No More Sam:  Somerville Mayor To Abstain From Boston Beer Over Pro-Trump-Tax-Cut Comments

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Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone is vowing to boycott Samuel Adams beer for the rest of his life because company co-founder Jim Koch touted the Trump tax cuts during a meeting with the president last week.

Curtatone also implicitly included Koch among what he called “complicit profiteers of Trump’s white nationalist agenda.”

The Somerville mayor apparently sent the tweet Sunday while traveling to Honduras, where he and U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) are on what they are calling a fact-finding mission. The two men and their entourage are there to see the conditions of the areas where Central American nationals illegally in the United States would have to return if deported. They are also planning to visit El Salvador.

Somerville under Curtatone’s leadership is a sanctuary city. The mayor in May 2014 issued an executive order that limits the ability of Somerville police to cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement civil detainer requests for illegal immigrants.

Koch ran afoul of Curtatone by praising the Trump tax cuts for making his business competitive in the global market during a dinner meeting of business leaders with President Donald Trump. The gathering took place Tuesday, August 7 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The White House published a transcript of Koch’s exchange with Trump:

KOCH:  I’m not quite sure why I’m here.  I’m like the smallest company by far.  I’m Jim Koch, and I started making Sam Adams beer in my kitchen 37 years ago (inaudible) the designated drink.  (Applause.)  At least I brought the beer.  (Laughter.)  (Inaudible.)

And I guess I’m sort of speaking on behalf of what is now 7,000 small brewers in the United States.


KOCH:  When I started Sam Adams, American beer was a joke, and it pissed me off.  And now, American brewers make the best beer in the world.  And the tax reform was a very big deal for all of us, because 85 percent of the beer made in the United States is owned by foreign companies.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s right.

KOCH:  I mean, Americans — I’m the largest American-owned brewery at 2 percent market share.  We were paying 38-percent taxes —

THE PRESIDENT:  Wow.  But you’ve done a great job.  Great job.

KOCH:  — and competing against people who were paying 20.  And now we have a level playing field, and we’re going to kick their ass.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  That’s good.  We’ve done that.  That was a very unfair situation.  That’s right.  Good job.  That’s a really good job.  (Applause.)

Here’s a link to a video of Koch’s comments, which begin at 35:37.

Locally, the Boston Business Journal was the first to report on Koch’s comments.