The food and beverage industries’ deep pockets often translate to political clout. Case in point, the recent news that the soda industry targeted the California legislature’s Latino caucus to defeat proposed soda tax bills.
* “As California lawmakers continue to kill soda tax proposals, a new analysis found that the industry has disproportionately directed campaign contributions to members of the Latino Caucus in Sacramento.”
* “While the 24-member Latino Caucus makes up less than one-quarter of the overall Legislature, they received 42 percent of soda industry contributions during the 2015-16 election cycle.”
* “When we took a look at the voting patterns and a bill that died in the Assembly Health Committee in 2015, we found that three Latino Caucus members abstained from voting, and those members received an average $16,000 from the soda industry, and were among the top recipients of soda industry money.”
* “The analysis found that the industry funneled 2.3 times as much money to members of the committee that voted against or abstained from voting on the proposed tax as to those who voted for the proposal.”
* ““It does deserve public attention that self-interested corporations … are making use of money to even potentially influence a vote. The contribution pattern itself underscores a larger systematic problem, which is essentially the outsized influence of corporations and wealthy donors in funding elections.”