It is nice to know that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against Hillandale Farms is over.
On the surface, it would seem like a win-win situation. The two parties agreed that James would drop the suit and Hillandale would donate 1.2 million eggs to food banks in the state of New York. Hillandale can continue to do business of producing eggs to feed America without the distraction of a lawsuit, and with the food bank donation, a lot of people in need of food would benefit.
However, I can’t just let slide the way James announced the occasion. It was self-serving and wrong.
I’ll provide a little background: James in August 2020 filed a suit against Hillandale Farms, alleging the company gouged the price of eggs during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hillandale wasn’t the only egg producer accused of the same thing. Cal-Maine Foods, Dutt & Wagner and Dakota Layers also had lawsuits filed against them in other states.
Those who understand how the egg market works know that even though the price of eggs went up dramatically, it is implausible to accuse them of doing so. The eggs were sold based on prices determined by an open market. Egg producers didn’t raise prices on consumers. Retailers bid prices up when eggs became scarce.
But it would appear James, and other New York politicians weren’t buying it, or at least they weren’t buying it publicly. They saw an avenue to play at people’s emotions, and continued to press the narrative that Hillandale gouged prices and this was their punishment. And what better time to reach people’s emotions about eggs than right before Easter?
I will provide a link to James’ press release about it, if you want to read it, but I don’t want to publish any of the comments made by James, as well as U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Robert Calarco, New York City Councilmember Mark Levine and a bevy of state legislators.
All of the people mentioned above appeared to take advantage of the situation and condemned Hillandale in an effort to increase their own political stock. I didn’t check party affiliations, but it wouldn’t surprise me they all belonged to the same party and this was a mass campaign stunt.
I also saw that a press conference was staged, which parts of it can be seen on ABC7. She is at a podium with a food bank cart on one side, and a table with rows of egg cartons on it. “New York State Attorney General Letitia James” is prominently displayed on the tablecloth. She went on to talk about how she fought for the consumers of New York while essentially saying shame on Hillandale.
I say shame on James et. al. Yes, I’m glad they wanted to better feed the hungry, but it wasn’t just the hungry New Yorkers they wanted to help. They wanted to help themselves. This type of political grandstanding is disgusting, and I hope the voters in New York see it as nothing more than that.