Support for new tobacco California tax

Worldwide TV advertising campaign by tobacco companies substantially reduced in favor of tobacco tax initiative in less than two weeks before the election.

Voters back a proposal 29 to 53 percent to 42 percent, but that is a sharp drop with a much stronger support in the beginning of this year, according to a poll published on Wednesday, the Public Policy Institute of California. Only two months ago, two-thirds of likely voters said they would vote for higher taxes on cigarettes by $ 1 pack to support cancer research.

“A large drop in support for Proposition 29 speaks loudly about how well-funded opposition is able to raise voters’ doubts and distrust of state power, even when raising taxes is considered favorably,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the institute and chief executive officer. As a result, currently there is still doubt, the tobacco giants Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, the U.S. is expected in the last days of the campaign to pour more money on top of $ 40 million, they have already contributed to stop the tax.

In the same poll, 63 percent of voters said they generally support the tax on tobacco products, but since there is no 29 campaign began running ads six weeks ago, she has focused mainly on the bureaucracy that will create a new fund, as well as the possibility that the revenues derived from tax - about $ 700 million a year - could be spent on the outside of the state research institutions. Take a look at Prop. 29, they are realizing that it is poorly written measure, which only has too many shortcomings, “said Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee and spokesman for 29 campaigns did not.

The survey showed strong support - 62 percent - as the sole state in the June 5 ballot, Proposition 28, which will reduce the amount of time legislators can serve from 14 to 12 years, although it would allow legislators to serve all 12 years in one house. Lawmakers are currently limited to six years in the Assembly and eight in the Senate.

And with the revised budget shows a $ 15.7 billion deficit, a tax increase initiative of Governor Jerry Brown in November, remained about the same - 56 percent support - both in the survey in April. Supporters of the tax on tobacco insisted on Wednesday that it is a feat that they are still leading, with the advantage of taking into account the money the two giants of Tobacco - Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds U.S. - lead to the opposition campaign.

“This suggests that voters can find out the truth,” said Chris Lehman, the proposal 29 in the campaign. Tobacco companies have invested $ 40 million in 29 is not the Treasury, compared with $ 11 million Yes on 29 campaign. There is 29 ad - the first major controversial area of Sacramento doctor gown to wear - almost single-handedly ran a few weeks before his supporters responded to ads. The American Cancer Society pony up $ 2.5 million this week Yes 29 campaign, as well as broadcast a new TV commercial on Tuesday night in Southern California markets during the TV series “Dancing with the Stars.” Ad mocks the “Big Tobacco” with actors, ostensibly in support of a cigarette.

The farmer declares its proximity to the major tobacco companies, “because they killed my wife, and that means one less mouth to feed.” Teenage class president, speaking at the scene, said that instead of wanting to become president, “I want to grow up and get lung cancer.” Ad will not run on television again, but a longer version of this posting is on a network, a campaign spokesman said. In addition to television advertising, not 29 campaigns relied on the mail flyers sent to the California Republican Party. $ 1.1 million effort - which includes the cost of production and distribution - is classified as in-kind contribution from the side, but it was made possible by $ 825,000 donation to the side of no 29 campaigns.

That raised the eyebrows of opponents who said it was yet another example of the tobacco companies to disguise its influence in the campaign. Although they have donated nearly all the money, not to 29 campaigns, tobacco companies have adopted a low profile that allows the anti-tax group to take the initiative. No 29 campaigns, it seems, skirted campaign finance law by giving money to the Republican Party to distribute leaflets, said Lance Olson, an attorney proponents of this measure.

“They could have sent it to you, but if they did, they would have to disclose their major sponsors,” said Olson. “Instead, they gave her the Republican Party, and as a result to avoid disclosure.” A spokesman for the opposition campaign, however, denied any attempt to mislead. “It’s all legal, fully disclosed, and it certainly was not disguised in any way,” said Beth Miller. “CRP went up to our campaign asking our help in communicating its position on this indicator. We would say in them.”

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