Among the many casualties of Oregonâs ongoing budget crisis is the line item that normally would have paid for Gov.-elect John Kitzhaberâstransition expenses.
To help defray those costs, interested parties have been contributing steadilyâif unspectacularlyâto Kitzhaber since Nov. 2 when he beat RepublicanChris Dudley by 22,000 votes.
State filings show a couple of dozen donors have written Kitzhaber post-election checks in the run-up to his taking office next month. The largest and perhaps most interesting is $10,000 he reeled in on Monday from theOregon Soft Drink PAC. That group, which is funded almost entirely by Coca Cola and Pepsi bottlers, has only written one check that large in the past couple of years, and that went in October to House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) who is a Coca Cola bottler.
Nationally, the possibility of a tax on carbonated sodas is on the to-do lists of health advocates and groups looking for new sources of government revenue. As The New York Times reported recently, Coke and Pepsi are tossing lots of cash around to publicize the opposite case.