Two bag-fee updates: Website’s REAL backer; plus, comic relief

August 13, 2008 at 10:24 am | In Bag fee battle, Environment, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

FIRST, ABOUT THAT WEBSITE: Huge kudos to Blogging Georgetown, one of our favorite nearby-neighborhood sites, for going an important step further than we did in our report last night on the anti-bag-fee website: As you can read in this BG post, he looked up the StopTheSeattleBagTax.com URL registration, and notes that the domain was registered Monday, to … the American Chemistry Council. No surprise, as several commenters on WSB speculated along those lines, but it is a little startling that they didn’t bother to register the domain in the name of Washington Food Industry. We have sent a note to WFI spokesperson Jan Gee asking for comment on the Chemistry Council’s relationship to her group and this referendum campaign. This section of the ACC site has links about its previous efforts to stop this bag fee (and proposals in other states), including the radio commercial BG mentions.

SECOND, ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Just got this link from West Seattle’s own “tea lady” Tracy (who closed her Admiral shop some months back to focus on her downtown Tea Gallery operation) — Her brother, syndicated comic-strip artist Keith Knight, took on plastic bags in his strip “The Knight Life” over the weekend. You can see it here.

12:51 PM UPDATE ON FIRST ITEM: Response from Jan Gee at WFI:

The ACC is a member of the coalition and was very active during the City’s public hearing process on this issue. Their membership includes the manufacturers and suppliers of many of our bags. We expect them to be very supportive of this effort including significant financial support. As an association of family owned businesses we don’t have the resources to meet all the demands Seattle places on citizen referendum. They also have an IT person and I don’t.

9 Comments

  1. thanks for the comic; it’s hilarious

    not sure why the big mystery and need for deep research on who’s behind the Seattle stop the bag tax

    the sponsor was and still is listed clearly at bottom of the original Stop the bag tax dot com that The Big Blog wrote about a couple days ago; this is the website that she said would go live soon, so it was pretty obvious to be sponsored by the same folks

    http://www.stopthebagtax.com/

    Sponsored by the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council and The California Film Extruders and Converters Association

    Comment by Diane — 12:23 pm August 13, 2008 #

  2. In all our correspondence with the grocery group, and their media releases, they did not mention they had partners in this. It’s fine if you’re going to have partners but disclose them up front, and say “we the grocery industry are teaming with the plastics industry to say this is a bad idea” or something like that. Even the fact they didn’t announce the referendum ahead of time was kind of unusual, which is why we were surprised last weekend to bump into that first signature gatherer (and why we were surprised not to have seen any advance citywide coverage before we posted that report – in all our years of covering politics, we’ve seen these types of campaigns usually announced ahead of time).

    Comment by WSB — 12:29 pm August 13, 2008 #

  3. But…but…it’s all a bunch of wacko environmentalist hoo-ha! It’s about taxes. It’s about those stinky hippies. It’s about potholes and the fat mayor. It’s about our FREEDOM, man. It’s nothing about the plastic bag industry’s interests. Look the other way, move along…

    Comment by coffee geek — 1:02 pm August 13, 2008 #

  4. Not only that; in the articles published in the local papers prior to the council vote, the ACC sponsored ads were mentioned as an aside, in the very last paragraph, and only mentioned under the auspices of their astroturfing front organization, Seattle Coalition for Responsible Recycling.

    There has been little effort to uncover the fact that ACC plays an important role apparently, aisde from what we’re reading here on WSB, and a while back on Horsesass.org, and it is quite apparent that the promoters of this cause are very careful to downplay the role of the ACC. But where Gee gets caught is the claim of ownership of the website.

    Beyond putting paper in glass container, can anyone define what exactly “irresponsible” recycling is?

    Comment by tpn — 1:07 pm August 13, 2008 #

  5. Yep, I called it. Polluters, taking advantage of Seattle’s don’t-inconvenience-me attitude.

    Comment by Michael — 1:15 pm August 13, 2008 #

  6. Aaaahhh,folks who live in glass houses contribute abslutely nothing to polluting? Ban the bags, give up your cars, shut off your electricity (no more WSB!), do not consume or use anything delivered by truck (everything), we should all live in trees and caves in that perfect world but that ain’t the way it is. Common sense seems to be the least common denominator here. You can find villians everywhere so just try to have a nice day. Soon to come: Your estimated oxygen usage tax. After all, it is the city’s air!

    Comment by Rick — 9:27 pm August 13, 2008 #

  7. Wow, good update! That’s so interesting that they weren’t upfront about their backers. Hmm…

    Comment by Alki — 9:36 pm August 13, 2008 #

  8. So what, it (the bag tax) remains a stupid idea from Conlin and Nickel, demagogues to the envirowackos. Who cares who starts it, it will roll over our Captain Palnet Mayor, etc. like a tsunami.

    Comment by Danno — 12:18 am August 14, 2008 #

  9. Not only were they not upfront about the backers, the signature gatherers are not upfront about the purpose of their petition. At the West Seattle Thriftway, my wife was approached and told to sign “for the bag fee.” Since that was pretty ambiguous she asked, “So, if I approve of the bag fee, I should sign?”. The reply was, “Yes, this is for keeping the bag fee.”

    Of course she knew better. For or against the bag fee, that’s a slimy way of doing business.

    Comment by Jon — 10:11 am August 15, 2008 #

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