Soda ban proves mayor's political independence
by Anthony Stasi
Sep 20, 2012 | 13805 views | 0 0 comments | 789 789 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The ban on large sugary beverages in New York City is highly unpopular, but is it politically unpopular?

Polls show that New Yorkers are not in favor of a ban on large, sugar-filled beverages. The public service announcement campaign on subways was probably enough to get the attention of New Yorkers. Even those who are health conscious did not seem to lobby for this type of legislation.

It is for this reason that you cannot deny Mayor Michael Bloomberg his rightful place among the most independent politicians in recent memory. In about 15 months, Bloomberg will leave office. If the ban on large-sized sugar-filled drinks is so unpopular, we should expect it to be overturned. But it will not be overturned.

Who wants to be the elected official who stands up in the City Council and argues in favor of 24-ounce sugar-filled sodas? The issue could be brought up as a ballot issue, but even then it would require sponsorship.

For the same reason that the smoking ban in restaurants will continue after the mayor leaves office, this ban will as well. The danger of government intervention is how hard it is to reverse policy should the public wish to do so. In this case, however, the public will unlikely wish to reverse the ban.

Sure people can purchase a number of smaller sized sodas that would equal 24 ounces, but odds are that laziness will trump the sweet tooth.

You've got 'male'

The anti-gay literature that made its way around some primary campaigns was ugly. Issues like same-sex marriage are still up for debate, but as those Republicans who supported equal rights get challenged by their own party, the party will continue to shrink.

It’s interesting how centrist Republicans do not challenge incumbents in their own party as often. State Senators Roy McDonald and Steven Saland are both in races that are too close to call (as of this being written) thanks to heresy hunting that can cause the GOP to lose its majority.

In the end, running a primary is part of the democratic process, regardless of the underlying intent. Embarrassing ads, however, damage the party.

The Republican Party is now fighting itself over two relatively safe Senate seats while anti-gay literature that was used in some campaigns is now national news. Why is this important?

Well, put aside the lack of professionalism and ugliness of it all, and you realize that when something like this becomes a story online, the party now has more than regional opposition? Does a small party like the New York State GOP really need this kind of national attention?

We live in the age of political consultants, the hired guns who do as they are contracted. They work to win elections. They do what they have to, and if it works, it becomes strategy. The stain it puts on a party, however, negates any real winning. And in most cases, this kind of politics does not win anyway.

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