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Letter to Warren Buffett, member Coke Board of Directors

November 18, 2003

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
Mr. Warren Buffett
1440 Kiewit Plaza
Omaha, NE 68131

 

Dear Mr. Buffett:

I seriously doubt you�ll ever see this letter, problems addressed here will in all likely-hood be handled by a form letter or possibly by one of your subordinates. Since you have long been a hero of mine I will do my best to address to you whether you see this missive or not.

I am writing you in your capacity as one of the largest, if not the single largest, stockholders of Coca-Cola Stock.

There is an ongoing boycott of Coca-Cola Products within the Southern Heritage Preservation movement. Surprised? You shouldn�t be, anything connected with the preservation of the Southern Heritage is very politically incorrect.

I will start at the beginning, back in 2000 the Georgia Legislature passed a bill in the dead of night changing the Georgia State Flag. This was against the expressed wishes of over 62% of the voting public. The Governor, Roy Barnes at the time, twisted arms and threatened hell fire and damnation on any and all of the Legislators who failed to support his "Blue Rag". The Governor�s office then contacted the Atlanta Taliban or Chamber of Commerce if you prefer, and encouraged them to contribute to those legislators running for re-election, especially in those districts where the flag was the primary issue.

The Atlanta Journal/Constitution ran an article on October 28, 2002 titled; "Big business boosts flag-change backers". This article went on to say that the Coca-Cola Company usually gave a few hundred dollars to a very few candidates, but during this election cycle Coca-Cola was donating $1,500 per Legislator who had voted to change the flag.

Mr. Buffett like most Georgians I was upset by the way the flag was changed, but I had no intention of becoming a Heritage nut. As I wrote Mr. Daft about this matter, I explained that in my 52 years on earth nothing buy Coca-Cola Products, coffee and water had ever passed over my lips. I was incensed that my money spent with Coca-Cola was being spent in such a manner. One of Mr. Daft�s flunkies sent me a letter explaining that Coca-Cola gave to many worthwhile causes. This was carefully studied and Coca-Cola stood 100% behind their contribution.

I poured out every drop of Coke products in my house, had the Coke machine removed from my church, and started a boycott of the Coca-Cola Company. I went on-line and made contacts with the various Southern Heritage Preservation groups, all of which decided Coca-Cola would be our first target. I have personally had contact with people in 41 of the 50 states. I have petitions from groups as small as 6 to as large as 1,500 totaling over 500,000 individuals. It is likely that some of these people boycotted Coca-Cola until the next time it went on sale, which by the way was what the Coca-Cola flunky predicted. Now over a year later the boycott locally and nationally is gaining, not losing steam.

Why am I writing you? It seems clear you invested in Coca-Cola to make money. A boycott whether it is 10,000 or a 1,000,000 is costing you money. What would it take for the Heritage Movement to stop boycotting Coca-Cola? A contribution to the Southern Party of Georgia equal to the bribe, uh, contributions to the legislators who broke faith with the voters who elected them, and a promise to never contribute to anti-Southern causes again. I have nothing personally to do with the Southern Party of Georgia, I just hate drinking Pepsi Products, but I can�t retreat from my position until Coca-Cola admits they made a mistake.

Coca-Cola was founded by a Confederate Veteran, its base is Southern, and has its historical support. Mr. Buffett, people have always underestimated the resolve of the Southerners. Roy Barnes had a campaign war chest of over 20 million dollars and lost to a bunch of rural "good old boys" putting up yard signs all over Georgia. We are about to embark on a Boycott Coca-Cola Sign campaign. It can�t do Coca-Cola�s bottom line any good. Please urge the Board of Directors to honor, not run away from their Confederate Roots.

In the service of the King and honoring the Southern Heritage, I remain.

 

 

Dr. William H. Swann

 


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