Coke, Pepsi Soaking Bay Area In Cash To Defeat Soda Taxes

"Big Soda" is very invested in Bay Area politics this fall.

The soda industry is soaking the Bay Area in campaign cash this fall, with the makers of Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Red Bull spending almost $10 million in Berkeley and San Francisco with a month of intense soda spending to go.

What's causing this rash of cash? The soda industry is spending lots of money to make sure you don't have to fork over some extra change the next time you go to buy a Mountain Dew.

There are soda taxes on the ballot in both Berkeley and San Francisco that would raise the price of a 12-ounce can or 20-ounce bottle to help pay for education and health programs designed to cut down on childhood obesity and other problems that, advocates say, are made worse by excessive consumption of "sugar-sweetened beverages" like soda, according to reports.

So far, "Big Soda" -- the American Beverage Industry as well as the Coca-Cola Company, Pepsico Incorporated, and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group -- have uncorked $7.7 million in San Francisco and another $1.4 million in Berkeley, according to reports.

And that's only the beginning: the groups together have forked over more than $15 million to beat back the soda tax, the Washington Post reported.

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