Hallmark’s very, very bad week

11/05/2013 12:26 PM

11/06/2013 5:25 PM

Hallmark Cards — one of Kansas City’s best-known companies and larger employers — has had a very bad last week.

UPDATED 9 PM TUESDAY.

And it got worse Tuesday night.

The lineup:

• Last week the company

apologized

for a politically incorrect/offensive ornament that took the word “gay” out of the lyrics to the Christmas-time lyric “Deck the Halls.”

The company replaced “gay” with “fun” on the ornament. That set part of the social media world abuzz with criticism.

• On Monday

Hallmark announced

it was ceasing production of one line of products and trying to improve efficiency in another, eventually leading to the loss of up to 250 local jobs.

• And on Tuesday, the medical research tax in Question 1 in Jackson County was trounced.

Hallmark Chairman Donald J. Hall and the Hall Family Foundation he leads

were very big supporters

of the half-cent sales tax for medical research. Together, they had pledged to finance the construction of a $75 million building to house some of the researchers who could be funded with the $40 million a year created by the tax.

However, strong opposition mounted against the tax, and for good reasons. A sales tax levied in one county for this purpose — far afield from the usual use of these kinds of tax dollars — was not appropriate.

The defeat of the tax was yet another piece of bad news for the Hallmark name in Kansas City.

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