This Week: Will Congress Expose the Big Tobacco Bailout?

Good morning and happy Sunday! We’ve all played a good game of hide & seek, right? Cover your eyes, count to ten, run around and find your friends? It’s fun because you get to exercise just how clever you can be. If you can stay hidden, you’re clever. If you can find people, you’re clever. It’s a game that is SO much fun, some members of Congress are still playing!

Hidden in the Senate’s massive version of the 2012 transportation reauthorization act is a teeny weeny provision allowing Big Tobacco companies to SQUASH small businesses. You heard me. In between money for roads, bridges, airports, trains, and Amtrak is a monumental United States Government bailout for Big Tobacco.

TODAY’S MESSAGE: Enough hide and seek. Tell Congress REMOVE the #BigTobacco bailout from the highway bill. It’s a job killer.

If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you already know this. But, we’re getting new readers every day so here it is again:

Big Tobacco has bought some lawmakers. These lawmakers have introduced legislation reclassifying small tobacco shops where you can roll your own smokes as “tobacco manufacturing” facilities. This throws small, roadside tobacco shops into the same tax and regulatory category as mammoth cigarette manufacturing facilities. Unfair, right? Well, the pain doesn’t last long for Mom & Pop tobacco shops. They pretty much go out of business immediately.

Why is Big Tobacco doing this? Because 99 percent market share isn’t enough. They make no money off people who roll their own smokes. If they can eliminate our ability to roll our own, Big Tobacco thinks they’ll pocket more money. Which, they probably will if they’re successful.

That’s where you come in.

You can help by reaching out to members of Congress. Scroll through some of my previous posts for lists of folks to hit.

Today: Engage a few members in the morning and a few members in the afternoon. Take a few minutes for Facebook. And if you have time, take a few minutes to post in the comments section of online news stories. Members of the news media appreciate heads’ up on how their member responds to your inquiries!

Tuesday, Congress reconvenes to hammer out a final 2012 transportation reauthorization act. Let our voices be heard!

Ready or not, here they come…

– GR

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