A wave of sticky-sweet, lightly carbonated, probably cavity-inducing money is washing over San Francisco and Berkeley, thanks to opponents ofboth cities' proposed taxes on soda and other sugary beverages. That's not a surprise to anyone who has seen the billboards or TV spots, but the amount, released today, is as staggering as the Xtreme taste of a Mountain Dew Code Red.
The American Beverage Association—that's Coke and Pepsi's trade group—has already spent $7.7 million to defeat San Francisco's Proposition E, according to data made public today. By the Chron's calculation, that's the second-highest amount of money ever spent in a San Francisco election, just short of the $10 million that PG&E spent to kibosh a public power proposal in 2008. But the election's still a month out, menaing there's plenty of time for that record to be broken.
"It's eyeball-popping," said Scott Wiener, the Supervisor behind the measure. He's not wrong. The spending works out to about $9 for each of San Francisco's 837,000 residents—or $17 for each of our 435,757 registered voters. That's enough to buy every registered voter in the city about 47 cans of Coke from Costco. (If you were a monster who enjoyed the burning taste of sadness, you could buy us all the same amount of Diet Pepsi instead.) All of that spending is on top of a reported $1.4 million injection of cash being uto defeat Berkeley's soda tax proposal. The soda industry is no stranger to this level of political donations. It also spent $2.6 million to bring down a similar proposal made in Richmond in 2012.
By the way, if the ABA would like to ship us our 47 cans of Coke, it should go ahead and contact us to set up a delivery, please.