Heard on the Hill: Not Child’s Play

Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:20pm

Senators got an unexpected surprise dropped into their mailboxes Tuesday: baby food jars.

But with labels such as arsenic, mercury, dioxin and formaldehyde, these little glass pots offered up something a bit different than mushy peas or pureed carrots.

Instead of nutritious baby food, each jar contained a thumb drive with a copy of a new ad campaign that recently hit national airwaves in support of the Clean Air Act. The TV spot features a smiling baby being fed a spoonful of arsenic and ends with an urge for viewers to “Protect the EPA. Protect our kids.”

Paid for by American Family Voices, the delivery also included fact sheets, polling information and a sneak peek of an ad aimed at Rep. Fred Upton. The Republican’s home state of Michigan will see a special ad in the future, thanks to his position as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The jars also came complete with a health-warning label timed to the Environmental Protection Agency votes in the Senate this week, cautioning that the amendments to the small-business bill proposed by Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) are “hazardous to public health.”

No baby talk in these little jars, it seems.