With most counting finished for the 2018 election and very few races still in doubt, it seems appropriate to pass out the awards for the highlights and lowlifes of the late, great midterms.
A Jubilation T Cornpone Medal, named for the Li’l Abner cartoon character famous for bad strategy, to the authors of Initiative 1631, the carbon fee initiative. They proposed a complex arrangement to spend money the fee would have generated, involving three investment panels and a 15-member oversight board with the state lands commissioner, various department heads, some co-chairs and four at-large positions. While it may have kept the various factions supporting the measure happy by creating a big tent, it allowed opponents to rail against a group of unelected folks spending the public’s money.
Next year’s Cornpone Medal is being reserved for any Democrat who proposes a carbon tax, carbon fee or carbon pricing system in next year’s Legislature, falling for the oil industry’s insistence that they aren’t against some sort of carbon reduction system, they just don’t think it should be proposed as an initiative. (Translation: They prefer the Legislature, where a plan they hate can be stopped for way less than $30 million.)
A blue ribbon in the Goebbels Competition, for the most often repeated big lie of the campaign season, to the soda companies and their Initiative 1634 campaign.
They warned of local taxes on “groceries” when what they really wanted to prevent were taxes on soda. Asked for examples of local government that had placed — or discussed — a tax on any grocery item other than soda, they couldn’t name one. But all of their commercials talked of local governments reaching into the pockets of working folks by taxing groceries, creating images of city councils hitting you with taxes on milk, eggs, hamburger or baby food.