While it was obvious that the congressional legislation used a tax on cigarettes to pay for the national program to fund the SCHIP program, this Oregon ballot measure makes it seem obvious that it is very likely that behind the scenes, tobacco lobbyists were leaning on southern legislators, in particular, to block the overturn of the veto.
Somehow this should be made much more visible. Shame on the tobacco companies for blocking healthcare for children.
The WSJ article reported, "Oregonians Against the Blank Check Committee, which was funded by Reynolds," as the group that ran the campaign. Sounds like swiftboating to me. A front group attacking an item on the ballot.
The article stated,
Supporters of the Oregon measure charge that the companies misrepresented the purpose of the tax. "They know that cigarette taxes are popular with the voters," said William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, "and what they have done is change the subject to anything but raising tobacco taxes to fund health insurance for children or to fund tobacco prevention."
Let's face it, tobacco IS a dwindling industry. It represents a huge "tax" on the nation's healthcare system. The people who smoke disproportionately "tax" the money spent on diseases caused by smoking. Every pack of cigarettes that is sold costs taxpayers $7 in health care subsidies.
It's not fair that an industry can spend millions of tax-exempt dollars to oppose vote initiatives that are good for the people, while 501(c)3 non-profits are restricted from lobbying for healthy initiatives.