Pressure Cooker

Good morning, it’s Sunday, May 27, 2012 and still the holiday weekend, so I’ll keep today’s briefing short. Please know we’re keeping the same message for Twitter and Facebook all weekend long to drive home our point. Please share this video on Facebook with your favorite local members of Congress (and a few others), and please pay frequent visits to Twitter when you have a spare moment or two.

This Weekend’s Message: @LawmakerXYZ and @JimInhofe STOP the #BigTobacco bailout HR4134 stowing away on the highway bill.

Nothing drives the United States Congress like a deadline. Unless they’re naming a post office after a wealthy donor’s mom or paying tribute to the centennial of the Caterpillar Watchers Association of America, lawmakers rarely do ANYTHING until it becomes absolutely necessary. Has Congress passed a budget? No. Do they finish their annual appropriations work on time anymore? Nope. Look at the recent debt limit negotiations. Already, members of Congress KNOW they’re going to need to raise the debt limit AGAIN in early 2013, but they won’t address it until after the November elections because… they don’t have to.

Deadline: June 30, 2012. That’s when the current national highway bill authorization expires. What that means to you and me is the green light for highway construction money turns red. That means Uncle Sam’s money spigot stops flowing to highway, road, bridge, rail, and Panda protection projects all across our great nation.

Congress likes their toy trains.

Not wanting to see toy train projects in their home states stop midstream, Congress is working to finish up the highway bill before the June 30 deadline. All kinds of pressure is placed on the members of Congress working out the details of what they hope is the final bill, and Big Tobacco would like nothing more than to see everyone just give up, pass the Senate bill, and go home.

We are committed to ensuring that does NOT happen. Why? Because there’s a BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT in the Senate’s version of the highway bill.

Without getting into all the details (if you read all of TaxTracker’s previous posts you will understand our issue) the Big Tobacco companies are colluding to SHUT DOWN any small business where you can buy your own blend of tobacco and roll your own smokes. Don’t take my word for it, look at the public disclosures from Big Tobacco’s lobbyists. In the first three months of this year, the Big Tobacco companies got together and spent MILLIONS of dollars on nearly A HUNDRED lobbyists to canvas the Hill in support of their bailout bill (H.R.4134), EVEN THOUGH that bill hadn’t even been introduced until March 5. That kind of crap doesn’t happen by coincidence. It’s a high-level, well-funded, mob-type effort designed to CRUSH competition, and they’re using CONGRESS to do it.

If this doesn’t wreak of scandal and potential jail time, I don’t know what does.

Are the Big Tobacco companies violating Federal law by colluding?

Let’s keep up the pressure. Don’t let Congress and Big Tobacco think they can get away with crushing competition, killing jobs, and murdering the American Dream. We call ’em as we see ’em and anyone who opens their eyes to the concerted effort to crush the freedom to roll your own, will see the same.

God bless and keep it up friends!

– GR

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