Buying Influence, Selling Death
The tobacco industry has given more than $32 million in political contributions since 1995 to thwart policies to protect the public health, and votes in Congress show a strong correlation between the amount Members receive and how they vote on tobacco-rel
The tobacco industry has given more than $32 million in political contributions since 1995.(Image borrowed from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)Now the tobacco industry expects even more for its money from the new Congress and Administration. They want to defeat legislation to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products and kill the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
From 1995 to 2000, tobacco interests contributed $26.7 million to federal candidates and political parties and $5.4 million at the state level. Federal contributions include:
$17.4 million in â€œsoft moneyâ€ donations to the political parties, according to Common Cause. Soft money refers to unlimited donations that corporations, other organizations and individuals make to political parties.
$7.4 million in political action committee (PAC) donations to congressional candidates and party committees, according to Common Cause.
$1.9 million in individual donations from tobacco interests, including $90,000 to the Bush presidential campaign and $8,000 to the Gore presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Six out of 10 members of the current Congress received direct contributions from tobacco companies at some time during the past six years. Overall, tobacco companies have invested more than $5.4 million in the 107th Congress.
In the 2000 election cycle alone, tobacco interests directed $8.3 million to federal election efforts, including $5.2 million in soft money, $2.4 million in PAC contributions and $670,000 in contributions from tobacco company executives and employees.