PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has rejoined the fight to support the Philadelphia Beverage tax, with a television and radio ad campaign.
Although Mayor Jim Kenney welcomes the support he says he had nothing to do with it.
The ads focus on the expanded pre-kindergarten that part of the tax is earmarked for, comparing what it calls a “small tax” to the “big difference” it claims pre-K is making.
Mayor Kenney says he wasn’t even aware the ads were coming.
“It’s not something that I’ve been briefed on or told about,” he said.
But he says he welcomes the support.
“We’re up against tens of millions of dollars of soda money putting out miss information and trying to upset people,” said Kenney.
The soda industry spent $1.7 million just in the first 3 months of this year on its own campaign and it’s not happy with Bloomberg’s response.
“It’s callous that an out-of-town billionaire, who doesn’t have to pay the tax, would call it ‘small,'” it says in an email statement.
Bloomberg’s spokesman says the former mayor just “wanted to level the playing field and make sure both sides were heard.”
He declined to say how much Bloomberg is spending