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Farm Bill Had Little Impact on Farm Vote

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Democrats in farm country tried hard to turn Congress’ failure to pass a federal farm bill into a political liability for their Republican opponents. It didn’t work.

Bloomberg News reports:

“Mitt Romney was the overwhelming choice of voters in counties that receive the biggest federal farm subsidy payments, even as the Republican presidential candidate campaigned against dependence on government.”

“Farmers vote Republican but they like Democratic programs,” former U.S. representative and House Agriculture Committee member Charles Stenholm of Texas, told Bloomberg. “They consider themselves to be conservative, and if something is important to them, then they don’t consider that liberal.”

Before the election, The New York Times stated many farmers were planning to vote for Romney because they believed President Obama would increase federal spending and the deficit. What the news article forgot to mention is that many of the farmers featured in the story were cashing in on farm subsidies funded by taxpayers.

Environmental Working Group research found farmers in big farm states are not only more likely to be registered Republicans but are also more likely to contribute to Republican candidates. So why do congressional democrats continue to support farm subsidies? As EWG’s David DeGennaro noted, democrats who help funnel these subsidies to farmers may simply be “financing their opponents’ campaigns.”

Table Scraps:

Reuters reports U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged Congress to pass a ‘reform-minded’ farm bill. He also told DTN’s Chris Clayton that he would like to stay on as Secretary for another term.

Associated Press has more on how EWG President Ken Cook has been raising havoc with American food and farm policy for decades.

Food Safety News reports that a USDA program, which tests produce for disease-causing pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria, has officially gone into shutdown mode.

Author and farmer Wendell Berry highlights America’s land emergency in a column in The Atlantic.

Tweet of the Day:

‏@michaelpollan Undeterred by 37, Just Label It keeps on keeping on, with this sweet video on GMO labeling. http://bit.ly/T3nOAQ

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