What is it with Domino’s Pizza and politicians? Last night I watched the Channel 4′s Dispatches documentary ‘School Dinner Scandal’ featuring claims that the largest Domino’s shareholder, Moonpal Singh Grewal, handsomely funded education secretary Michael Gove’s office and that Gove also accepted donations from Surinder Kandola, owner of 22 Domino’s Pizza franchises.
Domino’s is an American firm with a long record of funding the Republicans. By happy coincidence Gove has a lot of Republican neo-con friends and even seconded his head of communications to work on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
David Brandon, former chief executive of Domino’s in the US, has donated to the campaigns of Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Rick Santorum. And the current chief executive, J Patrick Doyle, also gave money Romney’s campaign.
Maybe Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaigns have something to do with it…?
Republicans and pizza go back a long way. Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s, is a staunch party supporter described as a “national power broker for GOP Catholic candidates.” Pizza Hut founder C. Howard Wilkins funded George W Bush, Papa John’s John Schnatter donated to the Republicans and Tea Party favourite Herman Cain of Godfather Pizza has sought a presidential nomination.
It makes you wonder what it is about baking circular dough with a cheese topping that attracts all these right-wing characters…?
Interestingly last night’s Dispatches reported that pizza has now been classified as “a vegetable” in the US on grounds that it has a layer of tomato paste that counts as one of our healthy five-a-day. Who passed this ridiculous law? Republican-dominated Congress.
My own party, the Lib Dems, aren’t immune from the smell of freshly-baked pizza either. Rumi Verjee, founder of Domino’s in the UK gave the party £250,000 in the second quarter of this year.
All of this gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach similar to eating a 4,000+ calorie extra large Domino’s American Special pizza. All these political donations are a little hard to digest so I’ll have to take some of it away. Tomorrow the hot cheese will have turned to solidified rubber but at least I can add the remaining four of my five-a-day.
By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway