An early March story in the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal reported that fund-raising among tobacco companies had been surpisingly slow for its No on Proposition 29 campaign.
Back then, Californians Against Out-of-Control Taxes and Spending, bankrolled by Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, had reported “only” $2.6 million in spending with little sign of a big run-up to the June campaign.
The initiative, the California Cancer Research Act, would more than double California’s 87 cent excise tax on tobacco by $1 per pack.
Never fear. Tobacco companies weren’t going to let this one slip by. By the time the April 17 campaign finance reports came out, Big Tobacco had raised $12 million, spent $7.9 million and had $4.53 million cash on hand.
Those reports included all cash raised as of March 17.
In the month since, the two giant tobacco companies and their affiliates have poured in another $8.9 million.
They still have a lot of work left before matching their nearly $70 million campaign of 2006, especially with less than two months to go before the June 5 election.