The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a government agency and a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The NCI is fully funded by taxpayers. Three academics from California convinced unelected bureaucrats that we needed a study to see if the Teaparty is responsible for “advancing tobacco issues.” show that conservatives since the 1980’s have “advanced” the use of tobacco. The origins of the Teaparty began back in the 1980’s. Bet you didn’t know that. The study, paid for by you the taxpayer, is available to you for $30.00 or you can read a tiny three paragraph abstract for free.
From the abstract – and this is all you get without paying up for something you’ve already paid for:
Background The Tea Party, which gained prominence in the USA in 2009, advocates limited government and low taxes. Tea Party organisations, particularly Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, oppose smoke-free laws and tobacco taxes.
Methods We used the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, the Wayback Machine, Google, LexisNexis, the Center for Media and Democracy and the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org) to examine the tobacco companies’ connections to the Tea Party.
Results Starting in the 1980s, tobacco companies worked to create the appearance of broad opposition to tobacco control policies by attempting to create a grassroots smokers’ rights movement. Simultaneously, they funded and worked through third-party groups, such as Citizens for a Sound Economy, the predecessor of AFP and FreedomWorks, to accomplish their economic and political agenda. There has been continuity of some key players, strategies and messages from these groups to Tea Party organisations. As of 2012, the Tea Party was beginning to spread internationally.
Conclusions Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.
If I could get into the full report, I bet I wouldn’t find tobacco dynasty, Al Gore Sr.’s or Al Gore Jr.’s name anywhere in this report.
As reported by NPR about an interview yesterday with Gore as part of his 24-hour assault on climate science:
“He went on to accuse those who express the loudest doubts about whether humans are contributing to climate change of “doing exactly the same thing that the tobacco industry did after the Surgeon General’s report came out” linking smoking to cancer. “They hired actors and dressed them up as doctors and gave them scripts” saying that smoking isn’t harmful. Today, said Gore, “carbon polluters” are paying for climate change doubters to say similar things.”
But as reported by the New York Times in 1998,
“Six years after Vice President Al Gore’s older sister died of lung cancer in 1984, he was still accepting campaign contributions from tobacco interests. Four years after she died, while campaigning for President in North Carolina, he boasted of his experiences in the tobacco fields and curing barns of his native Tennessee. And it took several years after Nancy Gore Hunger’s death for Mr. Gore and his parents to stop growing tobacco on their own farms in Carthage, Tenn.” Source: Junk Science
Look at this hypocrisy: Gore is blogging about the Teaparty and Tobacco.
Gore in 1996:
At the Democratic national convention in 1996, Gore gaving a moving speech about his only sister’s painful death from lung cancer. And since then he has pushed the administration’s aggressive anti-smoking campaign.
What Gore didn’t mention is that he grew up on a tobacco farm, worked on it, and continued to accept checks from that farm for years after his sister died. In 1988, while running for president, he defended tobacco farmers while campaigning in Southern tobacco states (and made the quote up above: ‘I’ve raised tobacco … I’ve shredded it, spiked it,… and sold it.’) He accepted contributions from tobacco companies as late as 1990.
Gore claimed that “emotional numbness” led him to defend and profit from the tobacco industry. “Sometimes, you never fully face up to things that you ought to face up to.” Source: RealChange.org
The study in question purports to show that the Tea Party movement was created by and works to advance the interests of the tobacco industry.
Its critics have rejected the study’s findings and expressed particular concern that taxpayer funds were used to support “politically motivated attacks,” in the words of one Tea Party-aligned congressman…
The study says it “was funded by [two] National Cancer Institute grants.” The NCI is a division of the National Institutes of Health, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Tea party sympathizer or not, liberal or conservative, every taxpayer should be outraged that their money is used to editorialize on the politics of the day,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, (R., Kan.), a member of the House Tea Party caucus, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Instead of spending money to research cancer—as the National Cancer Institute is supposed to do—they are engaged in politically-motivated attacks on Americans engaged in the political process,” Huelskamp added.
As our government continues to rake in big revenues from the tobacco industry, I know only one thing: as abhorrent as it is, smoking is legal. As extraordinarily abhorrent as abortion is, abortion is legal, but I find no one on the left blaming the Black Congressional Caucus or the the Congressional Progressive Caucus or Code Pink or Planned Parenthood for furthering the advance of murder. Differing from this attack on the TeaParty, the murder charge would stick.
I’ve never smoked in my life, but…it’s legal, and it is outrageous that taxpayers funded this study and that the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Health and Human Services allowed it.