Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bake Sale Ban Leaves Thompson Without Dough

October 4, 2009 (GBN News): A provision in the NY City Department of Education’s recent ban on bake sales in schools may adversely affect Mayoral candidate William Thompson’s ability to compete financially with Mayor Bloomberg. The prohibition on this traditional form of fund raising purportedly seeks to limit the availability of unhealthy foods in schools. But the ban does not just affect PA’s and PTA’s. According to a fine print provision of Chancellor’s Regulation A-812, “All current and former employees of the Department of Education are prohibited from selling non-approved food items.” As a former Board of Education President, Mr. Thompson would presumably fall under this stipulation.

Mr. Thompson already faces a huge gap between Mayor Bloomberg’s spending, already over $60 million, and his own, which so far totals just under $4 million. With many expected Thompson donors sitting on the sidelines in the face of the billionaire Mayor’s huge resources and consequent political power, the Democratic candidate had begun resorting to bake sales to raise badly needed funds. But the DOE ban could leave him, like the school parent organizations, starved for funds.

J. Fredrick Runson, head of the Political Science Department at the Manhattan Culinary Institute, says that the bake sale ban could backfire on the Mayor. “Clearly, the ban seeks to stifle both parent groups and political opponents of the Mayor,” Dr. Runson told GBN News. “But look at the bright side. His opponents will now get healthier, while he himself continues to indulge in all of the stuff he bans for everyone else. They’ll eventually outlast him.”