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Friday, January 11, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton. Food Fight

posted by on January 11 at 10:45 AM

Gristmill is running a comparison between Obama and Clinton on Fastfood Nation issues, comparing their respective relationships to agribiz.

Their first installment looks at the contributions both frontrunners have gotten from big food.

It’s a pretty cursory analysis. Agribiz has given Clinton about $200K more than Obama so far this year. (Romney is the biggest recipient.) And they gave more to Clinton in her 2006 run than they gave to Obama in his 2004 run.

Gristmill says the next installment will focus on “ties to agribusiness.” Let’s hope that comes with a little more analysis.

I did a quick search and found that Clinton appears to be pretty cozy with agribusiness. And Gristmill did have this bit of disheartening news about Clinton last month:

On Monday, Clinton named Joy Philippi, the former president of a the National Pork Producers Council, the main trade group representing confined animal feeding operators, as co-chair of Rural Americans for Hillary.

Meanwhile, when rated by various conservative and liberal ag groups like the National Farmers Union (lib) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (conservative), their scores are similar, with Clinton getting a slightly lower rating from the conservative Farm Bureau and Obama getting a better rating from the liberal Farmers Union. In fact, he got 100% lockstep with the NFU. Clinton got an 83.

RSS icon Comments


Thought I couldn't be any more against her.

Posted by bryce_beamish | January 11, 2008 10:44 AM

Which one is more friendly to pig shit lagoons?

Posted by Greg | January 11, 2008 10:46 AM
And they gave more to Clinton in her 2004 run than they gave to Obama in his 2006 run.

I think you messed up the years there.

Posted by tsm | January 11, 2008 10:47 AM

@3. True. Fixed it.

Posted by Josh Feit | January 11, 2008 10:56 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | January 11, 2008 10:57 AM


Barack Obama:

Regulate CAFOS: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), which raise more than 40 percent of U.S. livestock, comprise a larger share of the livestock industry every year. Barack Obama has worked for tougher environmental regulations on CAFOs. He has supported legislation to set tough air and water pollution limits for livestock operations, including limits on nitrogen, phosphorus, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and other pollutants. In the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency will strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large CAFOs, with fines for those who violate tough air and water quality standards. Obama strongly supports efforts to ensure meaningful local control.

Limit EQIP Funding for CAFOs: Barack Obama believes that we should help farmers find the resources to comply with environmental requirements. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides important financial support to farmers seeking to improve the environmental quality of their operations. Unfortunately, the 2002 Farm Bill lifted the cap on the size of livestock operations that can receive EQIP funding, enabling large livestock operations to receive EQIP payments and subsidizing big CAFOs by as much as $450,000. Obama supports reinstating a strict cap on the size of the livestock operations that can receive EQIP funding so that the largest polluters have to pay for their own environmental clean up.

Hillary Clinton:

Tightening Controls on CAFOs - Hillary believes that we can strike a better balance between animal agriculture and protecting our environment and rural quality of life. She recognizes the hazards that CAFOs pose to health and the environment, and strongly supports local control over CAFO siting decisions. She also supports federal rules to control air and water pollution from corporate factory farms, and believes we should take steps to ensure that conservation funding reaches more family farms.
Posted by annie | January 11, 2008 11:14 AM

ugh... so this is what we have to endure for the next month? splitting hairs over back-burner issues that only seem to matter to people once every 4 years?

maybe a media coronation wouldn't have been such a bad thing after all.

Posted by brandon | January 11, 2008 11:24 AM

Our food source is the basis of our civilization!

Posted by Johnny Rigor | January 11, 2008 11:47 AM

@7: I eat meat. This matters to me every fucking day.

Posted by Greg | January 11, 2008 11:49 AM

It's not really surprising. Bill was extremely cozy with agribusiness. He even got the highway weight limits on trucks raised as a favor he owed Tyson chicken, if I remember correctly.

It's sad, but everyone owes somebody something once in office. We aren't voting for a leader, we're voting for the sum of lobbyists that we most agree with.

Posted by Dougsf | January 11, 2008 12:07 PM

#7, Since much of this is controlled by executive branch appointments, the only time people have control over this is once every 4 years.

#9, No matter what regulations are put into place or enforced, your choice to eat meat is still worse for the environment than if you drive or any other choice you make.

Posted by ick | January 11, 2008 12:14 PM

hey, i agree it's important stuff, and i don't even eat meat. but will this really make or break which candidate anyone supports? this issue will fall off the map the minute the elections are over.

anyway i guess i should just shut up since clinton clearly comes off as the bad guy-person here.

Posted by brandon | January 11, 2008 12:16 PM

@11: Fuck you and your self-righteousness. Your decision to be alive is far worse for the environment than the alternative.

Posted by Greg | January 11, 2008 12:39 PM

BS, No. 11. Your choice to have children is the worst choice for the environment you can make.

Have you ever even stopped to calculate your kids' carbon feetprints? They're evil--evil!

So go ahead and feel free to eat meet, Greg. Just don't have kids. And if you do, don't let them eat meet--you're pretty much digging a hole at that point that Mother Earth can't climb out of.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 11, 2008 12:40 PM



Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 11, 2008 12:41 PM

I can imagine that for someone that owns one of those farms, or works on one, or lives near one, it might make or break which candidate they support and even continue to be a topic of some interest after the elections are over. But vote for the candidate with the best hairstyle if you want, Brandon.

Posted by David | January 11, 2008 12:43 PM

I'm going to eat meat together with my sixteen children. Then we're going to drive my Hummer over a meadow full of rare mountain wildflowers.

Posted by Greg | January 11, 2008 12:47 PM

16 - and i'm sure so many of those farm workers are regular slog readers. anyway i choose my candidate based on height.

Posted by brandon | January 11, 2008 12:55 PM

You'd actually take a 4x4 off road?!


Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 11, 2008 1:04 PM

I thought it was fun how well all the Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Richardson, and Gore supporters got along so well at the SLOG party last night.

Just saying.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 11, 2008 1:05 PM

Also, agribusiness and farming are not always one in the same. There are good, very self sufficient families out there raising head of cattle for your (hopefully mine!) dinner, and then there's the the huge land moguls that fit nothing into the "please Farm Aid bail us out" stereotype the media has been pitching us city dwellers.

The point I'm (barely) making is that argument, eating meat = bad for the environment, is misleading and oversimplified.

Posted by Dougsf | January 11, 2008 1:05 PM

@11 - wrong. Giving up driving generally does far more than giving up meat. And your supermarket has plenty of meatless products with a worse carbon footprint than a broiler chicken has, as it happens. It's more complicated than just "vegetarian = green".

Posted by tsm | January 11, 2008 1:06 PM

"your supermarket has plenty of meatless products with a worse carbon footprint than a broiler chicken has..."

ditto for most organic items.

Posted by brandon | January 11, 2008 1:21 PM


Posted by stu | January 11, 2008 1:34 PM

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