I read with dismay in The Olympian of Rep. Jan Angel’s bill for naming rights of Washington state public property. My concern goes deeper than issues raised in the story – odd names, sufficient revenue or not, and the sheer crassness of it.
Many attempts are made to manipulate the minds of the public as a whole and as individuals, it’s part of the “advertising” game.
It’s a game we should not play.
It is driven by self-serving commercialism, with no grain of public service and no long-term good for society as a whole. These “rights for sale” amount to a billboard, plain and simple, and we banned billboards in this state some many years ago.
A longer term, larger evil is the perception that will grow over time, generation by generation. People will come to see this as normal and think that anything about government can be bought and sold by commercial and special interests.
These public buildings and infrastructure belong to us all, held in trust for the benefit of our state’s society.
It used to be that when companies put their name on something big like a building, they owned it and were funding the design, construction and continued use costs.
I say if these companies want a bridge, let them check to see if the one in Brooklyn is for sale.