By Peter Schrag
There are lots of good reasons to support Proposition 29, the tobacco tax initiative on the June 5 ballot, not least those named Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds. Together, the two tobacco giants have so far kicked in about $40 million to the sleazy campaign to defeat it. If you count the nearly $700,000 that the Republican Party contributed to their cause you have yet another reason.
They call themselves Californians Against Out-Of-Control Taxes and Spending but it’s probably easier to remember them as the Friends of Lung Cancer.
But because Proposition 29, another instance of ballot box budgeting, takes a revenue source off the table, and because the feds are already funding cancer research to the tune of some $5 billion annually, the issue is not all that simple.