Both NC Senators Vote against FDA Tobacco Regulation

I came across an interesting article on Huffington Post. It was talking about the US Senate vote to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco. The bill passed with a vote of 79-17.

Who were the 17 people who voted against allowing more tobacco regulation. List after the jump.

Alexander (R-TN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Roberts (R-KS)

As you can see both of NC's Senators voted against giving the FDA power of regulation over the tobacco industry.

Senator Hagan, was in fact the only Democratic Senator to vote against this bill.

The article states that Senator Burr has recieved $359,100 is Campaign contributions from big tobacco. I suspect that this is his main reason for voting against the bill.

But what is Senator Hagan's reason. If there is anyone here that can help, I would like to find out how much Big Tobacco has contributed to Kay Hagan since she was elected senator.

Frankly, I am of the opinion that anything that would regulate tobacco, anything that would let me breath clean air without smoke in it is a good thing. Therefoe I am extremely dissapointed that the Senator I voted for, is voting in the best interests of Big Tobbacco and not in my best interests.

We will remove Burr from his office in 2010, but Hagan is int there until 2014, I just don;t want her to turn Big Tobbacco Apologist in her 6 years, because that is definatly not why I voted for her.

The Full article from Huffington Post is at

And the source for the vote count is

Or you could go the http:\\ and see a big picture of Senator Burr right at top of the page.


Open Secrets

Hagan touched on the issue a little bit during her liveblog at BlueNC in discussing tobacco taxes and SCHIP, so I fully expected her to vote the way she did. For a lot of Democratic members, it's hard to reconcile voting in a way that might damage one of the state's chief export. It's worth noting that Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler voted against this in the House.

But just for the record: according to Open Secrets, she received $19,200 from the tobacco lobby in 2008--well behind the $26,250 given to Burr and the $52,250 given to Dole in the same year.

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Warner and Webb

It seems that both of Virginia's Democratic Senators voted for consumer oversight of tobacco. Does tobacco contribute more to NC than it does to VA?

Big Tobacco versus little tobacco

It's worth noting the difference here.

Democratic Senators Warner and Webb merely sided with Virginia-based "Big Tobacco" while Senators Burr and Hagan sided with North Carolina "little tobacco."

Richmond, VA based Altria, the overwhelming leader in tobacco manufacturing and sales, lobbied for FDA regulation all along.

The deep pockets of Altria, also known as Philip Morris, make strict FDA regulation of advertising and new product development a windfall for them, since it virtually guarantees their existing market share can't be challenged by distant competitors like RJR and Lorillard, which happen to be North Carolina based.

So, the net result is tobacco isn't going anywhere, just tobacco jobs are leaving North Carolina for Virgina. Big Tobacco won, North Carolina lost.

Hagan merely tried to call hogwash on this whole fiasco, and do the right thing for North Carolina, as did Burr in this instance. Even if you disagree with Hagan as an anti-tobacco activist, don't be so quick to praise Warner and Webb. Philip Morris will be doing enough of that for all of us.

Altria contributed $78,418 to Warner already.

Don't get fooled again.

I'm not following this

I understand the dynamics of the market share lock-in for Altria, but why exactly would this legislation hurt small farmers in North Carolina? I've never understood the logic. Is there a real reason to think demand for North Carolina grown tobacco will somehow be lessened if Richmond-based Altria gains or sustains its market share?

Maybe there's a case to be made that the headquarters locations would lose administrative staff, but I can't see how that affects "small tobacco" in North Carolina.

I'm not arguing with you, just asking.

I'm not following it much either

Perhaps Altria will pick up small tobacco farmers in NC as Lorillard and RJR fall away.

Perhaps they won't. I doubt it if history is any indication. RJR did stuff like NASCAR for this state. Remember that? Philip Morris closes plants and drops off thousands at unemployment lines.

Maybe it's a NC sacrifice that anti-smoking folks deem worthy.

I don't know. I just know every employee of RJR and Lorillard IS a constituent of Hagan and Burr, as is every NC tobacco farmer trying to hang on in spite of buying health insurance for every child not on Medicaid by SCHIP, which I support, as does Hagan.

Hagan did the right and "independent" thing, regardless of party and regardless of outcome here. I can't say as much for the success of the unprecedented alliance of "Big Tobacco" and "Anti-Tobacco" lobbyists we've seen lately.

This whole thing has been a joke is all I'm saying.

The only "victory" being celebrated tonight is by Altria Group. How much more North Carolina suffers is yet to be determined.

Thanks! Here's some more info.

It's not all "Us" versus "Them." Sometimes it's "Them" versus "Them," and we're just the fools in the middle doing their bidding.

For example, there's no reason to punish small insurance agents for the crimes of AIG, yet public outrage seems to demand it. We need to be smarter.

As far as Kay Hagan supposedly being "owned" by big tobacco, either they all are, or none are.

Burr, Richard (R-NC) $359,100
Hayes, Robin (R-NC) $184,724
Etheridge, Bob (D-NC) $171,000
Jones, Walter B Jr (R-NC) $170,900
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC) $154,550
Coble, Howard (R-NC) $136,632
Lancaster, Harold Martin (D-NC) $85,118
Price, David (D-NC) $81,812
Taylor, Charles H (R-NC) $81,200
Rose, Charlie (D-NC) $76,500
Myrick, Sue (R-NC) $70,500
Ballenger, Cass (R-NC) $70,150
Hefner, W G "Bill" (D-NC) $69,500
Funderburk, David (R-NC) $61,650
Clayton, Eva M (D-NC) $55,050
Foxx, Virginia (R-NC) $51,250
Neal, Stephen L (D-NC) $48,337
McHenry, Patrick (R-NC) $48,000
Valentine, Itimous Thaddeus Jr (D-NC) $44,475
Watt, Melvin L (D-NC) $40,700
Butterfield, G K (D-NC) $29,550
Heineman, Fred (R-NC) $27,500
McMillan, J Alex (R-NC) $23,850
Miller, Brad (D-NC) $19,500
Shuler, Heath (D-NC) $17,500
Ballance, Frank W Jr (D-NC) $14,750
Clarke, James McClure (D-NC) $5,600
Jones, Walter B (D-NC) $3,500
Kissell, Larry (D-NC) $3,300

"Industry" amounts don't really mean anything. Only Corporate directed donations, by name, and how they lobby versus how the recipient votes provides any real insight. A tobacco farmer is not RJR is not Altria Group.

And a vote for NC jobs, is not always a vote for "Big Tobacco." Just as sometimes a vote to "regulate" tobacco IS a vote for "Big Tobacco."

Maybe it should be noted that

Maybe it should be noted that these contributions are spread out over many election cycles. David Funderburk hasn't been in the house in 12 or 14 years since Bob E. defeated him. Bob E. total for instance is for the entire time he has been in the house. In the 2010 cycle he has received 1k.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Dancing Banana provided perspective (thanks)

and once again we should note that nothing coming out of Washington is what it seems to be.

It does seem we can be assured that whatever comes out of Washington isn't worth crap and has no real regard for anyone but the politicians who will profit from their way or another.

Stan Bozarth

So true

"nothing coming out of Washington is what it seems to be"

In this case, I hope people realize that means Kay Hagan did the right thing here for NC, no matter your convictions on tobacco.

I'm aware that means Burr did too, but I prefer keeping my objections consistent as opposed to partisan.

Did you notice that Bob

Did you notice that Bob Etheridge voted for? He has received the third largest amount of contributions from the tobacco industry, his district includes tobacco farming counties like Harnett, Johnston, Nash and Sampson, and he's a farmer (actually his son is)that raised tobacco until the buyout. Sounds like integrity to me.

I'm a moderate Democrat.