No surprise here. The Big Tobacco companies are protecting their customer base.
If there was any uncertainty whether Big Tobacco — the nation’s leading makers of cigarettes — would let this June’s statewide campaign for a tax hike slip by without an all out war… the question was answered quite definitively late Thursday.
That’s when the campaign to defeat Proposition 29 reported almost $9 million in new contributions from the parent company of Philip Morris, USA and R.J. Reynolds. Add that to the companies’ contribution earlier this year of $12 million, and the effort to kill a new $1-per pack tax on cigarettes is now sitting on a war chest of close to $21 million.
Prop 29, if passed by the voters two months from now, would earmark all of the new tax proceeds for cancer research.
There never was any doubt that the tobacoo companies would spend what it takes to defeat this measure. It is profit protection.
But, remains un-answered to me as how they will spin their campaign on television?
Without a doubt, the supporters of Proposition 29 will have a hard time matching the advertising budget.
However, the chances of passing this measure appear to be very good – at least until the television spots start appearing.