Ex-cereal exec authors book on lobbying career
A former cereal executive has written a book on his 30-year lobbying career.
George Franklin, a long-time exec at Kellogg Co. and former Western Michigan University trustee, has written “Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World.”
Franklin, who retired in 2005 as Kellogg’s VP of worldwide government relations, wrote the 154-page book to help shed light on the inner workings of the government.
"Schools don't teach government relations, even though every company has a government relations office,” Franklin told the Battle Creek Enquirer this fall. “There's nothing philosophical about this. It's practical real-world stuff. I saw these very smart business people . . . involved in a world that they had never been to. And I hope this becomes a teaching tool for that."
The self-published book is described as a "go-to source for anyone interested in learning more about the complex and stimulating confluence of business, law, lobbying and politics," according to WMU.
Franklin used his experiences across the globe and in Washington, D.C. to help tell the story of how corporations affect the workings of the government and public policy.
"I run right at it," he told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "There are only two jobs in America that are protected by the U.S. Constitution — yours (the journalist’s) and mine. Whether you like us or don't like us, we're fundamental to the system. That's what makes the system go."
Franklin worked as a legislative aide in the office of former Democratic Congressman Frank Thompson and for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Special Subcommittee on Labor.
He then earned a law degree and worked as a private attorney in Washington, D.C. from 1971 to 1976, also serving as election counsel for Jimmy Carter and a special counsel to the Maryland Consumer Council.
A small law firm with Kellogg as a main client courted Franklin in 1976, and the cereal company hired him in 1980.
He operated a lobbying office in Washington D.C. for seven years before moving to Kalamazoo.
He now runs Franklin Public Affairs, a government relations firm in Kalamazoo.