You know what would be really awesome? If political candidates and spokespeople for various ballot initiatives had to dress up in race car driver-esk uniforms complete with their sponsors’ logo size directly proportional to the size of the sponsor’s contribution to the campaign.
That way some dude with Exxon written in ten inch high letters on his chest can tell us how he loves clean energy until he’s blue in the face and we can all enjoy some laughs. We know that whatever charming rhetoric he oozes at us this guy is always going to vote in line with the position that it’s very rude of aquatic birds to consistently get themselves all over oil spills.
I especially feel this way about Washington’s Initiative 522, a ballot measure defeated in the November 5 general election that would have required producers to clearly label all non-exempt food and agricultural products that contained GMOs.
Courtesy of chemical manufacturers like DuPont and Monsanto and giant food conglomerates like Nestle, Coca-Cola, and General Mills, the “No on 522” campaign generated a record shattering amount of funds and produced a correspondingly huge amount of ads.
The ads were your run of the mill ridiculousness. “This thing I want you to vote against is BADLY WRITTEN! And will COST JOBS! And comes from OUT OF STATE!” And then in small print: “This badly written ad brought to you by a giant company who makes a boatload of money through out of state manufacturing of the product that will be impacted by this law.”
I refer you to former Washington State Attorney General Ken Eikenberry’s “No on 522” ad (above) which aired approximately 500 times during every Seahawks game.
“Ahhh…” you might be thinking, “But isn’t the small print at the end of the Ken Eikenberry ad basically the sponsor logo on the proverbial race car driver uniform.” Well, yes, in a way. Also kudos for using proverbial. I haven’t heard that in a while.
But this is where the whole directly proportional size thing comes in. Monsanto alone donated $5.37 million to “No on 522.” So instead of small print at the end of ad, it should have big neon letters saying MONSANTO flashing on the screen while an announcer says, “Monsanto presents a Monsanto theater production of Ken Eikenberry in a political ad endorsed and paid for by Monsanto. MONSANTO: Now salmon has corn DNA. You’re welcome.”
I’m sure this wouldn’t solve all political information problems but it would make it way easier to tell which giant corporate interest is currently making a play towards shaping our regulatory and legal structure. And in a completely horrifying way wouldn’t that be reassuring?