Some California Politicians Find Tobacco Money Hard To Resist
Network Vice President Jim Knox said more than two dozen California lawmakers have agreed not to take such contributions. But six candidates for the State Assembly each accepted $4,100 from tobacco giant Philip Morris just before Election Day.
All of them are Democrats.
Knox pointed out Republicans take tobacco money, too. Since July, the California Republican Party has received $650,000 from Philip Morris, according to the American Cancer Society.
Knox said the tobacco industry is a major political player.
“They’ve spent $63 million on campaigns and lobbying in the last five years," he said. "And that influence is why we have been unable to pass strong anti-smoking legislation in California for the past 20 years.”
Seven attempts over the last seven years to raise California’s tobacco tax in the legislature have failed.
Voters have also rejected recent ballot initiatives to increase the tobacco tax.