Starbucks CEO: 100+ Leaders to Stop Political Gifts

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> Chief Executive Howard Schultz on Wednesday said that more than 100 U.S. business leaders have signed on to his call to withhold political contributions from lawmakers until they strike a bipartisan debt deal.

Earlier this month, Schultz made headlines when he called for business leaders to pledge not to make campaign contributions to incumbents until they reach a debt deal. The business leaders would also agree to speed up employment.

On Wednesday, Schultz released a list of 25 business leaders who had signed on to the pledge. The list included the CEOs of media company AOL <AOL.N>, financial exchange operators Nasdaq OMX <NDAQ.O> Group and NYSE Euronext <NYX.N>, and networking equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc <JNPR.N>.

Schultz said the list included those who had already given him permission to disclose their names. Most of the biggest U.S. companies, including all of the 30 listed in the Dow Jones industrials average, were not named in the list.

Schultz said the more than 100 leaders who have signed the pledge represent start-ups to multibillion-dollar global enterprises.

He also said in a letter that he would release a more exhaustive list as he received permission from more of those who have signed up.

Schultz's efforts came as wealthy business leaders step up to challenge U.S. politicians who put their partisan bickering on display during the recent debt ceiling debate. That performance helped send consumer confidence to a more than three-decade low and was cited when Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating.

Also this month the New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Warren Buffett in which the billionaire investor called for the United States to raise taxes for mega-rich individuals -- including Buffett himself.