Roundup: GMO-Label Campaign Spending

Washington’s GMO-labeling ballot initiative attracts outside contributions •GOP establishment candidate in Alabama ran up lead in more populous areas • Sequestration turns off federal spigot for Hal Rogers • Study looks at elderly services on Martha’s Vineyard • Cabot farmers to visit the Big Apple.

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Washington Voters Defeat GMO Labeling. Outside groups were responsible for nearly all of the $30 million spent on the unsuccessful ballot initiative to require the labeling of genetically modified foods in Washington, the Associated Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer report.

Opponents of the measure, which failed 46% to 54%, spent about $22 million. The money came from Monsanto Co., DuPont Pioneer and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which raised funds from companies like Nestle SA, General Mills and Coca-Cola.

Supporters raised $7.9 million, which came from sources such as “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, natural food companies and consumer groups,” the AP reports.

Campaign finance reports show that all but about 6% of the funds from both sides came from sources outside the state.

The Washington state attorney general is suing the Grocery Manufacturers Association for allegedly failing to disclose its donors as required by state campaign finance laws.


Alabama Tea-party Candidate Did Better in More Rural Areas. The Republican establishment candidate in the Alabama congressional runoff beat his tea-party challenger by building up majorities in more populated areas while losing in rural areas, according to an analysis by WPMI-TV news in Mobile

Bradley Byrne defeated his opponent Dean Young by 4 percentage points, in a race that was billed as sign of whether establishment GOP candidates can fend off rivals from the right.

WPMI’s Darwin Singleton dives well below county-level analysis to look at individual precincts within the congressional district’s six counties. He finds Byrne did better in areas with greater population density. It’s an analysis that’s nearly impossible to provide from outside the region.

“Take a look at the map and you’ll see Bradley Byrne captured all of Baldwin [County’s] bigger cities: Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, even Gulf Shores and Young’s own home town of Orange Beach. …

“Where was Young strongest? Rural communities and small towns like Loxley, Stockton, Perdido, Bay Minette, Rosinton, Silverhill, Sobertsdale, Elberta and Bon Secour.”

Byrne will face Democrat Burton LeFlore in December in the special general election, but the district hasn’t elected a Democratic member of congress in about 50 years.

Sequestration in the Fifth District of Kentucky. An MSNBC report looks at the impact of sequestration on Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District, which contains the largest percentage of rural population of any district. The Fifth is represented by Republican Hal Rogers, who has a reputation for bringing dollars from Washington back to the economically troubled area.  “Now that spigot has been turned off, just when his district might actually need it the most,” reports Suzy Khimm.

Caring for Elderly on Martha’s Vineyard. To evaluate the needs of Martha’s Vineyard’s elderly population, the Massachusetts island turned to young people. The “Rural Scholars Group,” a team of students from the University of Massachusetts medical school, says the community needs to create a one-stop referral service for seniors, recruit more medical and mental health professionals and expand dental care on the island, according to a report in the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

The project was sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Donors Collaborative, and drew on the expertise of the UMass med school’s Rural Scholars program.

The senior population of the island is predicted to grow by about 40% by 2030, as the existing population ages and more retirees move to the area.

Martha’s Vineyard is what rural scholars call a “high-amenity” area – one that is attractive to retirees and vacationers. The island’s year-round population is about 17,000, but that figure swells to 100,000 during the summer.

Cabot Farmers Say Thanks to New York City. More than 75 New York and New England dairy farmers will don plaid and travel to New York City on Friday as part of the Cabot Dairy Farmer Gratitude Tour. The farmers will ride in buses wrapped in plaid and will stop for events at various locations around the city. The tour is Cabot’s way of saying thanks to New Yorkers who buy the dairy cooperative’s products, according to a press release.

 

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