A Rather Convenient Position

By Erica C. Barnett July 27, 2009


1. As we reported last week, the American Chemistry Council, a plastic-industry lobbying group, has sunk more than $1 million into the effort to defeat a proposed 20-cent fee on plastic bags, on the ballot in August. Now we're starting to find out how they'll spend that money.

This week, the Chemistry Council-backed anti-fee campaign will start running ads on local radio blasting the fee as a "new tax" that will create "more bureaucracy" at the city. "Look, I'm all for protecting the environment," a woman in the ad says. "But do we really need a new tax to do it?"

The group also took out several misleading ads this weekend in the Seattle Times and P-I. One ad begins, "Do we really need more city employees to police grocery bags?" and pans to a cartoon of two middle-management-looking guys goofing off inside an office labeled "Department of Executive Administration." The two—two— new positions that would be funded if the referendum passes amount to a fraction of the million-plus dollars the plastic industry plans to spend killing the fee, which would mostly pay for waste prevention and recycling programs.

2. Grist, meanwhile, suggests some better ways to spend $1 million on plastics.

3. Seattle P-I columnist Joel Connelly questions the credibility of PubliCola's upcoming endorsements, mentioning "participatory journalists" "Sandeep Kashek [sic] and Cynara Lilly." Connelly advises voters to "ignore the blizzard of [upcoming] endorsements"—a rather convenient position for someone whose paper decided to stop issuing endorsements just this election cycle.

As we've mentioned approximately one million times, PubliCola advisor Sandeep Kaushik (we know spelling can be confusing, Joel, but really, he's been around for a while)  and ad saleswoman extraordinaire Cynara Lilly are not members of PubliCola's editorial board (nor are they "participatory journalists," whatever that means) and played no role whatsoever in our endorsement process.

Suggesting otherwise would be like suggesting the P-I salesperson who sold the aforementioned anti-bag-fee ads represented the views of Connelly and the entire P-I editorial board.

For the record, again: Our editorial board consists of myself, Josh Feit, and former P-I and Times editor Mark Matassa, and we'll be releasing our endorsements this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

4. Food Fizz: Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose wildly successful White Center location offers vintage pinball machines, unusual artisan ice cream, and all-ages music, has finally opened in Columbia City. Although there isn't much yet in the way of seating, there are a half-dozen vintage video games and pinball machines, beer and wine, and twelve flavors of dynamite premium ice cream. Our favorite: Ube, a lavender-colored sweet potato blend that's complex, rich, and (honest!) not weird at all.

This morning's Morning Fizz brought to you by Candidate Survivor.

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