Thursday, November 8, 2007

Anti-Foie Politics Don't Pay

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Kelly won his re-election bid in Philly. But his narrow victory should send a message: The public does not want to be bullied around their own dinner tables!

On Tuesday, two of foie gras' legislative enemies were up for re-election. Barring any recount changes, both legislators lost.

Michael Panter, a New Jersey Democrat, lost his bid for re-election as Assemblyman for the 12th District. Panter introduced legislation a year ago which would have banned the production, distribution, and sale of foie gras in New Jersey.

This would have hit the area, including New York City, quite hard - in the wallet and in the mouth. New Jersey is home to D'Artagnan, one of the nation's premier sellers of foie gras and other high-end foods. Panter's bill could have put the 120-employee, New Jersey-based D'Artagnan out of business. Such a move would have outraged chefs, food lovers, and consumer choice advocates across the tri-state area and beyond.

Jack Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, lost his bid for re-election as a Philadelphia City Councilor. Kelly planned to introduce a bill to ban the sale of foie gras next year. This sparked a raging controversy including media wars, injunctions, and lots of screaming. At the time of this posting, this election is extremely close and while it appears Kelly has lost his seat, absentee ballots will be added in and official results could take as long as two weeks to be announced. (Cross your fingers.)

For now, they're gone.

Of course, I can't say for sure that the legislators' silly ideas on banning food became their downfalls, but I can speculate. I am proud of the people of New Jersey and Philadelphia for taking a stand against an activist minority and supporting the freedom of choice.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity...and Foie!

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