Why did Philip Morris just give Gov Jerry Brown $26,000 for his 2014 re-election campaign?

The San Francisco Chronicle just reported that Philip Morris gave Jerry Brown a sizable contribution for his re-election campaign 2 1/2 years from now.

I can think of several reasons that Philip Morris would make such an investment:

1. Brown has allowed tobacco industry No-on-29 spokesphysican LaDonna Porter to continue to served on the Proposition 65 Development and Reproductive Toxicants (DART) committee, despite her consistent work for the tobacco and perchlorate industries.  Maybe Big Tobacco doesn't want the embarrassment of Brown removing her from the committee.

2. Brown has not taken a position on Proposition 29.  Maybe Big Tobacco wants to keep him quiet on the issue.

3. Once Prop 29 passes, it will be up to Governor Brown to oversee the implementation of the large anti-smoking program it will fund.  The California Department of Public Health certainly knows how to run a hard hitting media campaign to rapidly drive down smoking.  Brown could throttle the Department of Public Health, just as Republican Governors Pete Wilson did in California and Charlie Christ did in Florida, thereby protecting tobacco sales.  Maybe this is a downpayment on damage control after 29 wins.

One would hope that Brown would return this campaign contribution and put the health of Californians above the profits of the out-of-state tobacco companies., throw Porter off the DART committee, endorse Prop 29, and pledge aggressive implementation of the tobacco control program Prop 29 mandates.



I am not surprised. I am sure that it is a common practice for successful companies to support some of the best candidates for an electable  positions. That's way they guarantee support for their business in the future when the candidate wins and have enough power to do that.


Tobacco is not stupid, ,they know if they control the policy makers that they can control the policy or what policies that get put in place. They might not be able to control the millions of people who are affected by the 440,000 annual death due to tobacco use in the US, but if they control 1 Governor they can control the policy that occurs in the state. 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.