[Virginia GASP]     2010 Virginia's Governor and Big Tobacco

Virginia -- 2009 Election for Governor -- Big Tobacco backed the winner  Robert McDonnell, Virginia's Governor, accepted $376,636 from Big Tobacco, 59.18% of that was from Altria, Philip Morris, PMI, including the $30,000 from Altria to the Opportunity Virginia PAC of McDonnell. 

Additionally, for the January 2010 Inauguration, McDonnell accepted $30,370 from tobacco companies:   $20,000 from Altria, $10,000 from Universal Leaf.  You may follow the money at the Virginia Public Access Project which uses the reports filed with the state government.

from The Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 4, 2009, headlined, "
Analysis: GOP sweep shows policies, not parties, are paramount in Va. politics", writer, Jeff E. Schapiro.
A year after tipping Democratic for president for the first time since 1964, Virginia fell to Republicans in a dramatic statewide sweep that is a historic reminder of its enduring competitiveness -- but may not be a model for a national GOP comeback.

"It's not a red state," said Jay Timmons, chief of staff in the governorship of George Allen, whose victory in 1993 led the last Republican resurgence.

"It's a highly competitive state, where voters expect those they elect to be in tune with pocketbook issues, create jobs, and promote growth in the economy. Party is not an issue -- it's who they believe will support the right policies."

Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell easily dispatched the lackluster R. Creigh Deeds, pulling in Republicans for lieutenant governor and attorney general and padding the party's majority in the House of Delegates, by playing to voters' economic anxiety.  ...

In the first Republican sweep since 1997, the double-digit wins by McDonnell; Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who sought a second term; and Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli suggest that independents shunned their time-honored practice of ticket-splitting.

To Paul Goldman, former state Democratic chairman, this is a reminder of a constant in Virginia politics: wooing conservative-to-moderate independents. They narrowly favored Barack Obama last year in his successful presidential campaign.

"Back out the Obama votes, and this is basically a 50-50 state," Goldman said.

... McDonnell's triumph came in a comparatively thinly attended election. With yesterday's turnout hovering at 39 percent -- down from a record 74 percent last year, when 3.7 million of nearly 5 million voters cast ballots ...

"They have not expanded the party," said Larry J. Sabato, an analyst at the University of Virginia who has followed the state's politics for four decades. "They have just motivated their base to show up."

Deeds, outspent about 2-to-1 in television advertising by McDonnell and his allies, had no such luck with Democrats.

His emphasis on McDonnell's law-school thesis in 1989, in which McDonnell made observations about working women, unmarried couples and gay people that 20 years on would seem politically incorrect, proved an ineffective parry to the Republican's economic thrust.

In a stunning reversal from 2008, Democratic turnout fell sharply -- a consequence of party fatigue after a long winning streak and Deeds' inability, despite two visits by the president, to harness the more than 500,000 new voters, many of them young or minorities, who flocked to Obama.

"This was always a big task that lay in front of them; it was always going to be hard," said Kristian Denny Todd, communications director for Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., in his 2006 upset of GOP incumbent Allen.

"It was a personal vote for Obama," she said of last year's win.

 BIG TOBACCO and Republican Robert McDonnell,
Governor of Virginia --
  Robert McDonnell, Virginia's Governor accepted $376,636 from Big Tobacco, 59.18% of that was from Altria, Philip Morris, PMI, including the $30,000 from Altria to the Opportunity Virginia PAC of McDonnell.

Big Tobacco poured far more money into Republican Robert McDonnell's 2009 campaign, than to that of opponent, Democrat Creigh Deeds.  McDonnell supported Big Tobacco in 2009, opposing legislation to require restaurants to be no-smoking.  But Deeds  supported Health in 2009, voting for the legislation which passed.

In January 2009, McDonnell said he would NOT support Virginia legislation to require restaurants to be totally no-smoking.  Philip Morris agreed, and apparently has rewarded him.  Will McDonnell listen to the people or to Philip Morris, when he considers continuing Gov. Timothy Kaine's (Democrat) executive order requiring all state workplaces to be no-smoking? 

Big Tobacco gave Creigh Deeds, the Democrat, and a Virginia state senator who voted for Health,  $72,092. 
In the January and February 2009 Virginia legislative session, Deeds voted for health, supporting legislation to make all restaurants no-smoking, and voting with the majority of Senators to reject House amendments which were tobacco industry sponsored ones.  The no-smoking legislation passed and was signed into law by the current governor.  Big Tobacco had lobbied against this legislation.

The no-smoking in restaurants legislation will ultimately save lives,  and save money at all levels.

Here's the latest information from vpap.org Virginia Public Access Project, on the tobacco related finances.

Robert McDonnell, Virginia's Governor -- $376,636 from Big Tobacco, 59.18% of that from Altria, Philip Morris, PMI, including the $30,000 from Altria to the Opportunity Virginia PAC of McDonnell.
TOBACCO'S GIFT -- Strings attached?

$155,000      Altria, including $30,000 given to Opportunity Virginia PAC = $155,000
$49,377     S & M Brands Inc
$28,584     Star Scientific Inc
$25,000     Michael E Szymanczyk, CEO Altria
$25,000     Universal Corp
$17,400     Bruce A Gates, Altria
$12,000     Reynolds American
$10,500     US Tobacco
$10,000     Malcolm L Bailey, S&K
$10,000     David R Beran, Philip Morris
$10,000     Allen B King, Universal Leaf
$3,000     John R Nelson, Philip Morris
$2,500     Harold W Hamlett, Jr., Universal Leaf
$2,500     Howard A Willard, III, Philip Morris
$1,500     Denise F Keane, Philip Morris
$1,000     Preston Baldwin, US Tobacco
$1,000     Nancy Brennan, Altria
$1,000     James Dillard, Cos Cob CT
$1,000     Henry H Harrell, Universal Leaf
$1,000     Craig Johnson, Philip Morris
$1,000     Edward Kratovil, US Tobacco
$1,000     Miguel Martin, Philip Morris
$1,000     Peter P Paoli, Philip Morris
$1,000     Jacqueline Walker, Altria
$1,000     Charles Whitaker, Altria
$500     Wallace L Chandler, Universal Leaf
$500     Cigar Assn of Va
$500     Everett W Gee, III, S & M Brands
$500     John Hoel, Altria
$350     Michael Mathisen, Philip Morris
$250     Brandie Davis, Philip Morris International
$250     David H Driver, Philip Morris
$250     Kristin Reif, Altria
$250     Kristin Reif, Altria
$225     Walter P Hempfling, Philip Morris
$200     Joseph Amado, Altria
$200     Gary Ruth, Philip Morris
$200     James H Starkey, III, Universal Leaf
$100     Stuart Shumate, US Tobacco

[VirginiaGASP]  Added 1 August 2010