Tobacco corporations who had been the subject of a federal racketeering lawsuit that they lost in the courts, scored a huge political victory Tuesday in the "blue" state of Oregon by spending millions of dollars to defeat a tax proposal on tobacco products to fund children's health care and also antismoking education. The vote was 60-40% against the children's health care ballot measure, a shocking result in a progressive 'blue" state like Oregon where environmental issues have traditionally always been very important. Nothing in Oregon law unfortunately prevents either individuals or corporations that have been found guilty in the courts of violating either civil or criminal racketeering laws, meant to stem organized crime activity, from making unlimited political contributions.
One of the main contributors to the fight against children's health care in Oregon was Philip Morris corporation, which was fined part of $2.75 million by a federal judge for their role in a document destruction case by destroying Emails to obstruct justice while under federal investigation.
Another big contributor to the defeat of children's health care in Oregon was the new Reynolds American Corporation, formed from the old RJ Reynolds Corporation and some smaller competitors. Reynolds is well known for their own distain of their own customers. An internal marketing document called Project SCUM by Reynolds singled out homeless people, young people, immigrants and gays as main targets to promote Reynolds products. Unfortunately few of these people who buy Reynold's products realize that the corporation considers them both human garbage as well as a marketing target.
Both Philip Morris and Reynolds realized that any further tax on cigarettes would only hurt their sales, and made the state of Oregon a main stand to stop the decline of smokers and avoid further payment for the nicotine drug addiction problems and costs for society that they create. And both Philip Morris and Reynolds defeated the best interests of major medical and health organizations to protect children and nonsmokers from the second-hand health consequences of their products which violate federal EPA rules for illegally dumping lead, cadmium, nickel and 4,000 other compounds and a highly addictive drug, nicotine into the public air.
The tobacco industry can trace it's history back to the major tobacco and cotton farmers in the South who brought slaves back from Africa in chains in the hulls of ships to work as free labor to make them very wealthy. These early tobacco interests also helped to form the Southern Baptist faith as a religious farce to further justify slavery in the South, and the tobacco interests helped to promote the destruction of the United States and the American Civil War as an attempt to maintain slavery and free labor for their business interests. In the Oregon election case, the tobacco industry made a phony appeal to voters not to add tobacco tax language into the Oregon State Constitution, making a phony patriotic appeal.
The Oregon result is indeed a punch in the gut to everyone concerned with the environment, children's and health issues. The tobacco industry racketeers have proven that they can walk right into a solid "blue" state like Oregon and brainwash a solid majority of voters to vote against their own best interests by spending millions of dollars on misleading propaganda advertising, although only around 20% of adults actually smoke. Simply outrageous. Simply disgusting.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!