News Release

Beyond the Bush Daughters: Alcohol Policies Under Attack


While many have focused on the specifics of President Bush’s daughter Jenna being charged with underage drinking at an Austin restaurant last week, some specialists in alcohol policies are urging a shift in public focus — to scrutinize key roles of the alcohol industry.

The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

Leiber is a member of the California Council on Alcohol Policy. She said today: “President Bush is asking that we treat his daughters’ citations for alcohol-related violations as a private, family matter. But underage drinking is a very public, policy matter as long as the alcohol industry is permitted to aggressively target underage minors with its advertising and promotions…. Holding young people solely responsible for underage drinking is like blaming fish for dying in a polluted stream.”
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Godshall, executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, was featured in a 1999 CBS “60 Minutes” expose of tobacco-industry sponsorship of legislation to penalize the young. He said today: “By doing little or nothing to reduce the alcohol industry’s rampant advertising and distribution to minors, officials in Texas and most other states have assisted the booze peddlers in encouraging President Bush’s daughters and other minors to attempt purchasing alcohol. The recent alcohol episodes involving President Bush’s daughters highlight the critical need for elected officials to begin holding the greedy alcohol and tobacco industries accountable for target marketing their addictive and lethal products to youth, and to stop scapegoating youth for doing exactly what industry advertising teaches them is cool, sexy, adventurous and fun. Over the past few decades, the wealthy alcohol and tobacco industries have aggressively lobbied for laws that have shifted civil and criminal liability away from themselves and onto their youthful target markets. This shifting of legal responsibility from deadly drug pushers to immature youth wasn’t intended to and cannot reduce youth drinking or smoking, but rather it has only scapegoated youth for the egregious actions of deadly industries.”
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Director of alcohol policy for the Trauma Foundation, Mosher will be available for interviews beginning Tuesday.
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For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167