California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoying a cigar. Since he can’t smoke cigars inside his office, Schwarzenegger erected the tent outside, decorated it in an African jungle theme, and used it frequently to entertain Democratic lawmakers.
Is receiving contributions from a Tobacco company a campaign issue? Well, the Ventura County Star political reporter and Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt and progressive left-wing VC Star blogger Brian Dennert seem to think so.
The nation’s largest tobacco company has donated $50,000 to the Ventura County Republican Central Committee as the local party gears up to help GOP candidate Tony Strickland in what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar campaign this fall in the 19th Senate District.
The donation was solicited by county Chairman Mike Osborn and committee member Dean Kunicki as part of an aggressive attempt to raise money for the coming campaign season, which will be highlighted by what has been targeted by both parties as the key legislative race in California.
The contribution accounts for 88 percent of the $56,800 the county party had raised this year through the most recent reporting period. Most of the rest, $6,000, came from the state Republican Party.
On May 19, two days after the reporting period closed, the county party received an additional $30,200 from Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill.
“I’ve been knocking on lots of doors, looking for people who want to see us be successful,” Osborn said.
The $50,000 contribution came from the Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA, which makes half the cigarettes sold in the United States. Osborn said he has no concerns about accepting such a large sum from the tobacco industry.
What is the Flap?
You would think from the Ventura County Star that the Ventura County Republican Party was accepting money from drug lords or crack dealers.
The last time Flap checked smoking was NOT illegal and the manufacture of cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products was NOT illegal. Moreover, there are many Americans employed by the tobacco industry who pay their taxes, vote and enjoy their pursuit of happiness like everyone else.
Also, the state of California and the federal government gladly tax the purchase of these products.
What is REALLY the Flap?
The political agenda of the Ventura County Star, Timm Herdt and Brian Dennert is to paint Ventura County Republicans as immoral,unhealthy and irresponsible pols who take the money to the detriment of Ventura County citizens and voters. Flap invites the readers to look at Dennert’s and Herdt’s blogs and see if they can refute Flap’s opinion of their BIASED agenda.
Does Flap think smoking is unhealthy? You bet. But, I do not believe it is criminal to smoke in a responsible way and according to California law. Nor is it a campaign issue if members of the California legislature lawfully accept campaign money from companies that make tobacco products.
A question back to Timm Herdt: If Tony Strickland’s opponent Democrat Hanna-Beth Jackson accepts ANY campaign contributions from the Democrat Party, California State employee groups and/or Union PACS who have received money from the tobacco industry will she return the money?
Flap thinks it is doubtful because that “distasteful” tobacco cash is heavily laundered in Jackson’s campaign reports. Check them out here.