Monday, June 05, 2006

Is Janet Mullins Grissom the Next "Susan Molinari"? (

When last we profiled Washington lobbyist, Susan Molinari, she was national chairperson of Americans for Consumer Education & Competition® (ACEC). Then, just months ago, her advocacy group issued a release insisting that "Discover® Card Abandons Cardholders".

This official-sounding cheerleading group which professes to celebrate competition was actually attacking another credit card issuer. The same banks which own Visa® and MasterCard® collectively share 85% of the entire payment card market, yet they were insolent enough to covertly attack the competition ... Discover® Card.

Those banks with shared ties to both card associations also have connections to ACEC. The nonprofit group even focused attention on - The Credit Card Interchange Report last fall. But, who is ACEC? In their own words: [ACEC] "
enjoys the financial support of Visa USA."

While the February ACEC news release failed to disclose its Visa USA support, previous postings have as does the "About ACEC" page.

While we have noticed a recent disconnect from within ACEC; there has been declining advocacy activity since the February release, now there appears to be a new player in town.

Welcome Janet Mullins Grissom.

On June 6, Hill Newspaper, the U.S. Congress chronicler profiled the newest lobbyist weapon against people who rely on credit and debit cards. Because the partisan Mullins Grissom had ties with the former Bush administration and was former Ford Motor Co Washington Lobbyist, we wonder how she plans to address the growing issue of windfall credit and debit card profits at service stations? (Motorists are being forced to pay record fuel and merchant interchange fees to fill up). Will her Washington connections in the auto and banking industry try to diminish the outrage over assertions of banks profiteering at the gas pumps?

As reported in The Hill Newspaper, it might have been easy using volunteers to sabotage a political rally by packing the halls with shills waving "Switch to Mitch" placards [future U.S. Rep. Senator McConnell]. But, this time the challenge faces even more creativity. Today, retailers and consumers are poised to break and crumple Grissom's theatrics and battle the credit card companies $30-billion annual tax on consumers and retailers.