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Written by Puff Staff

Sunday, 11 August 2013

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Tags:
cigar legislationcuban embargo
tobacco legislation




According to Buyer, “You could have smoked that lettuce and you still end up with the same problems. You could cut the grass in your yard, dry it, and roll it up in a cigarette, and smoke it — and you're still going to have a lot of problems.  It is the smoke that kills, not the nicotine.”

 



Um, OK. This reminds me of a stoner classmate from college who used to dry every plant he could find and try to smoke it. The speech apparently didn’t impress Buyer’s constituents either, since they voted him out in 2010. But losing the election did have a happy ending for Buyer, since the now-former Congressman who had been the beneficiary of over $100,000 in donations from tobacco giant Reynolds American is now a paid consultant and registered lobbyist for the corporation.

Another former Congressman whose alliances with Big Tobacco may have cost him re-election is New Hampshire Republican Frank Guinta. When he was running in 2012, the campaign manager of Guinta’s opponent brought up his close association with Marlboro maker Altria and especially his positions that included eliminating the FDA, repealing Health Care Reform and opposition to funding for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

Campaign manger Naomi Andrews stated, “There is apparently no corporate interest Congressman Guinta isn’t willing to shill for, and he seems to have no shame in doing the bidding of Big Tobacco. New Hampshire voters support Carol Shea-Porter, because she refuses to take donations from corporate PACs, and she stands up for middle class families.”

 



Porter defeated Guinta, who hasn’t landed a tobacco lobbying position yet, but is pondering a Senate bid for 2014.

One national issue of great interest to cigar aficionados is the 51-year-old trade embargo on Cuba, and whether it should be lifted. Members of Congress who support ending the blockade include Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), as well as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Those opposed include Florida Democrats Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Senator Bob Menendez, Rep. Ted Deutsch, and Rep. Joe Garcia. Opponents from the other side of the aisle include Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. The last two were very vocal in their criticism of the recent trip to Cuba by celebrity power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce.

 



Does your Congressperson represent your interests in Washington? If not, maybe it’s time to show up at a town meeting and make your point of view heard.

 






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