Jun. 26 2001
Washington, DC — As the Republican Party prepares to hold a major fundraiser that tobacco industry lobbyists are helping to organize, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association will run a newspaper ad Wednesday decrying what the tobacco industry has received so far for the $8.3 million in federal campaign contributions it made in the last election.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids also repeated its call for President Bush and his party not to solicit or accept contributions from tobacco interests while the Administration is engaged in settlement negotiations with the tobacco industry over the federal tobacco lawsuit.
"It is a serious conflict of interest that President Bush and his party are continuing to solicit campaign contributions from the tobacco industry at the same time the Administration is negotiating with the tobacco companies," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "We call on the President to immediately order his party's fundraising committees to stop soliciting or accepting tobacco campaign contributions and to return any funds received for this week's fundraiser."
Tobacco lobbyists are helping organize a fundraiser Wednesday night at the Washington Convention Center that is expected to raise more than $15 million for the Republican Congressional and Senatorial campaign committees. President Bush is the guest of honor. The Republican Party received 83 percent of the tobacco money contributed in the last election.
The ad being run by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association is attached. The ad "Its payback time. Big Tobacco's political contributions are paying off", lists the following benefits the tobacco industry has received from allies in the White House and Congress:
A surrender on the Department of Justice tobacco lawsuit."
An FDA bill protecting the tobacco industry" – introduced by U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) and U.S. Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), the chairs of the Republican Congressional and Senatorial campaign committees.
A systematic undermining of international efforts to curb tobacco use," which include efforts to weaken the proposed international tobacco treaty (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) and to pressure South Korea to back off on plans to impose a 40 percent tariff on imported tobacco.
The ad will run in the Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times and The Hill.