Of all the candidates running, George Bush appears to be the most PRO-Tobacco.
Bush has already:
Elizabeth Dole- When she was Secretary of
Transportation, Elizabeth Dole had the opportunity to make air flights
smoke-free, but did not, opting instead to go with the tobacco industry
argument of needing more information. This was after there
had already been studies conducted which showed that there was indeed a
problem with secondhand smoke on the airplanes. Many
flight attendants and passengers were exposed to secondhand smoke
to Elizabeth Dole. Her husband, Bob Dole, was called The
Man, when he ran for president, because of his close connections to
Thanks to Maryland GASP and Dr. John O'Hara
for research on the above information.
The Nation, Nov. 8, 1999
The Dallas Morning News, Sept. 14, 1999
EXCEPTS FROM The Nation, November 8, 1999
BUSH: Calling for Philip Morris
by ROBERT DREYFUSS
thousand Texans will die this year from smoking-related
illnesses. That's a fact that seems lost on Governor George W. Bush,
whose presidential bid is being greatly assisted by money and
manpower intimately associated with the tobacco industry. And if
Bush's record in Texas is any indication, should he make it to the
White House the industry can feel certain that it will have a friend in
the Oval Office.
closest aides are allies of Philip Morris, including
Karl Rove, the leading Republican Party campaign strategist in
Texas. A close friend of Bush's since the early seventies and Bush's
chief political adviser since the late eighties, Rove--who's been called
"the governor's Svengali" by National Review--was formally on the
payroll of Philip Morris from 1991 to 1996 as a paid political
One of the issues that Rove
helped shape for Bush was tort reform, which
central part of Bush's '94 campaign and then a major, and successful,
legislative priority in 1995. Tort reform just happened to have been
one of the tobacco industry's highest priorities since the start of the
wave of class-action lawsuits, individual suits and state-backed
litigation against the industry.
EXCERPTS from The Dallas Morning News, September 14, 1999
Government to sue tobacco makers
By Mark Curriden
The federal lawsuit, which is reportedly being patterned after the historic Texas tobacco litigation, is expected to be filed within two months, according to people familiar with the case.
The suit is expected to seek repayment of hundreds of billions of dollars of smoking-related Medicare expenses, they say, and will accuse the tobacco companies of fraud, racketeering and antitrust violations.
"The [U.S.] Justice Department's window of opportunity is closing quickly and may in fact already be shut," said Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, who led 41 states in lawsuits against the cigarette manufacturers.
"I hope they still bring the lawsuit because it's the right thing to do, but I fear the time in which such a case would have the biggest impact has passed," he said.
The reasons, legal and tobacco experts say, are: The Clinton admnistration waited so long to file its suit that a new president will be elected before the case goes to trial or is settled. And tobacco officials say they believe they will get more favorable treatment - including the possibility that the lawsuit will be scuttled - if Texas Gov. George W. Bush wins the election.
Mr. Bush, when asked how he would handle a federal anti-tobacco lawsuit, called the question "hypothetical" and premature. He added, however, that "it seems like we've filed plenty of lawsuits already."
Instead, tobacco analysts say, company officials plan to use delaying tactics to fight the Justice Department lawsuit until after the 2000 presidential election, when Mr. Clinton leaves office and a president less hostile to tobacco issues might take over.
"Such a lawsuit is so complex and so massive and we would fight it so vigorously that I seriously doubt it could get to trial before the next administration takes over," said Steve Parrish, a lawyer and vice president of Philip Morris Inc.
Wall Street analysts say the industry is banking on a Republican, preferrably Mr. Bush, winning the election next year. "The prospect of Bill Clinton gone and a George Bush presidency makes the industry almost giddy," said Martin Feldman, a lawyer and tobacco analyst for Salomon Smith Barney. "The industry knows it will fare much better in settlement negotiations with Bush than the current administration. Who knows, he may even kill the case outright."
In a written statement, the Texas governor said he was "troubled by the Justice Department's apparent reversal of its earlier position that there was no merit for a federal lawsuit." He said he hopes the "era of big government is not replaced with the era of big lawsuits."
Mr. Bush neither supported nor opposed the lawsuit brought by former Attorney General Dan Morales, a Democrat. The cigarette companies settled the Texas case last year by agreeing to pay $17.3 billion over the next 25 years to cover the state's Medicaid expenses related to smoking.
Mary Aronson, a Washington, D.C.-based tobacco industry analyst, said "it's only natural" that federal prosecutors are using the Texas case. It was the only state tobacco suit actually played out in federal court, she said. And it was the first to accuse the industry of violating federal racketeering laws - a key element in the prospective federal case.
"The Texas case gives [the
Department] a firsthand preview of how a federal court will view many
the allegations, especially the racketeering and antitrust
said Ms. Aronson, a leading expert on tobacco litigation. "I get the
that the DOJ lawyers simply want to have a thorough knowledge of the
before they file, and that's what's taking so long," she said.
25 January 2000