Starbucks CEO Town Hall: Can't we all just get along?

Howard Schultz, CEO of coffee giant Starbucks, has apparently decided to wake up America in a new way, and this one doesn’t involve caffeine. While they are already the premier sponsor of Joe Scarborough’s daily show on MSNBC, Schultz is planning on a national telephone town hall this week. The theme? We all need to Put Country Ahead of Party. Oh… wait. No. That’s Obama’s thing. Schultz wants us all to Put Citizenship Ahead of Partisanship.

Well, that’s certainly something different I guess.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz changed how America drinks coffee. Now, he wants to change the political system.

The leader of the world’s largest coffee company said U.S. political leaders have created a “crisis of confidence” with their political wrangling that is wreaking havoc on the economy.

He said he wants to give a voice to all citizens by hosting a national telephone forum on Tuesday.

He’s also running ads in the New York Times and USA TODAY ahead of the event, featuring an open letter that urges Americans to participate in the forum and insist politicians end their hyper-partisan behavior.

“We must send the message to today’s elected officials … that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now,” Schultz said in the letter.

You know, something sounds really familiar about this. But I just can’t put my finger on where I’ve heard it before. Maybe if we find out who is partnering with Schultz on this project. (Emphasis mine.)

The forum will be hosted by nonpartisan group No Labels and held the same week as the GOP presidential debate and the president’s address to a joint session of Congress to share his plan for job creation.

“America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history,” Schultz said in his letter. “We must restore hope in the American Dream.”

Ah… it’s all coming clear now. Thanks, Howard!

The impact from Schultz’s efforts may not zero out to nil, though. He’s been calling for all CEOs to stop making contributions to any and all political campaigns until the “political wrangling” has stopped. Starbucks is certainly active in politics already, having donated $85,841to the two parties. (And just to show they are bipartisan, only $85,276 of that went to the Democrats.) But Howard seems to be getting some traction, having apparently gotten more than 100 other business executives “from AOL to Zipcar” to go along with the plan.

If we get the dial-in information for the call we’ll be sure to pass it along here. I know you’ll all want to stop by and contribute your suggestions on how to make these nasty politicians behave in a more civil fashion.