Many Americans have vowed this year to “Remember in November”, to remember voting records, to remember bill sponsors, and to hold elected officials accountable for their own actions. An interesting question was brought to my attention last evening, should business owners be held accountable as well? Should shoppers spend (or not spend) their hard earned dollars at a store or place of business based on the political signs they chose to display on their premises?
In Delaware there has been much buzzing about Pete Schwartzkopf, the House Majority Leader and Representative from Rehoboth Beach. Many in the state feel that Schwartzkopf has over stepped his bounds in many aspects of legislature. Schwartzkopf is currently running against Chris Weeks to keep his seat in the Delaware House of Representatives.
Websites have been dedicated to getting Pete Schwartzkopf out of office, including the infamous “Only When Pigs Fly” site. Voting Pete Schwartzkopf out of office has been a topic of very much discussion on a local “conservative” talk radio station, 92.7 WGMD (as much as a business may be called conservative) as Schwartzkopf is the opposite of what anyone would call conservative.
Interestingly enough, a company that pays a large amount of money to advertise on WGMD has now decided to display a 4ft by 8ft Pete Schwartzkopf sign on the premises. Atlantic Liquors has been an advertiser which stands out considering many of their ads are actually spoof songs which help lay the foundation that Atlantic Liquors is the “greatest liquor store in the world”.
Last year Pete Schwartzkopf was the primary sponsor of House Bill 212. HB 212 was essentially defeated, but it was a raise in Delaware’s alcohol taxes. In fact, according to the synopsis:
“This Act increases the State’s alcoholic beverage tax rates. The rate for beer increases by 2¢ per 12 ounce can. The rate for wine increases by 3¢ per 5 ounce serving. The rate for spirits containing more than 25% ethyl alcohol by volume increases by 15¢ per 750 ml bottle.”
If a concerned citizen can remember this small fact, it seems surprising that a business, especially one which would have to mark up all their products if HB 212 had passed, cannot do the same. I actually called Atlantic Liquors (302-645-5229) to verify that it was the choice of the business to put the Pete Schwartzkopf sign up underneath one of their large billboards. The Manager on Duty assured me they had the choice in the matter.
One of my readers, when asked what they would say to Atlantic Liquors right now, responded thusly:
“You may not mind paying more in taxes, but we do! … We are tired of you raising the cost of product to pay for the higher taxes!”
In America, you have the right to display whichever political signs on your property you chose too, but as an American, I have the right to drive down the street to Outlet Liquors (a competitor which may not be the “greatest liquor store in the world” but certainly doesn’t display the sign of a politician who tried to raise the stores own product taxes just last year).