Tag Archives: Tobacco Money

Tobacco Money: The Bad

What do Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Chevron Corporation and AT&T Inc. all have in common?  Lots of money?  Well yes, but more specifically they are the only three corporations that spent more on campaign contributions and lobbying in California over a ten-year period (2000 to 2009) than Philip Morris USA Inc. 

Shocking?  No.  We all know that tobacco companies spend millions every year to influence public policy in California.  Disappointing?  Yes.  It is sad that a company that sells products responsible for the leading cause of preventable death in the United States spent more than almost every other company to influence policy in our state.  This means that even with all that we know about the dangers of smoking and the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry, they are still able to influence legislators and voters in our state.  Read More »

Tobacco Money: The Good

The Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids recently updated their database of campaign contributions from the  tobacco industry to Members of Congress with data from the 2009-2010 election cycle.  California has two senators and 53 representatives and 15 out of the 55 California members (all 15 are representatives) accepted contributions from the tobacco industry.  This calculates out to 27 percent of the California Members of Congress taking campaign contributions from the industry responsible for the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  So why is that good news?  Well, by comparison to Members of Congress from other states and California’s state legislators, California’s federal representatives are fairly responsible when it comes to not taking contributions from the tobacco industry.

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Tobacco Money: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We’ve called our state “America’s Nonsmoking Section.”  We were the first to ban smoking in restaurants and bars.  We have a comprehensive tobacco control program that is the model for other states.  We pride ourselves on being the leader in tobacco control.  And when it comes to accepting campaign contributions from the tobacco industry, California is again leading the nation, but down the wrong path.

In coordination with the release of our latest report, Tobacco Money in California Politics, we are starting a four-part blog series titled Tobacco Money: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that will dig deeper into the significance of the numbers in our report and show how tobacco industry spending in California compares to other industries and other states.  The story told in our report and blog posts will make clear the vast financial resources that the tobacco industry continues to use to influence public policy in our state.  This post is Part 1 and the schedule for the remaining posts is: Read More »