Out here in California there has been a lot of commotion as we head into our General Election on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. In addition to electing a new U.S. Senator and Governor, we Californians get to exercise our little piece of direct democracy: the referendum known as Propositions, where voters can change the laws or constitution with a simple majority.
Since the inflammatory Prop 187, a 1994 ballot initiative designed to create a state-run citizenship screening system in order to prohibit illegal immigrants from using health care, public education, and other social services (which passed), the Propositions have always sparked controversy, like the more recent Prop 8 proposing to ban gay marriages (which also passed).
In an effort to bring some levity to the election, or perhaps as a subtle tie-in to Prop 19 which proposes to legalize marijuana, Los Angeles-based Hormel Foods subsidiary Farmer John has launched its own political campaign: Vote YES on Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs, a series of satirical campaign videos aiming to establish this particular style of street dog as the official hot dog of Los Angeles.
Farmer John, the maker of the infamous Dodger Dogs—of which Angelenos are very proud—has launched a full blown campaign, including a text-to-vote system, a hotline, billboards, posters, and of course, political advertisements “sponsored by People for the Advancement of Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs” on the votelahotdog YouTube channel.
“We’re on a mission to make the Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog the Official Hot Dog of Los Angeles. With your vote, we’ll alert the powers that be and demand that the delicious, culinary masterpiece that is the Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog be crowned the Official Hot Dog of this magnificent city,” reads the Vote YES on Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs official documentation. As one campaign video points out, every city has its own particular style of hot dog preparation—Chicago has “Red Hots,” Cincinnati has “Cheese Coneys,” Mobile, Alabama has “Willie Dogs”—and now it’s time for Los Angeles to christen its own brand of dog.
Anyone who has spent a evening out in the City of Angels has come across these delicious late night treats, prepared on the street with a portable stove and served with onions, mayonaise, and a grilled jalapeño pepper. And although it is questionable whether these unlicensed street vendors are using Farmer John products, the company does stand to gain from this official marriage of bacon and hot dog, two foods it produces en masse.