So, everyone has heard that the city of Irwindale is threatening to take action against Huy Fong Foods, maker of the red hot Srihacha sauce. A local government is threatening to shut down a thriving enterprise. Hmmm, what happens next? The answer is political theater. Here is the obligatory link for the quotes and information from the New York Times article used for this post.
The owner of the factory is not some PR saturated guy in pinstripes. He has probably worked constantly since about six weeks after he learned to walk. Since 1980 he has built an empire on the foundation of freshly ground chiles. Unfortunately, the neighbors are complaining, and the city is listening to what might or might not be a nuisance claim against the factory. In step the republican delegations from Texas inviting Sriracha owner David Tran to move to Texas. The hard-working, unsophisticated factory owner throws a chile into their ten gallon hats. From the article:
Mr. Tran said he did not plan to move the operation elsewhere, not only because of the cost of building a new factory, but because he would have to find a new supplier of chiles.
“Other cities say, ‘Irwindale is not friendly, come to my city,’ ” he said. “Other states say, ‘California is not friendly, come to my state.’ Other countries say, ‘U.S.A. is not friendly, come back here.’ ”
It is pretty clear that Mr. Tran is running on a non-political agenda. He says things like, “I work face to the chile for 34 years,” making him the type of hardworking guy, the maverick person that Republican speechwriters pretend their candidate is. Does Mr. Tran even realize he is already the Republican Centerfold for this campaign season? Check this out from the linked article.
Republican candidates in California have also seized on the plight of the popular hot sauce.
“Sriracha is a symbol of a much bigger and very unfortunate trend in California of businesses leaving and political leaders not seeming to care,” said Neel Kashkari, a moderate Republican running for governor this year against the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jerry Brown. Mr. Kashkari added a button to his website that invites supporters to sign a petition to “Stand With Sriracha” (and to show their love of the sauce by donating $7 to his campaign).
So, Mr. Tran may be hot sauce for rotten republican politicians, but he isn’t considering moving to Texas. The great dream of having one real story of a business leaving California for Texas won’t materialize. Actions speak louder than words. Even a hardworking factory owner running up against the regulation of local government can’t imagine going to Texas.