Why would Coca Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull contribute a combined nearly $3,000,000 to fund deceptive ads in support of Initiative 1634? Hint: it’s not about “affordable groceries.” It’s not even about affordable sugary drinks.
I-1634 would prevent local governments from imposing a tax on sugary drinks. Research has shown that sugary drink consumption leads to obesity and diabetes, at a measurable cost to public health. Taxes can slow this down or at least recoup some of the societal costs. Maybe a sugary drink tax is the nanny state, maybe it’s good government. The initiative eliminates the power of local government, and local voters, to make that choice.
Why would the industry oppose this? Profits, of course, and convenience. They know the tax can reduce consumption. It’s a burden to send lobbyists to every city that considers a soda tax to argue and pay, umm, campaign contributions, to defeat these measures individually.
As always, when corporation public relations departments are exercising their free speech, you know one thing is true: their corporate lips are moving.