- Tobacco Companies Spent
Record Amount On Lobbying In 1998
- Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. and Philip Morris spent $43
million for lobbying in 1998 to kill federal tobacco control
legislation, according to recently filed lobbying reports.
Brown and Williamson set a record for one company in 1998,
spending $24.9 million, six times the amount the company
reported spending in 1997.
"We faced legislation that could
have possibly put us out of business," said Mark Smith, a
spokesperson for Brown and Williamson. "Drastic measures
sometimes require drastic amounts of expenditures to defend
Philip Morris was close behind with $23 million in
lobbying expenditures for 1998. "It's a stunning figure that
can't be matched, can never be matched, by those interested in
protecting public health," said Matt Myers of the Campaign for
The companies spent a combined $31million in the first six
months of 1998 to defeat the McCain bill, which would have
raised cigarette taxes, funded an anti-tobacco campaign, and
offered the industry limited protections from liability.
In addition, the industry spent $40 million on a television ad
campaign and contributed more than $8.2 million to candidates
during the last election cycle. Senators like Mississippi
Senator Trent Lott (R), who helped defeat the McCain bill, were
the biggest benefactors.
According to the Center for Responsive
Politics, a nonpartisan group that monitors lobbying
expenditures and campaign contributions, Republicans received
$6.6 million, or 80%, of the industry's contributions.
"It shows that when threatened, an industry will reach deep into
its back pockets to head off the threat to the future of their
industry," commented Larry Makinson, executive director of the
Center for Responsive Politics.
- Roll Call, (4/8/99)
"Tobacco Road Leads Straight To K Street Lobbyists", John Bresnahan and Jim VandeHei
1999 -- All Rights Reserved|