Tobacco Industry Gave More Than $2.2 Million in Federal Political Contributions So Far in the 2003-2004 Election Cycle

May. 2 2004

Washington, DC — The tobacco industry made more than $2.2 million in political contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees so far in the 2003-2004 election cycle, according to a quarterly report issued by the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and Common Cause.

Since 1997, the tobacco industry has contributed more than $28 million, including $16.8 million in soft money and more than $11.3 million in political action committee (PAC) contributions. Since 1999, the tobacco companies have also spent more than $101 million on lobbying the U.S. Congress.

“The tobacco companies are continuing their decades-long effort to use political muscle to avoid effective public policies that protect the public health,” said William V. Corr, Executive Director of the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund. "Despite the fact that more than 2,000 kids become addicted smokers every day and more than 400,000 Americans die every year from tobacco use, Members of Congress are still taking millions of dollars from the tobacco industry.”

The report details tobacco industry contributions and lobbying expenditures so far during the 2003-2004 election cycle:

Tobacco company PACs donated more than $1.1 million directly to federal candidates, with 72 percent ($843,544) of the total donations going to Republican candidates and 28 percent ($333,000) going to Democratic candidates.

Tobacco PACs have donated more than $1.1 million to non-candidate committees, including Democratic and Republican party committees and leadership PACs established by individual members of Congress. Of the total, $855,499 (77 percent) went to the Republicans, $182,500 (16 percent) to the Democrats and $69,470 (6 percent) to non-party committees.

The tobacco industry spent more than $21.2 million to lobby Congress in 2003. That amounts to about $127,000 spent on lobbying for every day Congress was in session.

The report’s appendix details tobacco contributions to every current Member of Congress since January 1, 1997 and current challengers. To look up contributions to a specific Member, go to: www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/contributions/

"It's clear that the tobacco industry and its allies continue to buy their way around Capitol Hill at the public's peril, using campaign contributions to attain access and influence," said Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause.

Campaign Contributions by Tobacco Interests is the latest issue of a quarterly report on the tobacco industry’s political influence. The report is issued by the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and Common Cause and all the contributions cited in this reported are based on data released by the FEC as of July 6, 2004.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States., killing more than 400,000 Americans every year and causing more than $155 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. Nearly 90 percent of smokers begin at or before age 18.

This quarterly report’s development and distribution are meant to provide information and analysis on the tobacco industry's extraordinary political influence, especially in regard to the U.S. Congress and the federal government. Toward this end, this report offers a range of information, including data on direct and indirect tobacco industry contributions to Members of Congress, other elected officials and other candidates for elected office. Nothing in this report is meant in any way to endorse, support or oppose the election of any candidate or to indicate any support or opposition to any candidate's election by any of the sponsoring organizations.

 

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