Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
SHOCK AND AWE OVER GAZA — Jonathan Cook reports from the West Bank on How the Media and Human Rights Groups Cover for Israel’s War Crimes; Jeffrey St. Clair on Why Israel is Losing; Nick Alexandrov on Honduras Five Years After the Coup; Joshua Frank on California’s Water Crisis; Ismael Hossein-Zadeh on Finance Capital and Inequality; Kathy Deacon on The Center for the Whole Person; Kim Nicolini on the Aesthetics of Jim Jarmusch. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the Faltering Economic Recovery; Chris Floyd on Being Trapped in a Mad World; and Kristin Kolb on Cancer Without Melodrama.
Dancing With the Liquid Candy Queen

True Majority and Pepsi

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

True Majority ought to change its name.

Try: The Pepsi Generation.

True Majority is the Ben & Jerry’s creation that has become a Democratic Party front group run by USAction.

And True Majority has entered a contest sponsored by the Pepsi – the liquid candy queen – the company that brought you the childhood obesity epidemic.

The contest is called: Pepsi Refresh.

Pepsi gives away $1.3 million a month to worth causes.

You enter your idea at the Pepsi Refresh website.

You pick a category.

TrueMajority and USAction entered for $250,000.

They want to use the money to explain to Americans what a good deal Obamacare is.

Wow kids, if you are 26 and under, you too can be covered by your parents health insurance!

And then every month, people vote on line for you or your competitors.

If you get the most votes, you get the money.

Right now, USAction is in fifth place.

Voting ends in eight days.

Michael Jacobson knows what Pepsi is trying to do here.

Jacobson is executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which put out a classic report a couple years ago titled Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks Are Harming America’s Health.

“Junk-food makers, like alcohol and tobacco companies, often try to distract attention from the harm they wreak on public health by donating money to worthy charitable causes,” Jacobson said. “Giving away each month the equivalent of about what it costs to broadcast a 30-second commercial is a highly effective PR strategy.”

David Elliot of TrueMajority sent out an e-mail this week asking supporters to vote for TrueMajority’s entry.

With eight days left in the voting, USAction ranks fifth among the competitors in the $250,000 category.

We rang up Elliot and ask him if TrueMajority would take money from any corporation.

“Absolutely not,” Elliot said.

Defense contractors?

“Probably not,” Elliot said.

Were any moral qualms raised within the organization about entering a contest that inflicted such harm on the health of America’s children?

“Not at my level,” Elliot said.

Elliot defended the group’s action, saying that the money would be put to good use, to educate Americans what a great deal Obamacare is – especially for young people.

But Pepsi is actively damaging the health of young people.

And Obamacare is an insurance industry written bill that won’t control costs, won’t cover everyone, and keeps the insurance industry in control of the system.

That’s great – using Pepsi money to defend the insurance industry.

TrueMajority – Taking Democratic Party front groups to new lows.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER edits Single Payer Action.