lowes. Everytime (and I mean absolutely,literally, every single time) I have stopped as HD for the sake of convenience, they were out of stock or just plain didn't stock what I needed. I hate Home Depot.
73 posted on 06/16/2002 2:19:28 PM PDT by SarahW
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To: azsportsterman
I don't believe the intent is to discriminate against servicemen. No doubt there's some onerous regs that HD are trying to avoid.
74 posted on 06/16/2002 2:21:34 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: El Gato
I kind of wonder if Home Depot just issued a blanket statement because they didn't really know how the system works. If a guy who works for the government shows up with an IMPAC credit card to buy some stuff for the local military base, you just scan the card, have the guy sign the reciept, and he's on his way with the stuff. As for cash purchases, I don't think the govt. even does that anymore. They make everybody use direct deposit and material is only purchased with purchase orders or credit cards because they have minimized cutting checks and disbursing cash, at least as much as possible.

The real paperwork and audit hassle comes when you want to be a GSA-approved contractor so that you can sell them large volumes and/or high-dollar stuff. I'm guessing that the big boys at Home Depot didn't know this and just issued a blanket policy, or maybe the govt. did something to really piss them off. Who knows?

75 posted on 06/16/2002 2:24:06 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Hank Rearden
Hank, IF ONLY OTHER ciompanies would do the same!!!
76 posted on 06/16/2002 2:24:27 PM PDT by texson66
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To: Sonny M, thud
That sounds about right.
77 posted on 06/16/2002 2:25:25 PM PDT by Dark Wing
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To: cake_crumb
I own Home Depot..just like I am the NRA!
78 posted on 06/16/2002 2:25:26 PM PDT by Banjoguy
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To: azsportsterman
The Home Depot policy may be discriminatory, since they are refusing to sell to individuals based on their affiliation to the government.
If you read the article again, you will notice that HD's ban does not affect sales to any individuals, period. It prohibits sales to the federal government of items to be used by the federal government. That's not discrimination against any individual.

Military commanders are required by law to place all establishments that discriminate against their personnel off-limits.
Again, not one of us has been discriminated against, and we'll continue to shop at whichever stores best serve our needs. For me, that's Home Depot. As real men know, Lowe's is for ladies.

I'm going to... guess based on more than 20 years of military service that many members of the military will voluntarily boycott the company when they learn of this policy.
Those of us with more than 20 years of military service know who onerous and threatening it is to deal with federal bureaucracy. When more of us learn of Home Depot's common-sense new policy, more of us will shop at Home Depot.

We support our own.
"Our own" does not include chicken-crap bureaucrats who force private enterprise to run its businesses into the ground. This Marine was at Home Depot yesterday, and will be back again this week -- happier than ever!

79 posted on 06/16/2002 2:26:46 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: SarahW
I avoid the local Home Depot for the same reasons that you have listed, and also because the people there are rude and treat you like a nuisance when you want to ask them something. Lowes is a lot better.
80 posted on 06/16/2002 2:27:42 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Barbara14
I love Home Depot too. In fact I was there just today. They have an incredible return policy. I brought in a $160 item I bought a couple of months ago but the receipt got soaked in a recent rain and msde it almost unreadable. Despite that, they gave me an exchange for the item without any problem.
81 posted on 06/16/2002 2:27:57 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Not much longer its a shame too good place to shop

It's called a "period". It looks like this (centered below):

>>>>>>> . <<<<<<<

The right hand "ring" finger is used to press it.

Learn about the "period". Use it.

On the other hand, you're free to continue advertising to the world your illiteracy.

82 posted on 06/16/2002 2:30:13 PM PDT by handk
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To: Barbara14; Landru; flicker
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, HOME DEPOT!

Actually, I agree this is probably good news, not bad. And I do not believe it affects a soldier in uniform or a government employee buying a product for personal use. It has to do with big ticket items used by the government itself.

83 posted on 06/16/2002 2:30:32 PM PDT by sultan88
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To: kcvl
So, Home Depot hires people based on their knowledge. That's a plus.
84 posted on 06/16/2002 2:30:59 PM PDT by meyer
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To: SarahW
There is a Home Depot near me. I drive right past it on my way to Lowes... I hate Home Depot.

I'm not surprised, Sarah. Lowe's was made for ladies. Home Depot is a men's store, and fully stocks what most men want to buy. Such choices are the beauty of private enterprise, but anathema to the federal government.

85 posted on 06/16/2002 2:35:28 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: John Jorsett
Before I retired we had gov't issued American Express and Visa cards to buy our supplies at town merchants.

What the heck is a "GSA Smart Card"? It doesn't sound like a bank card to me. Home Depot probably is right in their policy. Using that card means they probably have paperwork with the Gov't instead of a bank for purchases.

I support them in that decision but the idea that they refuse cash? That's nuts.

86 posted on 06/16/2002 2:37:23 PM PDT by hattend
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To: A. Morgan
"I just stopped doing business with Home Depot." Why? Why should you as a customer tell a private business who they must do business with?
87 posted on 06/16/2002 2:38:15 PM PDT by JLS
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To: SarahW
I have stopped as HD for the sake of convenience, they were out of stock or just plain didn't stock what I needed. I hate Home Depot.

I really like Home Depot's "Under no circumstances, at any time, be visible to or make eye contact with a customer" rule. I'm amazed you were able to learn that they were out of stock or didn't stock a product, since that requires actual contact with a phantom employee.

When I go into our local HD, my experience has been that most of the employees are on their phones complaining to one another about the latest outrageous management demand on them while hotfooting it around the corner to avoid interaction with the despised customer.

Plus their lumber stinks.

88 posted on 06/16/2002 2:41:25 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: cake_crumb
Home Depot is a publicly traded company with shares available on the NYSE
89 posted on 06/16/2002 2:43:26 PM PDT by ozdragon
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To: A. Morgan
I just stopped doing business with Home Depot.

So I guess you think it's OK for businesses to be forced into complying with FED Laws they don't want to be subjected to? Frankly, I'm so impressed I'm gonna go out of my way to do business with them.

90 posted on 06/16/2002 2:44:04 PM PDT by joeyman
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To: Hank Rearden;All
Congratulations! Home Depot.

You had the common sense to ostracize the slave-master-extortionist-burdening government. The sooner the business community refuses to sell goods and services to government then the sooner politicians and bureaucrats will get the message that they are the parasites and the creators and producers of goods and services have for too long been their host. They can live and prosper without government intrusion. Conversely, politicians and bureaucrats perish when value producers refuse to sell their goods and services to them.

Wake up! They are the parasites. We are the host. We don't need them. They need us.

91 posted on 06/16/2002 2:46:17 PM PDT by Zon
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To: A. Morgan;John Jorsett
I don't blame you for not doing business with home depot

They have a bad habit of coming into an area, driving the small businesses out of business, then hire the former employees and owners.
Then after the store is open for a while they stop catering to the contractors, lay the good people off and keep the idiots.

I can't tell you how many times i have gone in there lately just to have to stand in line cause only 2 registers were open.

92 posted on 06/16/2002 2:46:46 PM PDT by The Mayor
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To: handk
HERE >>>>>>> . <<<<<<< anal retent
93 posted on 06/16/2002 2:46:54 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: El Gato
I would call it unpatriotic. If that supply sergent had to go farther or spend more of your money to satisfy his unit's needs, then that's just that much less they can do to accomplish their mission, under fixed limits of money and personnel.

Not if accepting even cash payments from the feds means you have to comply with and report compliance with all their silly rules.

94 posted on 06/16/2002 2:47:54 PM PDT by Dave S
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To: John Jorsett
I once worked for a small wholesale business in a Detroit suburb which was located near a bunch of GM plants and the GM Tech Center (Engineering). The owner refused to sell stuff on credit to General Motors. Said that they had bad credit...a "slow pay" as I recall.
95 posted on 06/16/2002 2:47:59 PM PDT by Edmund Burke
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To: John Jorsett
Going to be kind of rough on the Home Depot here in Oak Ridge. Everyone/everything here is related to the Federal Government in one way or another. Too bad - they just opened a year ago.
96 posted on 06/16/2002 2:48:33 PM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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To: azsportsterman;All

The Home Depot policy may be discriminatory, since they are refusing to sell to individuals based on their affiliation to the government.

On discrimination laws:

Sheesh, we can't even trust our "employees" -- government officials -- to let them into our homes and businesses without a search warrant if we don't want to let them in. But somehow a business is forced to trust a total stranger with an open door policy. A person/business owner can refuse to allow a government agent access to his property but not a total stranger! And get this, it is the government that can't be trusted without a search warrant that is telling property owners that they must trust total strangers.

Discrimination laws are unjust.

97 posted on 06/16/2002 2:49:39 PM PDT by Zon
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To: John Jorsett
Home Depot might not want to sell to the government, but this month, it reached agreement with the U.S. Labor Department to "recruit, screen and refer" 40,000 job applicants to work in the company's new stores that are being opened "every 47 hours."

From this link: "Diane Bratcher, President of the Equality Project, a coalition of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered shareholders, pressing companies to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, [applauded Home Depot's aggressive new commitment to perversity diversity, saying] 'Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered and all people who believe in equal opportunity for all certainly will take note. We hope Home Depot will be a catalyst to other companies to update their EEO policies to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.'"

98 posted on 06/16/2002 2:50:22 PM PDT by Kevin Curry
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To: JBCiejka
"Cash" is a distraction ... NOBODY in the government pays for official stuff with cash.

An Army guy paying cash, for delivery to a military site ... is buying it for himself, for his house on base.

Something fishy going on here.

99 posted on 06/16/2002 2:50:48 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE
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To: glm
If you don't like the Fed Govt ways of doing business then elect better congress people.

Listen Grasshopper, according to some liberal pollster named Kohut (sp?) Nine, count'em nine!! congressional elections are competative this year. With the fraud and recent immigration of all our new citizens, don't delude yourself with actually thinking your vote counts. Voting today is like peeing in your pants, it gives you a nice warm feeling and nobody notices. (Still I must admit, I do vote every election I can - I just don't think it matters).

100 posted on 06/16/2002 2:51:31 PM PDT by joeyman
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