The Seattle Times this morning asks the question, “Bag fee: bad idea or bad timing?”
Huh. Well, I suppose it could be one or the other or both. Or, and perhaps I’m reaching here, but just maybe Referendum 1’s failure had something to do with the chemical industry outspending the Yes campaign by fifteen to one, an astounding $1.4 million to $95,000 margin? I mean perhaps, if the American Chemistry Council hadn’t spent about twenty bucks a piece for every No vote it would ultimately win, the vote might have been a little closer?
Or maybe I’m crazy, and money has no influence whatsoever on elections?
Of course, the reason the plastic bag industry was willing to spend so much money in a city initiative had nothing to do with lofty ideals or even the plastic bag market here in Seattle. It was to head off a cascade of similar measures in other cities should the Seattle bag fee had gone into effect, and proven to be, well, not so bad and not so unpopular. So here’s what I would do if I were on the Seattle City Council: pass the bag fee ordinance again.
And again. And again, and again and again.
Just keep passing that sucker, forcing the chemical industry to pump a million and half dollars or so into our local media economy year after year after year. It’s good for business and good for our democracy. And it sure would feel good to give the American Chemistry Council the finger.