Sacramento, CA — A new report by the American Lung Association shows that tobacco interests contributed $9.3 million to California campaigns during the last election cycle.
Many the contributions were to political committees in opposition to Proposition 25 and in favor of Proposition 26. Both were passed by voters. Proposition 25 changed the vote requirement for passing a state budget from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority, and Proposition 26 reclassified many types of fees as taxes, subjecting them to a two-thirds vote requirement.
Of the 122 state legislators, tobacco interests made contributions to 59 members. Locally, the report shows that RJ Reynolds and Altria Group Incorporated contributed a combined $14,700 to Senator Tom Berryhill, $14,700 to Senator Ted Gaines and $3,900 to Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen.
The group put out the report to argue that cigarette companies have a notable influence on Calfiornia politics.