October 07, 2003

This Blog's For You

Anheuser-Busch is funding, at least partially, the anti-recall campaign according to Mickey Kaus:

This Bud's for Cruz: I got a taped call from Al Gore last night. There was something strange about it. Here's what it said:

GORE'S VOICE: This is former vice President Al Gore calling to urge you to vote no on the recall. Gray Davis has been a solid progressive governor and deserves to finish out his term. We simply cannot let the right wing Republicans roll back the progress California has been making under Governor Davis. It is very important that you vote no on the recall. Also, as insurance against a strong pro-recall turnout, and to keep a Democrat in the governor's office, continue on the ballot and vote "yes" for Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante to keep the governorship in Democratic hands. So remember, vote no on the recall, and then vote for Cruz Bustamante, who is located on your ballot under the letter "B." Thank you.

WOMAN'S VOICE: Paid for by Progressive Democrats and Independents against the recall. Major funding by Anheuser-Busch.

Hmm..., this isn't the only time AB (a little local lingo) has been in the news recently regarding its political contributions. A couple weeks ago there was a stink in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about AB no longer funding the campaigns of Missouri Governor Bob Holden because he vetoed the concealed carry bill:

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., the top corporate player in Missouri politics, is no longer backing Gov. Bob Holden - in large part because of their differences over concealed weapons.

Governor Holden's veto was subsequently overridden and we now have concealed carry in Missouri. What's strange in this case is why AB waited until the override to make its announcement. It's not as though Governor Holden ever changed his stance. He's always been opposed to concealed carry and he has previously vetoed concealed carry bills when they had been approved by the Missouri Legislature.

So, in one case AB supports "progressive Democrats" and in the other they oppose them. Far be it from me to tell AB how to spend their profits, but in case you thought there were any principles at stake:

Republican and Democratic sources say the brewery's decision not to support the governor's re-election next year is highly unusual in light of its long-standing reputation as a donor which gives generously to both parties and their candidates, regardless of their views.

You gotta like that "regardless of their views." I suppose I'd care more if I owned any AB stock or bought any AB products, but as it happens I prefer beers with taste.

Posted by Charles Austin at October 7, 2003 12:33 PM

...[AB's] long-standing reputation as a donor which gives generously to both parties and their candidates, regardless of their views.

Why, it's almost as if their primary concern was to be known as a 'generous contributor' by whoever is in power. Call me a cynic, but I wonder if Gov. Holden has a position on pending or future legislation that is adverse to AB's interests.

Something along these lines happened not so long ago in Illinois with liquor distributorships. Bill Wirtz, the owner of the Blackhawks as well as the largest liquor distributorship in the state, poured so much money into the campaign coffers of the bill's sponsors that it became known as the Wirtz Bill. It passed, by the way.

Posted by: Haws at 07:03 PM