In terms of the sum of numbers reflecting a global human tragedy, it is arguably more ethical, moral, practical and safe to take campaign finance donations from Vladimir Putin, ISIS, The Taliban, The Mafia, North Korea or Iran than it should be ethical to finance one’s political campaign with money from Big Tobacco.
The mere act of having a proximity to and connivance with Big Tobacco is a travesty of unconscionable proportions … and … becomes either a study in arrogance and hypocrisy or an exercise in abject stupidity and carelessness by Utah’s legislators.
Special interests gave Utah Lawmakers $9 of every $10 in campaign funds they raised. According to “Follow the Money.org,” the following are Utah Legislators who have raised campaign funds from tobacco companies and from tobacco product sales. In other words, Big Tobacco has purchased influence from these 54 Utah legislators:
From the Center for Disease Control, “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.”
1,300 deaths every day equals more than the sum of the 2,996 deaths from the 9-11 Twin Towers disaster repeated every third day.
What, which, or where is … the most terrible … or … are the terrorists?
“We have met the enemy and they are us!” – Pogo
Special interests gave Utah Lawmakers $9 of every $10 in campaign funds they raised.
Constituent donations add up to about 3 percent of campaign accounts, raising questions about who’s got legislators’ ears. https://goo.gl/3rLFJA Tribune article by Lee Davidson, January 23, 2018. “Special interests provided 92 percent of all the campaign donations that members of the 2018 Utah Legislature raised last year. Only 3 percent came from individuals who live in the member’s district, a Salt Lake Tribune analysis of disclosure forms shows. This is a pattern seen over several years.”
Utah Legislators’ Big Tobacco finance numbers were taken from … corrected to … “Follow the Money.org” to “My Legislature Utah 2018” to “Legislator’s Name” to “As a Candidate” and then to “Top Industries.”
From the Center for Disease Control (CDC)( https://goo.gl/eDqvsm) – Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking is a known cause of erectile dysfunction in males. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United
States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.
In an article by Lee Davidson of The Salt Lake Tribune, December 12, 2016, “So 88 percent of Utah legislators — eight of every nine — are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” We know of at least one Mormon Bishop on the foregoing roster.
Hypocrisy is the Mother’s Milk of Campaign Financing
WASHINGTON—Two high-ranking lawmakers on the Senate committee that crafts legislation about health and oversees public health agencies disclosed that they or their families traded in tobacco company stock while they were on the committee, according to a STAT review. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reported purchasing at least $15,000 worth of stock in Philip Morris International. Hatch reported that on Oct. 23, 2012, when he was a member of the committee, an account on which he is a joint owner acquired between $15,001 and $50,000 of Philip Morris stock. He reported that in 2013, he owned less than $1,001 of the stock and collected dividends between $201 and $1,000. https://goo.gl/NfWrwd
Let’s all Help Drain the Swamp
Every time we encounter political “Road Kill,” we stack it up, sort through it looking for the smoking guns and report the findings to our followers. In order to maintain and upgrade the Buzzard’s Blog, we are encouraging regular donations beginning with any amount. This is a labor of love. No money ends up in anyone’s pocket.
Utah Standard News depends on the support of readers like you.
Good Journalism requires time, expertise, passion and money. We know you appreciate the coverage here. Please help us to continue as an alternative news website by becoming a subscriber or making a donation. To learn more about our subscription options or make a donation, click here.
To Advertise on UtahStandardNews.com, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.