If you live in Florida, you know Publix. It’s a large, regional grocery chain with the overwhelming majority of its stores located here in the Sunshine State. It’s typically more expensive than other grocers, and they don’t do discount cards like other stores. Yet people here don’t mind paying. We didn’t. We shopped there pretty much every other day.
The Tampa Bay Times reports, the loved supermarket icon, its heirs and past and present leaders are bankrolling the campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at unprecedented levels.
No other Florida candidate has ever come close to that kind of subsidy from Florida's largest Fortune 500 company. Its most recent contribution, a $100,000 donation on April 30, was the largest, too, according to the latest campaign finance filings.
Since last year, Publix has donated $650,000 to Putnam’s campaign for governor. The CEO, the director, chairman, and the founder’s family have also made significant personal contributions.
Simply put: Adam Putnam is a vile human being. First of all, he is one of Trump’s loudest backers in hate speech against immigrants. His campaign promotes Trump’s false claim that millions of “illegals” are voting. In fact, on his website, which Publix has helped fund, he asks this fear-mongering question:
Putnam doesn’t care much for legal immigrants, either.
He fought against bilingual ballots and any type of bilingual assistance at the polls. He voted to make it easier to discriminate by easing restrictions to the Voting Rights Act, and yet supported a “stricter” voter ID law—even though Florida already asks for your driver’s license when you vote.
If you want to get a taste of his racist mindset, look no further than his own video for what Florida “can and will be”: lots of guns and white people. (He even tried to copy Trump’s dog whistle slogan)
So yeah, let’s talk about him and the NRA …
That pro-gun violence group that just declared war on the survivors of the Parkland shooting are strongly behind Putnam, who loves them right back:
Despite our state’s proclivity for mass shootings, Putnam pushes for open-carry. Putnam opposed the most milquetoast changes to Florida’s infamously lose gun laws, such as raising the minimum age to buy a gun—a proposal even Trump supported. He put out a statement opposing a popular bill that would have allowed concealed carry fees to go towards our overburdened trauma centers from all the mass shootings.
Putnam is so beholden to the NRA that he even tried to sneak in a provision—to an Agricultural Appropriations bill– that would have weakened state background checks ONE DAY after the Parkland massacre!
The provision also would have allowed people who filed incomplete forms to get a concealed permit regardless.
This provision was buried on the bottom of page 98, between verbiage for oyster harvesting and water vending machines. The bill’s sponsor, Florida Sen. Kelli Stargel, said Adam Putnam personally asked legislators to try to sneak that awful provision into the bill.
Publix has received quite a bit of backlash for throwing themselves behind Putnam. They even put out a tweet that said they don’t give “financial support” to the NRA.
They just give a lot of financial support to their puppet politicians.
David Hogg wasn’t having any of that.
The Orlando Weekly noted that Publix has been supporting him for decades—and Putnam has returned the favor.
It should be noted that as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, Putnam once removed failed Publix health inspections from the public website, and then changed the labeling from a failing grade to “re-inspection required,” reports the Times.
If none of this is enough for you to consider shopping a little less at Publix and a little more at Winn-Dixie, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s, Whole Foods (which has gotten a lot cheaper since Amazon bought it), or better yet, the Hispanic-owned retailer Sedano’s, I’ll give you one more thing to consider.
Publix continues to be the key holdout in refusing to join the Fair Food coalition for better wages and working conditions of our impoverished farmworkers. Even freaking Walmart and McDonald’s joined. How exactly can you oppose spending one damn penny extra on a pound of tomatoes but have no problem giving hundreds of thousands to a racist, NRA-lunatic?
The Parkland survivors have made a lot of headway here, and I admire them greatly. It pisses me off to see them undermined by my own grocery store up the road.
Unfortunately, we have a long fight ahead of us and Florida will continue to be at the top of the list for gun carnage. There will be plenty more makeshift memorials to lay flowers down.
But I will no longer be buying them at Publix.
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