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Written by Gary Arzt

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

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Tags:
celebrities and smokingsmoking bans
tobacco legislation

OBAMA APPOINTMENT DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR

CIGARS

 

Washington, DC, 12 January - submitted by Gary Arzt

President-elect Obama today selected William Corr, the current Executive Director of Tobacco Free Kids, as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. Corr is a long time anti-tobacco proponent and activist. Accompanying the announcement of the appointment, President-Elect Obama issued this statement:

 

“The time has come to bring about real health care reform in this country, and that means modernizing our health care system, reducing costs to families and business and providing affordable health care for every American. This will be no small task, but reforming our health care system will be a top priority of my administration and key to putting our economy back on track. Bill Corr has the depth of experience and commitment to this issue necessary to take on this challenge. Under the leadership of Tom Daschle and Bill Corr, I am confident that my Department of Health and Human Services will bring people together to reach consensus on how to move forward with health care reform, and I look forward to working with them in the days ahead,” Obama said in a statement.

A long time deputy to former Senator Tom Daschle, who will be his boss at H&HS, Corr’s Curriculum Vitae was released by the Obama transition team:

William Corr, Nominee for Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
Corr is currently Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a privately funded organization established to focus the nation's attention and action on reducing tobacco use and its many harms among both kids and adults. Corr has extensive management and health care policy experience both in Congress and at the Department of Health and Human Services. Corr’s executive branch experience includes serving as the Chief of Staff for the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration, where he was principal advisor to Secretary Donna E. Shalala on all major policy and management issues and initiatives. He also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Counselor to the Secretary.

In the Congress, Corr worked as Chief Counsel and Policy Director for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle from 1998 through 2000. He also served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary under Chairman Howard M. Metzenbaum and assisted Senator Metzenbaum as a member of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Corr also served as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce under Chairman Paul Rogers and Chairman Henry Waxman.

Before his career on Capitol Hill, Corr worked in the Appalachian Mountain area of Tennessee and Kentucky from 1974-1977. During that time, he directed four private, non-profit, community-run primary health care centers and assisted other communities in establishing and operating similar centers. Corr holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

It is frightening to imagine that with two (2) wars; a melt down of our financial institutions as well as the automobile industry, there are people that are going to concentrate on seeing to it that we can’t enjoy the relaxation of a fine cigar.

Obviously, these people aren’t familiar with history. The Volstead Act – the prohibition of the sale and consumption of liquor was an abject failure, save for the vast sums of money it put in the hands of gangsters and racketeers!

It is worth noting that the liquor industry said, “Never again.” While you can spend a few hours smoking  three (3) cigars; get in your car and drive and not kill anyone; the same cannot be said for liquor; and yet, no one wants to outlaw, ban, infringe on or add taxes to liquor.

This is another reason for cigar smokers to join and support Cigar Rights of America  (www.cigarrights.org) and communicate with our elected representatives to express our opposition to the impingement of our rights as Americans.

 




Comments 

 
0 # Wow .. cant say I am suprised thoughJon Caputo 2009-01-13 03:42
Gary thanks for posting this before anyone else did. Its depressing but I cant say I am overly surprised. I know Obama enjoys a cigar from time to time so I was hanging my hat on that bit of fact but guess its going to go the other direction.

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0 # Here we go!tx_tuff 2009-01-14 07:50
This is not good at all!! Of course I was expecting nothing but the worse from the new leader of our country. I hope all the cigar smokers are ready to fight this thing out, its not going to be easy.

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0 # Couldn't you see this coming?Arnie 2009-01-16 13:25
All of you who voted for these bozos(that'd be the Democrats) are going to get what you deserve; an all-out assault on your hobby. Unfortunately the rest of us will also have to suffer.

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0 # Overreaction?Steven 2009-01-17 07:17
I plead ignorant on William Corr, but the last time I checked the Constitution the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services does not write laws, nor does he vote on laws or veto laws. While "they" may not know history, you do not know civics. ;-) If Obama got a mandate on health care reform, it was not to eliminate or over-tax cigars. It was to see that more Americans have access to health insurance and to reign in health care costs. Obama is a smoker like we are, so lets not overreact until we see something that indicates he is not a friend to cigar/pipe smokers. It would seem, at least in my mind, that he is in a better position to see the difference between the occasional cigar smoker and cigarette smokers, some/most non-smokers cannot.

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0 # The laws don't make disticntions...Arnie 2009-01-17 14:07
You think they'll pass new anti-smoking laws that make exceptions for "occasional" smokers? Maybe S-CHIP will only tax heavy smokers? You can bet your house and your kids, Obama will try to eliminate and/or punish smoking. HE will continue to enjoy a cigar after he has "saved" us from ourselves. Take it to the bank, it's coming.

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0 # Time to be vigilantGlynn Loope, Executive Director of CRA 2009-01-21 09:56
It was our pleasure at Cigar Rights of America to provide Gary with this information, which we also posted on www.cigarrights.org. We really appreciate his closing comments on this being a reason to support CRA, and we hope you and your fellow cigar enthusiasts do, as well. This appointment is, indeed, to be watched. No, the Deputy Secretary of HHS does not write laws, but he does have great influence on policy development and recommendations to the Administration and Congress - and frankly, it is Congress that gives me great pause, at this time in history. Also, there are many many strategies at the disposal of the federal government to influence state and local government policy, i.e., "You don't get our grant funds for public health, unless you curb smoking levels"; which is how the federal government compelled the states to lower blood alcohol levels, in order to receive federal transportation funds. That is certainly not to condone drunk driving, but the point is, "there are ways." Taxation and regulation of enjoying great cigars needs to be monitored closely at all levels of government now, more than ever.

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0 # Gary J. Arzt 2009-01-22 01:47
Let me see if I can recall my 'civics' lessons: The Executive submits proposed legislation to the Congress to 'process'; then accept or reject.Hmmm...this all originates with the various departments of the Executive - Secretary of Defense and his subordinates would recommend things about the military; Secretary of HHS and his subordinates would recommend things regarding theirare of responsibity.

Ergo, this does not bode well for us.

By the way, Steven - where and when did you study civics?

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0 # My earlier post...Gary J. Arzt 2009-01-22 09:02
That las sentence should read, "...their area of reponsibility."

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0 # Should we be surprised?Ben 2009-01-31 23:26
Should we be surprised that Obama and the Democrats haven't learned from "Prohibition"? After all, the American people have obviously not learned the lesson that socialism/communism hasn't worked anywhere that it's been tried & and yet we continue to elect people like Obama & other liberals who feel that communism would work if only the right people were in charge. I've talked to cigarette smokers & chewers who somehow think they won't be affected by all this; boy are they in for a rude shock!!

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