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News :: Politics
Gubernatorial Candidate Deval Patrick Has “Too Much Baggage” According to Activists
14 Apr 2005
Modified: 12:59:15 PM
Massachusetts Global Action: Press Release

Boston, MA—Current Coca-Cola employee, Deval Patrick, has “too much baggage” to represent the Commonwealth says, Kim Foltz, Campaign Director of Massachusetts Global Action (MGA). “With his recent $2.1 million cash infusion from Coca-Cola and confidentiality agreement, we’re worried that he cannot have anything but serious conflicts of interests when it comes to water issues, labor rights, and the health of our kids.”
deval.jpg
Deval Patrick: “Too much baggage…” say activists
Massachusetts Global Action: Press Release

Boston, MA—Current Coca-Cola employee, Deval Patrick, has “too much baggage” to represent the Commonwealth says, Kim Foltz, Campaign Director of Massachusetts Global Action (MGA). “With his recent $2.1 million cash infusion from Coca-Cola and confidentiality agreement, we’re worried that he cannot have anything but serious conflicts of interests when it comes to water issues, labor rights, and the health of our kids.”

A growing network of organizations, including MGA, the India Resource Center, and Corporate Campaign, has grave concerns about Coca-Cola’s practices. Activists are challenging Coke’s depletion and contamination of water resources in India, while trade unionists are exposing the corporation’s complicity in paramilitary intimidation and suppression of labor unions in Colombia. “Meanwhile,” Foltz adds, “Deval Patrick is that he is being paid to be silent about Coca-Cola!”

Amit Srivastava, director, India Resource Center, notes that Patrick has “never spoken out against Coca-Cola’s practices in India. These include selling soft drinks with high pesticide levels and depleting of water resources in at least four communities.”

In addition, Foltz notes, “Coca-Cola’s systematic targeting of children and young people in the United States have profoundly negative health impacts.” A candidate “needs to tell me that my child’s health is front and center of their campaign. No Coke hack can tell me that,” complains Suren Moodliar, parent and local labor rights activist.

Foltz notes that her organization “will be monitoring the upcoming campaign for evidence of corporate influence.”

*(Note this press release was handed personally to members of Deval Patrick's staff this afternoon by "parent and local labor rights activist" Suren Moodliar as they kicked off his gubernatorial campaign today at their headquarters located at 1 Milk St.)
See also:
http://www.massglobalaction.org
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what is he running for?
14 Apr 2005
this article is extremely vague. who is this guy?
Re: Deval Patrick: “Too much baggage…” say activists
14 Apr 2005
A little bit more has been added but to be clear today he became the first person to offically declare candiacy for MA governor on the Democratic ticket.
Re: Deval Patrick: “Too much baggage…” say activists
14 Apr 2005
Mr. Patrick likely would be a great candidate (for Governor of Mass.) if it weren't for his association for Coca-Cola and, more specifically, his continued failure to take action to set it back on a course consistent with sound public policy. For example, with respect to soda in schools, it was under his tenure that the exclusive pouring rights agreements took off in high schools, and he sat back and let it happen -- shrugging off claims of illegality and deferring, for example, to Coca-Cola Enterprises, the major bottler. The democratic party needs to be led by those who always place principle before profit -- never seeking profit at the expense of principle on something as important as the health of nation's children.

We can only judge a man by his actions, not his words or good intentions. (And I sense he has a lot of good intentions and his general instinct is to be a problem-solver).

But these letters to the editor (just today) show that on one of the key issues on which we can judge his actions, he did not represent what the public perceives as the public interest. He felt that his obligation was to shareholders. That's fine. But if, in furthering the interest of his client shareholders, he puts money before the health of schoolchildren, then he should stick to making a lucrative living and not seek to represent those concerned for the health of children. He should not purport to cloak himself in the public interest -- because it is not a coat you can take on and off.

Here are letters to the editor appearing today, April 14, 2005 in connection whether soda should be sold in to the captive audience of schoolchildren in our public schools.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Set an example The Legislature should prohibit serving or selling junk food or any unhealthy food. The public has a responsibility to set an example to students and parents. We should not be offering any unhealthy food as a viable option. Even where students can go off campus to access other food, we should not change the message we should be delivering: Eating healthy is part of a good education. SUZANNE FLORES Bethany

It's a crime I want to vehemently say, yes it should be illegal. It's a crime. SUSAN STUTZ Gaston

Obviously, no question, yes I don't understand why there is a question about this. Our children are becoming obese. Companies should not be involved in this. This is what is best for our children, and what is best for our children is to eat healthy and not be able to go to school and buy junk food. I have worked in the schools and objected to this for years. DORIS SANDERS West Slope

Don't exploit kids for profit While I believe teaching children healthy eating habits begins at home, it certainly continues as the child goes to school. We are looking at huge health care costs associated with disorders either caused by, or made worse by, obesity. Children should have only healthy options to choose from in the cafeteria.

The issue for school administrators seems to be one of money: They appear to believe that if children are offered only healthy options, the children will not buy them and the school district will lose money. Numerous studies document that schools do not lose money when they replace unhealthy snacks and beverages with nutritious offerings.

However, there is more to this issue. Schools and school districts should not be trying to make money at the health expense of children. BETH NEAD Oregon PTA, President-elect North Portland

Ban would be a helpful step Sale of junk food at schools should be banned. It is clear that we have a childhood obesity crisis in this country; making it harder for kids to purchase and consume junk foods would be a helpful step. CHARLIE ENGELBERG Lake Oswego


Students accept healthy food Child obesity is at epidemic levels, with increasing rates of diabetes and other health problems (and health care costs). One preventable cause is sales of high-fat and high-sugar foods in schools. Given that the food and beverage industries spend $10 billion to $12 billion annually marketing directly to children and youth, is it any surprise that students don't listen to the way parents and health classes would like them to eat?

Many experiences and at least one randomized study have found that students are very accepting of healthier foods. In the study, increasing the availability of healthful foods in schools and restricting the availability of high-calorie, energy-dense foods from the a la carte menu, the school store and vending machines significantly increased sales of targeted foods to students over a two-year period. Schools don't lose money and it works. KATHLEEN McAULIFFE, M.D. Southeast Portland

Whose side are we on? SB-560 seeks to institute nutrition standards for foods sold in schools: a la carte lines, snack bars, school stores and vending machines. These tend to be high-sugar, high-fat, highly marketed and familiar foods that are much easier to like than the standard menu. These foods allow children to take the path of least resistance when making food choices. In choosing them, they are less likely to experiment with the food in the school nutrition program or at the family dinner table.

I would equate this to teaching kids to read and then giving them an option at school to read a book or watch TV. The TV is easier and many will take that path. Some adults will champion the "give them a chance to make a good choice" theme; responsible adults will recognize their role in shaping the environment. Perhaps those who support the TV also are making money on the side. We know that this is a big reason for so much food in the schools. The bottom line is that competitive foods exploit children as a way of funding programs. That is clear when you look at who is on the side of maintaining the status quo. Whose side are the adults on here? CAROL WALSH Corvallis


Support the bills I support the bills that would restrict the types of food available in school cafeterias. Schools need to model healthy behavior and not submit to economic pressures. These are our kids we are talking about. REBECCA RDESINSKI Northeast Portland



Fill a gap for low-income kids I wholeheartedly support any effort to remove soda and junk food from schools. It's bad enough that junk food is often the only food a low-income family can afford, with nutritious food being too costly. Youths need to learn what to eat to grow their cognitive and physical development. KAREN K. ROTH Manager, Summer Food Program

Eugene Nutrition is vital to learning These bills are a great idea, not just because they would help students be healthier, but because good nutrition is vital to learning. Soda and candy both make it more difficult for a child to concentrate, learn and be nondisruptive in the classroom. MARIAH LEAVITT Eugene



Don't let industry dictate The Legislature should set nutrition standards for food sold in schools. What is being sold in schools should not be dictated by the soda industry or the fast-food industry. It needs to be decided by health professionals and put in place by the state so that all children can benefit from the same nutrition standards. Oregon children deserve to eat healthy food in school. Most parents would want their schools to be serving healthy foods to kids at school. KYLIE MINER Southeast Portland

Protect brain function I'm a concerned parent. I'm also an exercise physiologist, nutritionist and wellness coach for the past 25 years. My concern is not only that the foods being served at schools are unhealthy, they also have very little nutritional value. The children whose parents don't make them healthy lunches are victims, almost. They get foods that are not only low nutritional value, but are very high in fat and sugars.

It has been proven that once foods high in sugars are in the child's system, his brain cannot function at a high rate within the next two hours. My concern is not only for their physical health, but also for their mental health. JENNIFER REYNOLDS Bend
Re: Gubernatorial Candidate Deval Patrick Has “Too Much Baggage” According to Activists
14 Apr 2005
http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?22990354432

Notice the date of the donation to the "PEACE POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE"

He sounds pretty good to me.