Philip Morris Top GOP Contributor
According to a new report by the Center for Responsive Politics, Philip Morris tobacco company is the leading campaign contributor to Republicans in federal elections during the 2001-02 election cycle, giving $2,666,163 (as of October 2). Philip Morris also gave $537,638 to Democrats during the 2001-02 cycle. http://www.opensecrets.org/pubs/toporgs/appendix.asp
Philip Morris has also been the leading overall campaign contributor to Republicans in federal elections since 1989, giving $14,300,228.
Another report just released by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Common Cause reveals that the tobacco industry has so far contributed more than $7.3 million in soft money and political action committee contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees during the 2001-02 election cycle.
Detailed reports are at these weblinks, with campaign contribution data for each federal candidate available at: http://www.opensecrets.org/
Tobacco Industry Gave More Than $4.3 Million in Political Contributions To Date in 2001-2002 Election Cycle
Quarterly Report Continues to Confirm Correlation between Tobacco Money and Pro-Industry Legislation
Washington, DC - The tobacco industry contributed more than $4.3 million in soft money and political action committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates, political parties and political committees so far this election cycle - from January 1, 2001, to April 1, 2002 - according to a quarterly report issued today by the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and Common Cause.
The report also details how political contributions continue to correlate with lawmakers support of legislation supported by Philip Morris and opposed by the public health community that would provide for weak regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The report details the following tobacco industry contributions so far in the 2001-2002 election cycle:
"The tobacco companies are continuing their decades-long effort to use political muscle to avoid effective public policies that protect the public health," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund. "Today's report tells us why there has been no action on tobacco this election cycle, despite the fact that thousands of kids start smoking every day and 440,000 Americans die every year from tobacco use."
Demonstrating how the tobacco industry's contributions are used to thwart public health policy, the report details contributions to the sponsors and cosponsors of ineffective FDA legislation supported by Philip Morris.
The 17 House members who are sponsoring the Philip Morris-backed bill, H.R 2180, have received, on average, more than 19 times as much money from the tobacco industry as the 117 sponsors of a public health community-supported FDA bill, H.R.1097 ($10,357 vs. $537).
"It's no accident that this critical public health issue -- protecting children from a fatal illness -- is a low priority in Congress. The tobacco industry's $4.3 million in contributions protects their billions in profits at a major cost to public health, and underlines the need for a ban on unlimited corporate political contributions," said Scott Harshbarger, president of Common Cause. "With passage of McCain-Feingold, we hope this issue can be resolved on the merits, in favor of America's children."
Campaign Contributions by Tobacco Interests is the latest issue of a quarterly report that updates Buying Influence, Selling Death, a major report on tobacco industry political influence that was issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Common Cause in March 2001. All the contributions cited in this reported are based on data released by the FEC as of March 31, 2002. The next quarterly report will be released in July 2002.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 440,000 Americans every year and causing more than $155 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. Ninety 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 and improper 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.
April 30, 2002
Contact: Michael Berman
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids