Saturday, April 16, 2011

Residents Of Rio Linda Had The Dignity To Refuse Limbaugh's Bribe And Refuse To Change The Town Name To Limbaughville


Rio Linda is a suburb of Sacramento, where Limbaugh got his start in radio. The town has just over 10,000 people and the median income for a family is slightly over $45,272. They're in 3rd congressional district-- currently held by right-wing fanatic Dan Lungren-- and Limbaugh, apparently high on oxycontin tried to persuade them to change the name of the town to Limbaugh. He offered "to move there if they would change the name to 'Limbaugh, California' and by just moving there, I would increase property values," the drug-addicted wing nut bragged. They told him to pound sand and he's used the town as the butt of insulting jokes ever since.

Altoona, on the other hand, just succumbed to an offer they couldn't turn down. With a population of around 50,000 people (the 10th biggest city in Pennsylvania), Altoona, which is virtually all white and has a medium family income of around $37,000, is unique in the U.S. as being the only city that imposes no property tax on buildings, taxing land values only. Richard James, the inventor of the Slinky, was born there (as was Charlie Crist) and Hedda Hopper is buried there. The congressman who represents Altoona is right wing kook Dan Shuster, who voted-- true to form-- to phase out Medicare yesterday. In 2010 he was re-elected with 73% of the vote (although only 71% in Blair County, which is where Altoona sits). In 2008, when Obama was racking up a solid 55% of the vote across Pennsylvania (though he lost Blair Co with only 37%), Shuster took 64% district-wide and 61% in Blair Co. Got it? A red backwater; even an extremist kook like Toomey, who squeaked by with 51% in 2010, managed to rack up an impressive 68% win in Blair. Low education, lots of bigotry... and a dying economy. Wednesday the Altoona City Council agreed to change the name of the city to Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It will be known as Pom Wonderful though. It's all based on the new documentary about advertisers' publicity stunts by Morgan Spurlock, who's paying Altoona $25,000 for the naming rights (for 6 weeks).
Altoona will be Altoona again at the end of June.

To drive home his point with humor-- and get some cash-- Spurlock has done a lot of deal-making with the documentary's devil. He used plugs and product placements to fund the project, even selling the title rights to pomegranate product maker Pom Wonderful.

Sheetz, the Altoona-based chain of convenience stores, was also a proud sponsor-- reportedly to the tune of $100,000-- of Pom Wonderful, which starts rolling out in theaters April 22.

"We've learned to love and appreciate him," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president for marketing. "We're in on the joke."

I'll scratch your back, you scratch my back, and we'll both make a little scratch, the thinking clearly goes.

Spurlock has been his own guinea pig before. He sickened himself on fast food in Super Size Me and tried to interview the world's most wanted man in Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

"We're really excited about it," said Bill Schirf, current mayor of Altoona and future mayor of Pom Wonderful Presents. "... Clearly, the people of Altoona have a sense of humor - and an asking price."

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