If you haven’t yet seen a commercial featuring a doctor dressed in doctor’s garb urging you to vote ‘no’ on Prop 29, a $1.00 tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, then you will. If you watch any amount of television, you will.
The group Californians Against Out of Control Spending/Taxing has spent nearly $900,000 on tv ads on local stations; KUSI, CBS, NBC, and the three major cable providers; Cox, DirecTV, and AT&T.
“I’m against smoking,” the woman says inside a doctor’s examination room. “So, I thought Prop 29 was a good idea. It raises $735 million dollars in tobacco taxes but not one penny goes to new funding for cancer treatment. Instead, it creates a huge new research bureaucracy with no accountability, run by political appointees who can spend our tax dollars in other states.”
The group is funded by tobacco giants Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and affiliated companies Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, and the American Snuff Company. According to campaign finance records available on the California Secretary of State website, the group raised $12,088,658.65 in contributions from January 1 to March 17. So far, it has spent $7,945,264 with $4,531,467 in the bank.
The vast majority of commercials are set to run later this month and will run until early-June. And apparently, the group is banking on an anti-tax message, targeting adults 35 years of age and older. The ads will run during the NBA playoffs, NASCAR events, on FX, USA, CNN, Bravo, and during Lakers and Clippers games.
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