You may have already seen the above TV spot which just launched last week from the No on E campaign. It's funded by the deep pockets of the American beverage industry who have until next week to disclose to the San Francisco Ethics Commission how much they're spending to bring down Prop E the much talked ballot measure that will add a 2-cents-per-ounce surcharge to all sodas and other sugary drinks in the city. The measure, if it passes, will make San Francisco the first big city in the nation to take this stance against high-fructose corn syrup in the name of public health though Berkeley has a similar measure on this November's ballot too.
As the Chron reports, the beverage industry has already hired the same PR firm that helped them destroy Mayor Bloomberg's New York City ban on large-format sodas, which was finally killed in court this past June. That firm comes at a price of almost $1 million, and they're expected to spend far more before all this is done the TV spot above has been playing prominently during prime-time broadcasts on local stations six weeks ahead of the election.
The main scare tactic: Prop E is going to hurt local business to the tune of $60 million, and most of the tax will be paid by poor families.
Interestingly, they also have Bill Clinton on their side. The former president last week announced that the three big sugary-drink makers, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, are teaming up under the aegis of the Clinton Global Initiative, to prove that they are not evil and don't want to keep America fat, as the New York Times reported.
The companies [pledged to] to reduce each American’s calorie consumption in sugary drinks by 20 percent on average by 2025. They will expand the presence of low- and no-calorie drinks, as well as drinks sold in smaller portions, and use their promotional skills to educate consumers and encourage them to reduce the calories they are drinking.
The move is seen as a blatant salvo against soda-tax initiatives, and a spokesman for the No on E campaign has already come out using the Clinton announcement to say, "There are other ways to impact healthy lifestyle choices other than taxing people."
And just to be clear, the Supervisors are all pretty split on Prop E, with David Campos, who co-sponsored the damn thing, saying back in July that he while he wants "to err on the side of giving voters a choice" he also feels there's "something Big Brother about this." Way to hedge those bets for your Assembly campaign, Campos.