Citizens for Clean Air in Apartments

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 oneself."

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 Tobacco-Free Kids.

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

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