When the chips are down, you find out your true friends.
It’s Sunday, May 13, 2012 and I put together the little video above to start the ball rolling for the week. At the end of the day, the Big Tobacco bailout, no matter where it crops up, is dirty, greedy, anti-American, and anti-competitive (PAGING ERIC HOLDER, HELLO ERIC HOLDER). Plus, it’s anti-small business. There is no doubt that we are looking at the anatomy of a classic Potomac Power Purchase. Big Tobacco bought some members of Congress, and now they want to flex some muscle to fatten their own corporate profits, which already exceed a BILLION dollars every 90 days.
Exhibit A: As Rosalind S. Helderman wrote for the Washington Post on March 17, 2012, NO ONE talked about tobacco when the U.S. Senate slipped the Big Tobacco amendment into the 2012 highway bill. Ms. Helderman reported: “The amendment would reclassify tobacco shops that offer the (roll your own) machines as “tobacco manufacturers,” imposing on them new regulations and higher taxes, and it opens a window into the ways of Washington, where the powerful and the connected can sometimes win even before the opposition knows the game is underway.”
Exhibit B: U.S. Rep Diane Black (R-Tennessee) is working her little Baltimore, Maryland born tail off trying to sign people onto her bill, H.R. 4134. It’s the same thing as the provision Senator Max Baucus slipped into the Senate’s highway bill.
Exhibit C: Congress’s transportation bill negotiators know what we’re saying, they’ve heard us on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere, and they’re scared as hell someone is going to call them out to a larger audience.
That’s where you come in. We need your voice. We need our friends. We need to continue shouting until we succeed.
This weekend’s message: @LawmakerXYZ Please don’t trade my job for a #BigTobacco bailout. STOP H.R. 4134 http://bit.ly/NewTax
Please replace “@LawmakerXYZ” with 3 or 4 of your favorite lawmaker Twitter handles. We used the same message yesterday (Saturday), but since people take less time to visit Twitter on the weekend, we can use it again.
Get ready for another active week. The transportation bill negotiations have slowed, due to some of the more controversial issues. Rep. John Mica is set to meet with Sen. Barbara Boxer early this week. We’ll keep an eye on it and update as we learn more information.
Thanks for all you are doing. Keep GOING!