Friday, June 12, 2009

Southern Politicians Receive Big Bucks to Oppose Tobacco regulation

It seems Southern Senators got big money from the industry to help fight Tobacco relegation bills in the Senate:

Over the course of his nearly quarter-century Senate career, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who hails from the tobacco-rich state of Kentucky, has received $419,025 from the tobacco industry, more than any other member of Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that analyzes the influence of money on politics and policy.

North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who led the opposition to the bill, is the second highest recipient and netted $359,100 from tobacco-related political action committees and individual contributions. His state is the nation's largest tobacco grower and is home to R.J. Reynolds, the nation's second largest tobacco manufacturing company, which contributed $196,850 to Burr's campaigns.

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, is the third highest recipient with $228,700. Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, who's up for re-election next year and is considered the most vulnerable Senate Republican, ranks eighth with $194,166.

All oppose giving additional tobacco regulatory powers to the FDA, an agency they argue doesn't have adequate resources for the task. They say cigarette companies' campaign contributions didn't color their positions on the legislation.

People need to learn that money does buy influence. This sick cycle of money in our political system is going to affect our children. These tobacco regulations brought to my attention the use of Tobacco lollipops and mint strips. It is kinda sad how they market it to children in such ways.