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Ads aim to persuade D.C. council on contracting reform, soda tax

Two interest groups are aiming election-year advertising campaigns at the D.C. Council members who are racing to complete work on the budget this week.

The Service Employees International Union will begin airing an ad Tuesday in the City Paper calling on the council to enact "strong" contracting reform. Although the contracting bill is not expected to be voted on until later in the summer, SEIU officials say the final version of a bill is being put together now as Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) and the Fenty administration engage in negotiations over what will be included in it.

"Tell Mayor [Adrian] Fenty and the City Council you are tired of wasted tax dollars and worker abuse, and that D.C. wants real reform," SEIU says in the ad, which will run for two weeks.

Julie Karant of SEIU said the politically active union is looking for a "strong" bill that includes a ban on contractors who engaged in unethical business practices.

Meanwhile, a coalition of nutrition advocates says it will run a web ad on Tuesday to try to rally public support for Cheh's proposed soda tax.

The ad shows the faces of all 13 council members on 13 soda cans. "D.C. Council who do you support?" the ad by the Earth Day Network asks. "Healthy Kids or Soda Lobbyists?"

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  May 17, 2010; 7:11 PM ET
Categories:  Budget , City Finances , D.C. Council , Tim Craig  
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Soda tax -- yes.
Contracting reform -- yes.
Ban on styrofoam -- yes.
Bottle bill -- yes.
Ban trans fat in restaurants -- yes.
Green manufacturing jobs -- yes.
High tech garbage-to-energy plant -- yes.
Free bicycle parking in all office buildings -- yes.

Posted by: harryejones | May 17, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Ah, DC.

Our tax on beer is 9 cents per gallon (one gallon = 128 ounces).

Our proposed tax on soda is $1.28 per gallon.

Way to encourage healthy livin', DC! Because soda is WAY less healthy than beer.

Posted by: jamietre | May 18, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

If they are going to tax soda, they should offer some kind of incentive to purchase healthy drinks. Lower income parents would probably love to buy Odwalla type products for their kids, but they are far too expensive. I'm not obese, and have absolutely no possibility of becoming obese-- exactly why should I be expected to pay a tax on HFCS and water?

Posted by: powell2 | May 18, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

You can take my soda ....


Posted by: bs2004 | May 18, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Beer IS healthier than soda, moron.

Posted by: DCteacher | May 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The soda tax is ridiculous and I am for getting people to stop drinking sugar drinks. But it is time to look at what we are taxing and what the money is used for and who it impacts.

Is the money all dedicated to the healthy schools act like the money from the bag tax was supposed to go to cleaning up the Anacostia River and now it seems like it will go to street cleaning!

Let's take a look at the real issues in this budget and stop the fight over things like a soda tax.

Like "jamietre" above says there is some sort of obscenity with the beer tax being 9 cents a gallon and soda tax being $1.28 a gallon. We know the restaurant lobby wouldn't allow you to pass that kind of an increase on beer. So let's rethink this obsurd tax, realize it impacts poor people much more than anyone else and move on to other things.

Posted by: peterdc | May 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I question the numbers above on the soda v. beer tax, but if they are true. Then just raise the beer tax. I say this as someone who loves beer, and rarely drinks soda. I agree with the guy above, beer is healthier than soda.

As for a healthier option other than soda, the healthiest option is water. People should just drink more water.

Posted by: mortonjr77 | May 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Peterdc, the soda tax impacts poor people more than anyone else because the rest of us are drinking juice and water.

Posted by: forgetthis | May 18, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Nutritionists/dieticians consider juice to be pretty much as bad as soda, because it contains all the sugar that would otherwise be found in the fruit from which the juice was made, but without any of the 'bulk' included in the fruit.

Posted by: dfl1 | May 18, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this right, the SEIU (Andrew Stern's corrupt union) wants legislation which will ban corrupt contracting practices, but he had no problem using 'thug' tactics in taking over smaller weaker unions and using the union members dues to sue the AFL-CIO to make a part of their union leave the AFL-CIO and join with his union, the SEIU.

Do your homework on the SEIU as well as on Andrew Stern who currently sits on Obama's Fiscal Reform Commission and will have major input on so many areas of your, the American citizen and taxpayer's life.

Folks! This is not about beer and soda tax nor about contractors! This is just another way for Obama and his Chicago Thugs to further erode our freedoms by invading every facet of your life and your freedoms. Stop this corruption now...

Posted by: imaginemore | May 18, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Big Brother is at it again. So, there is a casual link between drinking sodas and obesity. Therefore, to reduce the risk of obesity, a tax will be placed on sodas as a disincentive to purchase them. Logical. Let's continue down that slippery slope. Anal intercourse is a primary contributor to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the District of Columbia. Therefore, a tax should be placed on all products which either facilitate or make that act more pleasurable as a disincentive, so people will stop doing it. Is it still logical? If a tax on sodas is to be implemented at all, tax them as any other taxable food item. AND STOP USING THE TAX CODE FOR PURPOSES OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING!

Posted by: rjchittamssr | May 18, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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