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SODA MONEY FLOWS INTO COOK COUNTY RACES, BUT COMES UP FLAT

March 30, 2018

Center for Media and Democracy,

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March 29, 2018-

The soda industry lost two allies in its fight against soda taxes in Illinois when two incumbent democratic Cook County Commissioners, John Fritchey and Richard Boykin were defeated in a primary held on March 20. The soda industry gave the Fritchey campaign $85,000 and another $64,000 to Boykin’s campaign through its Citizens for a More Affordable Cook Country political action committee.

The misnamed “Citizens for a More Affordable Cook County” is supported with large donations from Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Red Bull, Pepsi, and Monster Energy. The odd PAC name is intended to shield the identities of the brand named soda companies and spin the public. As the Center for Media and Democracy has reported, the firms are interested in battling soda taxes not in making Cook County more affordable. For both commissioners, soda money accounted for close to 40% of the total money spent by the reelection campaigns. This does not count the outside dark money, some $400,000 spent on their behalf by the JOBS political action committee, supported by the Illinois Manufacturer Association.

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