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Some Industries Support Prop 30, Hoping to Avoid Their Own Tax Measure

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, September 17, 2012

Occidental Petroleum has donated $500,000 to the governor's "Yes on 30" campaign.  The California Beer and Beverage Distributors political action committee has chipped in $250,000.  And the American Beverage Association has raised nearly $2 million for its own PAC that supports Brown's Proposition 30.  That includes $700,000 from Coca-Cola and $560,000 from Pepsi.  Ask them why, and you'll get an answer like this one from Karen Hanretty with the American Beverage Association:

Hanretty: "We create a lot of jobs in the state of California.  So it's important to us to help Governor Brown manage the state's chronic budget deficit and help him be part of the solution in California."

But Republican political consultant Rob Stutzman believes there's a deeper reason for such seemingly unlikely business support for Brown's tax measure.

Stutzman: "What specific industries are concerned about - such as the beverage industry - is that there will be taxes that are specific to them.  So are you gonna tax soda? Are you gonna tax tobacco? Are you gonna tax oil?"

Stutzman says those industries would much rather see a broad-based tax like the governor's pass instead - and that's what's driving their contributions.  But while corporations wouldn't be hurt much by Prop 30, small businesses could be - and that's why the National Federation of Independent Businesses is a leading opponent and donor to the "No on 30" campaign.

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