American Beverage Association Funnels Money to Jane Kim for State Senate

ABA uses housing issues slate mailer to circumvent campaign finance limits and funnel contributions to Jane Kim for State Senate

San Francisco, CA – (October 11, 2016) Over the past two weeks, San Francisco voters have received two mailings from an organization called the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA). Featured prominently on the cards is the organization’s endorsement of Jane Kim for State Senate.

The Affordable Housing Alliance slate mailers are entirely funded by $180,000 from the American Beverage Association (ABA), which is funded by Coca Cola and Pepsi, two of the world’s largest corporations.

The ABA is opposing Prop V the soda tax on San Francisco’s November ballot. However, the slate mailers do not feature No on Proposition V any more than other propositions are featured. Featured on the mailers are Jane Kim.

While candidates and ballot measures pay to be listed on a slate mailer, typical contribution limits run from $250-$5,000 at most. $180,000 is buying the organization. In fact, no record of contributions by any of the other ballot measures or any candidates can be found in campaign finance filings.

Why would the soda industry pay $180,000 to a local San Francisco housing organization run by one person? And, why would a soda industry-funded mailer barely mention the soda tax while prominently featuring Jane Kim?

The ABA has clear reasons to actively support Jane Kim for State Senate, including:

    1. Jane Kim voted against the Soda Tax in 2014 and opposes it again this year. If Kim is elected, the soda industry will have an ally in the State Senate from progressive San Francisco, helping them lead their fight against labeling, taxes and other attempts to reduce consumption of sugary drinks. Having Jane Kim in the State Senate would be a huge win for the soda industry.
    2. Jane Kim’s campaign consultant, Eric Jaye, is the ABA’s campaign consultant for the 2016 No on Prop V campaign. The ABA relies on Jaye to make recommendations on where to spend their money trying to defeat Prop V. Jaye is using the ABA to funnel money to help his other client Jane Kim, who is restrained by campaign finance limits. It’s a win-win for Kim, Jaye and the ABA.
    3. Kim’s opponent in the State Senate race, Scott Wiener, co-authored both the 2014 and 2016 soda tax and has authored legislation to require warning labels on soda advertisements, which the ABA is currently suing in court. The ABA desperately wants to defeat Wiener and elect their ally Kim.

As they are doing with the Affordable Housing Alliance, the ABA is also contributing large sums in the amount of $40,000 to the San Francisco Tenants Union who is sending mailers and robo calls in support of Kim and against Wiener.

See attached ABA campaign finance reports and AHA mailers.

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