What to do when Congress pushes secret legislation…

Today’s Message: @__________ Just say NO to the secret #BigTobacco bailout in the highway bill! http://bit.ly/NewTax

In the “@______” space, put your local member of Congress’s Twitter handle. PLEASE BE CAREFUL not to send more than 3 or 4 direct tweets like this because if you send a bunch, especially in a short period of time, you run the risk of getting thrown into twitter jail right next to those cats in Guantanamo.

Okay, I’ve evolved. I used to be a chimpanzee, and now I’m Big Tobacco. You’re Big Tobacco, too. We’re all Big Tobacco. You see, when there are millions and billions of bland smokes out there, special breeds like “roll your own” and “custom blend tobacco” eventually get surrounded and consumed by the monopoly. Big Tobacco sits on us like that 3rd grade bully; Big Government shows up at our doorstep with a bat; and even though we’re an innocent, exotic and endangered species, we quietly roll over and die out.

Or not.

Because of you, we are fighting evolution. We are fighting Big Tobacco’s filthy bailout in the 2012 highway bill, and we just might win. The odds are against us; the deck is stacked; and Big Tobacco continues beating a cash-lined path to the doors of Congress, but we have a secret weapon: Our voice.

Until a final transportation bill is hammered out by the conference committee, we must continue shining a light on the Big Tobacco bailout. This is the provision that would reclassify small tobacco shops where you can roll your own smokes as “tobacco manufacturing facilities” subject to a HUGE new regime of taxes and regulation. We all know this reclassification is nothing more than Big Tobacco using Congress and Federal law to SQUASH its competition, but believe it or not there are members of Congress who JUST DON’T CARE about us! Further, they ONLY care about making their sugar daddy Big Tobacco happy.

We know it’s wrong, and if Congress aired this provision in the light of day, Big Tobacco’s effort would evaporate. But people live busy lives. We don’t always have time to keep an eye on Congress. That’s why we are doing what we’re doing. The more we shout on Twitter and Facebook, the more people we can tell about this criminal, Atlas Shrugged, Big Government, Big Tobacco bailout attempt.


If you were a member of Congress, do you think you’d want people to look at proposed bills before voting them into law? Remember the “read the bill” chants during Obama’s health care debate? We are fighting a similar battle. NOT ONE SINGLE hearing has been held on the Big Tobacco bailout provision. NOT ONE MINUTE of testimony has been heard. NOT ONE small business owner who will be subject to the Federal pain of this language has been allowed to tell a congressional committee WHY THIS IS UNFAIR and unconstitutional. Big Tobacco wants it that way. Secret. Undercover. Silence the opposition.

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

You know what to do. Twitter. Facebook. Comment in online news stories. Phone. E-mail. Show up at a town hall meeting this weekend. If you’ve not talked to your local members of Congress, START. Now!

Thank you for your ongoing efforts and KEEP FIGHTING!

– GR


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