Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Indiana Is on Angie's S#!t List

by Kim D.

Why is Angie's List so upset about Indiana's recent passage of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act? The company has joined other celebrity voices, like Miley Cyprus and Ashton Kutcher, on the #BoycottIndiana bandwagon since Indiana adopted RFRA as law.  After Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial legislation, Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle took to Twitter shame tweeting:

What, exactly, does Oesterle and Angie's List plan on doing in retribution of the state's new RFRA law? According to the The Washington Post
While Indiana Governor Mike Pence is in the hot seat after signing the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), as many see this legislation as the green light to discriminate against the LGBT community, a hysterical and hypothetical claim at best, in a nutshell the reality is
Indiana’s RFRA bill, much like that of many other states and the federal government, specifies that the government must have a “compelling interest” in order to infringe on an individual’s religious practice.
There is nothing in the legislation that advocates for gay and lesbian discrimination. But sadly, even though 19 other states have adopted similar legislation, Governor Pence is apparently reaping the furor of those wanting to use this hot-button issue to further an agenda.  For instance, does anyone remember #BoycottFlorida when that state adopted RFRA?

But, back to Angie's List, why is the company being so vocal about this issue? According to Don Surber,

The Left is all excited because Angie's List is "boycotting" Indiana over the state's new Religious Freedom law. What they are not telling you is its stock price is down, it has posted losses for at least three years, and its plan to build a $40 million operation in Indianapolis required $18.5 million in tax incentives, which it lobbied for heavily this year. The boycott may be a cover story for a project that pancaked.
Well, now, that does explain quite a lot.  After all, why on earth would consumers pay for reviews when they can get them for free from other competitive services, like Yelp which offers much more for consumers. Another interesting tidbit of relevance could also be explained by a pending lawsuit against Angie's List:
A federal class action lawsuit charges that executives of the popular consumer site Angie's List used false and misleading statements to inflate the company's stock price and engaged in ethically questionable business practices by allegedly forcing companies to pay for favorable ratings and "hot leads" from prospective customers.
So the Angie's List business plan is looking rather bleak and it appears that the company may be using this whole issue to gain favorable exposure from its anti-RFRA stand which may make some of the more conservative-minded and freedom loving consumers a bit angry. But, if so, don't waste your time with an #AngiesListBoycott as it appears one has been underway for some time now.

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