Biggest Donor to the Republicans Is Phillip Morris -- Comparison of Clinton and Bush on Tobacco
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- "The biggest donor to the Republican Party in this election is Phillip Morris, and they're too smart to give millions of dollars away for no reason," says Patrick Reynolds, an opponent of the tobacco industry and a gran
"Look at the difference between the Clinton and Bush administrations on tobacco. It's 180 degrees," says Reynolds. "Clinton filed for FDA regulation of Big Tobacco, but thus far, President Bush has not pushed Congress for FDA regulation. Clinton wanted a $1 per pack Federal tax on cigarettes, but under Bush, the momentum for this just evaporated. Clinton filed a $100 million lawsuit against Big Tobacco, but Bush chose to grossly underfund the suit in his budget, which greatly impeded the Justice Department's pursuit of it. Many advocates estimate that the Federal lawsuit would have brought $100 billion.
"The tobacco lobby has also influenced dozens of State legislatures; only 5 States have set aside sufficient funds from the multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement to meet the minimum amount recommended by the CDC for an effective tobacco education campaign. States like Arizona, California, Minnesota, Maine and Florida have well funded programs and a corresponding success. Florida's program reduced middle school smoking by 47%, but Governor Jeb Bush cut back funds for Florida's tobacco control program.
"In summary, the tobacco industry, with its campaign contributions and well connected lobbyists, has been far too influential over the President's party. And if the tobacco industry can have its way with a majority of Republicans, one can only conclude that the other special interests are having their way with them rather easily as well."
Philip Morris is the leading campaign contributor to Republicans in federal elections during the 2001-02 election cycle, giving $2,666,163 (as of October 2), according to a new report by the Center for Responsive Politics. Philip Morris also gave $537,638 to Democrats during the 2001-02 cycle. http://www.opensecrets.org/pubs/toporgs/appendix.asp (See No. 5.)
Philip Morris has also been the leading overall campaign contributor to Republicans in federal elections since 1989, giving $14,300,228. Political giving by Phillip Morris since 1990:
On November 2 Patrick Reynolds completed a five city tour of Florida, to advocate Amendment 6 as a private citizen. If passed, it will send a mandate to the Florida legislature for a 100% statewide smoking ban.
Reynolds began his campaign after his father, R.J. Reynolds, Jr., died in 1964 from emphysema, caused by smoking the family's brands. His eldest brother, R.J. Reynolds III, also died from emphysema caused by smoking, in 1994. Mr. Reynolds is President of Tobaccofree.org in Los Angeles.
Full bio: http://www.tobaccofree.org/bio.htm
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