Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NO on 1107: Reject soda lobby's attempt to buy favorable laws at Washington's expense

As our economy remained mired in recession earlier this year, the state Legislature passed 2ESSB 6143, which, among other things, extended the sales tax to candy, bottled water (exceptions being for medical use or people without potable water) and carbonated beverages, in order to preserve funding for vital public services.

The Legislature's move angered the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and their bottlers so much that they spent millions buying signatures in an successful attempt to force a public vote on that part of the budget. They've now spending millions more in an attempt to buy our votes.

What they don't want you to understand is that candy and soda are classified by the federal government as foods of minimal nutritional value. They are not necessities in any Washington household, not necessary to sustain life; merely luxuries that we enjoy. Indeed, candy and soda have played a part (among other factors) in the obesity crisis facing people today.

As of two days ago, the aforementioned companies, through the American Beverage Association, had poured $16,731,050 into the campaign to pass I-1107, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

The ABA is responsible for 99.9999% of the money behind Initiative 1107. Only $10,801.61 has come from individuals. Of that amount, $9,775 was contributed by two local lobbyists who represent — you guessed it — the Washington Soft Drink Association and the Northwest Automatic Vending Association.

So the amount that has been donated to the campaign by average Washingtonians who would be affected by the tax, and not industry insiders, is actually $1,026.61. Make no mistake, this campaign is being funded by outside interests.

It's not as if the soft drink industry has fallen on hard times. Coca-Cola has reported that their third quarter profits are up, with a net income of $2.06 billion. PepsiCo announced improvement of its bottom line in the third quarter with profits of $1.92 billion. And while Dr Pepper Snapple Group's income may have fallen by five percent, its net income for the third quarter was reported earlier today as $144 million.

Why should these greedy, out of state interests dictate whether or not our children have first-rate schools or whether or not a citizen of Washington can have health care? Why should the soft drink and candy industries get special tax breaks they don't need?

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are not representing our interests. They act they're accountable to nobody, not even their own shareholders. They're only concerned with their bottom line: selling more of their products. And our common wealth should not be wasted on entities that provide such little return on investment.

On or before November 2nd, help put a stop to one of the biggest corporate power grabs in Washington State history. Stop greed and vote NO on I-1107.


Post a Comment

<< Home