Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tobacco companies spend $40 million fighting Prop 29

The amount of money spent on elections in the U.S. is obscene.

Proposition 29, if passed, would impose an additional $1 tax on every pack of cigarette sold in California.  It should raise over $700 million a year.  Tobacco companies, of course, are not happy.  So they've carpet bombed California airwaves, to the tune of $40 million, in advertising before next month's election.

Soon after this ad aired, the good doctor was removed from a government panel she served on.  Retaliation?

But finally, I saw the first pro-29 ad today.  And they brought out the big guns, i.e. cancer-beating hero/controversial sportsman Lance Armstrong.  But with relatively less money to air the pro-29 ads, it looks like Big Tobacco might win.

Here are the major donors, as of today:

American Cancer Society $7,402,488
Lance Armstrong Foundation $1,500,000
American Heart Association $546,256
Michael Bloomberg $500,000
American Lung Association $412,086
Volunteers Organized for Community Empowerment $152,188
ACS Cancer Action Network $80,000
Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund $65,000
University of California/San Francisco Foundation $50,000
Alex Padilla's Ballot Measure Committee $25,450
T. Gary Rogers $25,000
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center $25,000
National Dialogue on Cancer Foundation $15,000
The Don Perata 2004 campaign fund $13,504
Tench Coxe $10,000
Mark Segal $10,000
Delta Dental of California $5,000
Malin Burnham $5,000
James Falaschi $5,000
Robert Klein $5,000
Sharon Long $5,000
Rubio for Senate 2014 $5,000

Altria/Philip Morris $24,029,416
R.J. Reynolds $9,574,755
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (Altria/UST LLC) $2,639,018
American Snuff Company (a Reynolds division) $1,500,000
California Republican Party $1,140,909
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (a Reynolds division) $984,000
John Middleton Co. (via Altria), an affiliate of Philip Morris $640,001
McClane Company, Inc. $50,000
Californians Against Unaccountable Taxes $47,744
International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers $40,000
Core-Mark $20,665
Trepco West $5,200
Prometheus International $2,500
Tatuaje Cigars, Inc. $2,500
Santa Barbara Cigar & Tobacco $1,000

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