As a stockholder of the Simon Property Group I am shocked to read this story from outside of Charlotte, NC. A kiosk owner, Loren Spivack, who sells pro-conservative and anti-Obama materials at his “Free Market Warrior” store, will not have his lease renewed after 2 whole letters were sent in complaint to the mall company.
I was also surprised to read that the owner of the group, Mel Simon, is a big Democratic fundraiser and Obama supporter. Indeed, a quick Google of “Mel Simon Obama” linked to HuffPo that shows his contributions to Dick Lugar, Al Franken, Hillary Clinton, and the DNC.
This is key because the matter was brought up by one clueless UNCC graduate who wrote a letter and complained. Surely her patronage wasn’t an issue so much as Mel Simon catching wind of something afoot in his mall.
This foolish UNCC graduate, Jennifer Ibanez, apparently thinks that criticizing Obama and the liberal agenda amounts to “support [of] ideas such as racisms, sexism, and even slavery.” Of course the mainstream media report makes verbatim mentions of slogans found at the kiosk, none of which amount to the charges listed above. Jennifer Ibanez needs to ask UNCC for a refund because she’s clearly not educated. Apparently, just saying “Impeach Obama” harkens back to the days of plantations and Jim Crow.
Unfortunately the news story did not leverage the photos that the kiosk owner provided demonstrating how Concord Mills mall sells materials that are critical of conservatives. In their words “Spivack sent Newschannel 36 pictures of several t-shirts and banners from novelty stores at the mall that were so crude we’ve chosen not to share them.” I think we can imagine what these materials are about since we’ve had to endure “Buck Fush” type t-shirts and bumper stickers for many years now.
I would recommend that unless Mel Simon changes directions and supports fair and balanced speech by either reversing his decision or banning anti-conservative speech, that we do the following:
1. Spread the word far and wide of Simon’s action
2. Sell stock in Simon Property Group (stock ticker SPG)
3. Do not patronize the Simon Property Group owned stores and properties. Good news is that there is likely a SPG property near you since they own hundreds of malls. Bad news is you probably don’t know it. Check out this handy tool to see where they are. Type in a a zip code and you get a listing of any property within 100 miles. You will be surprised.