Today I'm examining the role played by ridiculously large and evil companies in grossly manipulating our electoral process through astronomical sums of money. Case in point is agribusiness giant Monsanto and California's Proposition 37 which would seek to require labeling of Genetically Modified Food.
In one corner we have a coalition of small food producers, chefs, public policy groups and citizens coalitions who have collectively raised $4.1M. In the other corner we have the 3000 lbs Gorilla (or perhaps I should say elephant) led by Monsanto who has singlehandedly shelled out $7.1M, the largest slice of a $34.5M total, for the No on 37 Campaign.
This alone should be enough to raise eyebrows.
And where is that money going? Largely to Misleading Ad Campaigns! This ad was so phony it was even forced to be pulled from the airwaves by Stanford University!
Well hey this is politics, anyone who has even strayed a cursory glance at the presidential campaign of Mittens Willard Romney or perhaps watched any of the three debates knows there's really no harm in... well lets say, massaging the truth a little bit.
But how is this affecting the the voters in the great state of California? Umm... well hmmm, ah... It doesn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings about the role of money in politics.
Prop 37 came blasting out of the gate with a huge two to one margin as shown in a poll from September. This however, was before the massive ad blitz by the biotech industry with Monsanto at the helm. A recent poll in October found that support had slipped to 48.3% to 40.2% as a result of the disinformation campaign.
An advertising blitz against Proposition 37 has slashed support for the genetically engineered food labeling initiative on next month's ballot and may endanger its prospects for voter approval, a new poll shows. -LA TimesSo the pro-GMO crowd wants to scare us. They are using completely false ads on Facebook (among other places) stating it will raise the cost of delivery pizza. This is ridiculous because it does not affect restaurant food. Their Facebook page is similarly nauseating.
Somehow the LA Times even offered an editorial against prop 37. I wonder if any of the $35 million bucks went to that??? LA Times doesn't like the proposition because they would rather see a bill that also prevents antibiotics in livestock, a very worthy concern but has nothing to do with GMO labeling. How about doing both LA Times? That would be a great victory for the people of California.
Well all of this is really adding to the electorate being more informed. Sigh. Sadly it seems to be working. By the No side pouring money into "10 days of incessant, pounding lies" on television there has been a dramatic effect of bringing support down by 19 points [quote by Yes Spokeswoman Stacy Malkan]. Well it takes a pollster to say it best,
"This is a great example of the power of advertising," said pollster Chris Condon of M4 Strategies