tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

tocacco Cigarettes are smoking products consumed by people and made out of cut tobacco leaves. Cigars are typically composed completely of whole-leaf tobacco. A cigarette has smaller size, composed of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. The term cigarette refers to a tobacco cigarette too but it can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.
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Tobacco, alcohol, oil pour cash into ‘anti-tax’ effort

Tobacco, alcohol and oil companies are fueling the vast majority of the donations against a controversial initiative on the November ballot,

alcohol and tobacco

alcohol and smoking

Proposition 25, which would effectively make it easier for the legislature to approve the state budget without Republican votes.

The question is: Why do they care?

A coalition of union and environmental interests said yesterday that the $8.5 million in donations from the oil, tobacco and alcohol industries represents a “desperate” attempt to “kill honest reform.” In short, it said, the state’s perpetual budget crisis makes it easier for corporate lobbyists to hijack the legislature.

“Why?” said Derek Cressman, regional director for Common Cause, a government watchdog group that is supporting Proposition 25. “Special interests benefit from budget gridlock. It is how their deals get done – by tacking unrelated corporate giveaways onto stalled budgets.”

Cressman did not mention the case specifically, but this year Republican lawmakers insisted on inserting tax breaks into the state budget to benefit a single company. Because the state budget must be approved with a two-thirds majority, Democrats need at least a handful of GOP lawmakers to make a deal. As the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month:

Buried in the details of the deal to close California’s $19-billion budget deficit is a roughly $30-million tax break crafted to benefit a company owned by members of one of the state’s richest and most politically influential families, according to a legislative analysis obtained by The Times.

The provision, which will allow the Humboldt Redwood Co. to deduct $20 million in old losses from future taxes, is also expected to cover penalties and interest for the firm co-owned by three sons of Donald G. Fisher, founder of the Gap and Banana Republic, said company Chairman Sandy Dean.

Beth Miller, spokeswoman for the campaign to defeat Proposition 25, said Cressman’s accusation was “laughable,” noting that the major sticking point during this year’s budget battle was over public employee pensions – not corporate handouts.

“There is no shortage of special interests who want deals with the Capitol,” Miller said, “but that is not what this is about. Proposition 25 is about expanding the power of Sacramento politicians - it’s the ultimate power grab.”

One of the largest contributors to Miller’s Stop Hidden Taxes coalition has been the California Business PAC, sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce. According to the union and environmental coalition, the anti-Proposition 25 campaign has also received $750,000 in donations from Altria (the tobacco company has also donated $2 million to the California Business PAC), $3.75 million from distillers and other alcohol-related businesses, and $4 million from oil companies, including $2.5 million from Chevron. The beer industry appears to be one of the largest single-interest donors to Stop Hidden Taxes.

Together these donors form a coordinated effort that is pouring money into a campaign aimed at defeating Proposition 25 and supporting a separate measure, Proposition 26, which would raise the legislature’s voting threshold on approving fee increases.

“All of our donations are funding campaigns on two measures,” Miller said, “and so we have a broad-based coalition of local wineries and small business, taxpayer organizations, as well as other companies that have an interest in preserving the two-thirds vote on the budget and closing the loophole that would prevent the legislature from raising taxes disguised as fees.”

Under Proposition 25, the voting requirement to pass a budget is lowered from two-thirds to a simple majority – except when it comes to raising taxes. The language of the initiative states: “This measure will not change Proposition 13′s property tax limitations in any way. This measure will not change the two-thirds vote requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes.”

Miller noted that the special interests supporting Proposition 25 are hardly outgunned by her business-backed coalition.

Groups supporting Proposition 25 include the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO, the California Nurses Association, the California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issues Committee, and the California School Employees Association. Contributions to the Yes on 25 campaign total about $10 million.

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