1 year ago

Where Does Katie McGinty Stand On The Philly Soda Tax? She Won’t Say.

The CliffsNotes version: Katie McGinty dodged the question repeatedly in this May video and has yet to clarify her position on the lightning rod proposal to tax Philly residents on the beverages they drink.

The longer story is that Katie McGinty seems to have recognized that Pennsylvania voters aren’t fans of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s far-left nanny state proposal that will raise taxes on soda, tea, fruit juice and other popular beverages to astronomical levels this January.

As The Washington Post reported this week:

“The measure will charge 1.5 cents per ounce of diet and regular soda, iced tea, energy drinks, juice drinks with less than 50 percent juice, and other sugary beverages. That would add $1.01 to the cost of a 2-liter soda, 21 cents to a 13.7-ounce Starbucks Frappuccino bottle and $2.16 to a 12-pack of soda.”

Mayor Kenney and City Hall liberals passed the measure today, touting it publicly as a way to fund education initiatives. But, as The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, Kenney has been less than honest about his motivations and may have sweetened the deal for his supporters with some backroom bargaining:

“While Mayor Kenney pitched his sugary drink tax as needed to fund early childhood education, it turns out that nearly 20 percent of the money raised would go to other city programs and employee benefits. The additional spending – never mentioned while Kenney was selling the tax to the public – was added on during talks with Council on the proposed tax, according to the administration.”

Hillary Clinton, another known fan of hiding things from the public, has also made things uncomfortable for McGinty, coming out in strong support of the tax in an attempt to court liberal voters as she battled Bernie Sanders in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary.

Asked if she supported the measure, McGinty desperately tried to pivot to an unrelated proposal from her brief and ineffective tenure as Gov. Tom Wolf’s chief of staff:

ANCHOR: So to be clear, the soda tax itself, is that something you support?

MCGINTY: Well, I think that again the Mayor is working hard to put good ideas on the table. I think it’s worthwhile to look at and consider. When I worked with Governor Wolf we put a different idea on the table and that was with respect to shale gas companies. Shale gas companies now not paying any severance tax at all even though we have the second biggest gas industry in the country. That’s not right. We need resources. I applaud the Mayor. I think people are working hard to find those resources and that’s what’s important.

All that’s clear from this tortured word salad is that Katie McGinty seems ready to say or do anything to win this election, even if it means trying to dump her liberal friends in Philadelphia when it becomes clear her tax-and-spend philosophy is failing to connect across the Keystone State.