After three days' consideration, Winn-Dixie Stores declined to meet with a reporter or to hear the questions he had prepared about its political action committee. Instead, the company issued the following statement:
"Winn-Dixie is a corporate citizen of the United States with over 50 percent of its full-time employes being shareholders of the company.Winn-Dixie paid more than $800 million in direct federal, state, and local taxes over the last 10 years, and, including personal income taxes on dividends paid by shareholders, this 10-year total approximates $1 billion.
"This huge sum paid to government gives our employes and shareholders a legitimate interest in the process of government. If they choose to do so, our political action committee gives these citizens a way to become more actively involved in the political process.
"The Sunbelt Good Government Committee was formed and is maintained in strict accordance with the laws enacted by Congress to encourage such organizations. All communications and solicitations are made with the advice of legal counsel and, in contrast to forced union dues, all contributions are made on a strictly voluntary basis.
"All reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission have been complied with. We intend to continue to solicit voluntary participation in our PAC from management personnel and shareholders in accordance with federal laws and regulations."