Andy Mayberry, a challenger to U.S. Representative Vic Snyder, said today that unlike Snyder, Mayberry would support a Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act. The measure would shield fast-food chains from lawsuits that claim restaurants are responsible for health problems caused by the weight gain of their diners.
"Certainly, we need to focus on improving health in this country, but I don't believe we can sue our way into good shape," Mayberry said. "This is about each of us taking personal responsibility for our own actions and not trying to find somebody else to blame when we over-indulge, exercise too little, or make other poor health choices.
"We all know the effects of eating too much fattening food. No restaurant manager is holding a gun to consumers' heads and saying, supersize it or else.'"
The "Cheeseburger Bill" as it is also known, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday by a margin of 306-120. Snyder was the only member of the Arkansas House delegation to vote against the measure. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor has publicly said that he plans to co-sponsor similar legislation in the Senate.
Mayberry said that Snyder's vote against the Cheeseburger Bill is another of many examples of Snyder being "out-of-touch" with the beliefs of most Arkansans.
Mayberry said that it is not unusual for Snyder to vote in opposition to all the other members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation. He cited as examples Snyder's votes against the Pledge Protection Act, a Federal Marriage Amendment and Flag Protection Amendment; against repealing the Estate Tax; and against allowing oil and gas explorations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Mayberry pointed out that on each of these issues, Snyder was in opposition to Democrats Marion Berry and Mike Ross and Republican John Boozman.
"And, as Saddam Hussein begins trial this week on charges of murder, torture and other crimes, let's not forget that in 1997 Rep. Snyder was one of only two Congressmen in the nation (396 to 2) who voted against prosecuting Saddam Hussein and all other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity," Mayberry said. "I simply don't think Rep. Snyder accurately represents the way most Arkansans think and believe about these issues."
Mayberry announced in March that he will seek the Arkansas District 2 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.
Mayberry, a Republican, is the former marketing and communications director for the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. He and his wife, Julie Mayberry, own Spirit Publications, Inc., which publishes The Spirit Magazine and founded The East Ender newspaper. Julie Mayberry is former co-host of Channel 7's Daybreak early morning news program.