The American Beverage Association California PAC has nearly doubled the money it has contributed to defeat the San Francisco soda tax by adding another $9.1 million this month to the No on V campaign, according to public records.

The PAC is the the committee that has been bankrolling No on V campaign. Proposition V is the one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages like soda that goes before San Francisco voters in November.

The early October addition to the PAC’s previous war chest of $9.8 million brings the campaign’s total to $18.9 million, according to San Francisco’s Ethics Commission filings.

This is the most raised by a single committee to defeat a San Francisco ballot measure on record. During the November 2015 election, Airbnb spent $9 million to defeat Proposition F, a measure designed to regulate the short-term rental industry. In 2014, soda companies spent $9 million to successfully defeat a tax on sugary beverages in San Francisco.

Joe Arellano, a spokesperson for the “No on V: Enough is Enough” campaign, confirmed that the last-minute contributions were made. He pointed to multi-million contributions from Michael Bloomberg, the former governor of New York, when asked why the American Beverage Association California PAC nearly doubled its contributions in the final month leading up to Election Day.

Michael Bloomberg has dropped in nearly $9 million since August 31 and we have 42 state and local measures on the SF ballot all competing for time and attention from voters,” he wrote in an email.

Bloomberg has indeed contributed some $9 million to support soda taxes on the ballot in cities around the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, where the beverage industry has already spent a combined $14 million to defeat them.

In San Francisco alone, the “Yes on Proposition V” campaign has raised just over $5 million, with about $2.6 million of that coming in October.

Asked about the whopping contribution, “Yes on V” spokesperson Dan Newman wrote in an email that the opposition has “spent tens of millions with no sign of stopping on lies about a so-called ‘grocery tax’ opposed by Bernie Sanders.”

“A big gulp of big lies from big soda,” he said.

The American Beverage Association PAC, which has been the major backer behind the ‘No on V’ independent expenditure committee, has been consistently receiving money from the likes of The Coca-Cola Company, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group/Motts LLP, PepsiCo, Inc., and Red Bull North America.

Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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4 Comments

  1. Good, I hope they triple the spending. Another measure from the “I know better than you” group of self-serving moralizers. Where will it end? How about taxing anal lube, because certainly this is a precursor to AIDS? This city and this state has real issues and this measure just increases the anger and cynicism of the electorate. Who has time to think about these trivialities? By the way: I buy a super-sized soda at a fast food chain, except that it’s fifty percent ice cubes. How does that work out? Do I get taxed on the ice cubes?
    Our city supervisors just make one stupid move after another. We finally got a Leows after years and years of the jobs and tax dollars going to Home Depot in Colma. Why? Because our supervisors refused to allow a Home Depot on a vacant lot. Genius move, BOS.

  2. With so much corporate money interfering with our elections, you better believe I’m going to vote Yes on V.

  3. Freeloader!!!, expect us to pay your medical bills do you?

    Even Free Market publications like Forbes write that sugar is costing 1 Trillion dollars in US Healthcare Spending.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/10/27/sugar-linked-to-1-trillion-in-u-s-healthcare-spending/#21a912720580

    We shouldn’t have to pay for your obesity and diabetes.

    This is smart policy to not for the people who make health choices to pay for the health costs of those who lack self control

  4. By voting Yes on Prop V in San Francisco
    I’m voting to help knock down diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

    Just like Berkeley, Just like Philly. Just like Mexico.

    (Similar to Prop V are: Yes on Measure HH in Oakland and Yes on Measure 01 in Albany),

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