Saturday, September 15, 2007

Big Tobacco Seeks To Topple Republican Lawmakers Who Don't Vote Their Way

While Philip Morris was forced to fund educational ads meant to curb smoking, the same company is also now targeting Republican lawmakers who don't vote their way for the 2008 election in some new attack ads sent by mail to select voters. Senator Gordon Smith(R-OR) has proven a flexible record in the U.S. Senate, voting with a small group of Republican Party moderates to rescue the Food Stamp Program from a $40 million dollar cut package and displayed some opposition to the Iraq War. Smith may be facing a difficult re-election in 2008. Now even more so now that Philip Morris is targeting him in their outrageous mailing campaign meant to weaken him and set him up for defeat in 2008.

Senator Smith voted to support an increase in federal taxes on cigarettes that would help to cut demand for cigarettes as well as to help fund children's health care programs at the federal level.

The fact of the matter is that Senator Smith has made a really decent effort to honorably represent Oregon and vote his conscience on issues. He's much more a true statesman than a politician. His vote against big tobacco was a clear vote for the health of America and the right vote. Many of the largest tobacco companies were named in a racketeering lawsuit before and cannot really be considered as concerned with anything more than their profits and selling more and more of their poisonous cigarettes. Big tobacco is concerned that increased taxes will cut into demand and hurt their product sales. That's their bottom line, not the welfare of America or a Senate comprised of independent minded Republicans like Gordon Smith who often supports the right sort of things.