The American Beverage Association, a trade lobby of the world's biggest soda manufacturers, has plunked down yet another $2.3 million to pass Initiative 1107—which is attempting to repeal a temporary tax on soda, bottled water, and candy—according to a report released today by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. That single contribution, which is enough to run an entire statewide campaign alone, brings the lobby's donations to $16,727,750.00.
The group already donated the largest amount ever to a Washington state initiative campaign at $14.4 million. Only $21,000 arrives in the I-1107 bank account from other donors, state records show.
Why contribute so much more money—on top of a gilded sundae sprinkled with diamonds—when polling shows I-1107 is already passing with a 32 point margin?
This isn't about passing I-1107.
The soda industry is screwing Washington on a national stage to intimidate every state and everyone in Congress from driving the recent trend to tax soda. The ABA is pounding its chest and roaring over Washington's limp electorate to demonstrate they have more money than anyone else does, more lobbying power, and more ballot power. They're trying to scare off any opposition—forever. It's not even worth fighting, they're saying. The counter campaign in Washington has a paltry $393,000, because donating to them is a waste of time.
But unsatisfied as king of the hill for eternity, the ABA's tactics show they have no ethical gauge in campaigns. The group has been running TV commercials that even the Seattle Times called "mostly false" (and we called a sack of bullshit). For the numbers on the campaign's lies—essentially a disingenuous claim that this is a tax on groceries for the poor—you can read more here.