Bush vs. Gore: Effect on Big Tobacco
The outcome of the November presidential election could mean big things to the tobacco industry.
If Vice President and Democratic candidate Al Gore is elected, he is almost certain to go ahead with a Justice Department suit against tobacco companies, industry watchers say. The government filed suit against Big Tobacco in September 1999 to recover billions of government dollars spent on smoking-related health-care costs, accusing cigarette makers of a "coordinated campaign of fraud and deceit."
If Texas Gov. and Republican candidate George W. Bush wins, the lawsuit against tobacco companies could go away altogether, observers say. Although it is clearly early in the race, with Republicans set to open their national convention Monday, Bush leads Gore by 11 points, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll released Friday.
"If Bush is elected, it really goes away," says Tim Ghriskey, a money manager at Dreyfus Large Company Value fund.