The Larry Craig saga playing out in a Hennepin County courtroom on Wednesday may hinge on the Idaho senatorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“wide stance.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But for a doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s group worried about childhood obesity, the real issue is a wide girth.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a D.C. non-profit that promotes nutrition, is running ads on CNN in Minneapolis on Wednesday spoofing the Craig bathroom encounter at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The ad, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dirty Little SecretÃ¢â‚¬Â ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FurT0Vc1Xpw) depicts a faceless politician in dress shoes seeking campaign contributions — not sexual favors — under bathroom stall dividers. Here it is:
The imagery – tapping feet and all – is supposed to highlight contributions to politicians from agribusiness concerns, which the doctorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ group feels donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always promote healthy eating. Subsidized school lunches with pork and beef are a particular sticking point.
Jeanne McVey, a spokeswoman for the group, says they are targeting members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is taking up nutrition programs in the farm bill next month. Both Minnesota senators are on the committee: Norm Coleman, a Republican, has received $389,366 from agribusiness PACs since 2000, according to the doctorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ group. Freshman Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, has taken $21,800 in ag PAC money.
The ads are also running in D.C. and in Georgia, home of Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who leads all members of the ag committee with $805,359 in PAC contributions from agribusiness PACs.
So what do greasy school lunches have to do with Craig, who is trying to have his guilty plea overturned?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using a news story thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting a lot of attention to draw attention to a serious issue,Ã¢â‚¬Â McVey said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The purpose of our ad is mainly to call attention to the subsidies for high-that foods that find their way into the school lunch program.Ã¢â‚¬Â