Monday, April 23, 2007

Ted Goes Food Shopping W/ the Little People Tomorrow

Assuming by now you've heard that Goobernor Ted and his wife will do their own version of a 30 Days episode and live on the equivalent of food stamps for a week, you may be interested in reading about--or witnessing--how that idea will play out in practice:
As part of Oregon Hunger Awareness Week, Governor Kulongoski tomorrow will join a local Salem family for grocery shopping for the week of April 23-29, 2007 based on an average food stamp budget of $21 per person, per week.

The Governor will also discuss with the family the challenges of nutritiously feeding a family off of a food stamp budget and stretching that budget to last an entire month.

Following the grocery shopping trip, the Governor will discuss the link between providing affordable housing and hunger at the 2007 Oregon Housing Conference.

Where: Fred Meyer
3430 Commercial Street SE
Salem, Oregon 97302

When: Tuesday, April 24, 2007
10:00 a.m.
This is a fabulous idea, and not because it's a stunt with a great photo op. It's a challenge anyone can take on in recognition of Hunger Awareness Week, and in fact according to sponsors the Oregon Food Bank, other community leaders will be participating. If you have some free time, put on a wife beater, gym shorts and flip flops, borrow some obnoxious children if you don't have any of your own, head to Fred's and really give Ted and Mary a taste of the grocery life.

Seriously, after tomorrow if you ask Ted how much a gallon of milk costs, I guarantee he won't make the same mistake Ruidy Guiliani did. And take a moment to ask yourself: would Ron Saxton have likely done this? Elections matter. And maybe the Republicans have noticed too, because on the heels of the Governor's announcement two GOP Senators have introduced a bill to allow a couple up to $100 tax credit for donations to a food bank.

Sound good? It is--but of course they wouldn't stop there; it also applies to ANY charitable organization, including, say...churches. Who certainly do good work and are deserving of charity--but if this were simply about hunger, they could have built the bill that way, without making it simply a new blanket $100 tax cut for anyone who was already donating that much to charity each year. I'm not necessarily opposed to the bill, but color me unconvinced that the Republicans are really that concerned about hunger as opposed to another tax break.