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Why is the Alameda County Green Party Voting NO on Prop 29 (cigarette tax)?
by repost
Sunday May 20th, 2012 11:36 AM
Voters should be aware that the notorious Don Perata (formerly leader of the State Senate) used this ballot measure as one of the main vehicles to raise money to help him (indirectly) with his 2010 campaign for Oakland Mayor. For example, in early 2010, Perata’s state initiative campaign fund already had $700,000 in its accounts and it was sharing an office with his Mayor’s campaign -- and “the Don” was using some of that initiative money on consultants who were also working on his Mayoral campaign, and on mailers which publicized himself to Oakland voters, as well as on fancy hotels and meals, etc. And after Perata lost the Mayor’s race to Jean Quan, he then paid his friend, city council member Ignacio DeLaFuente, $12,000 to be a “consultant” on the initiative campaign.
thedonandfriends.jpg
Proposition 29 - NO
Tobacco Tax

If voters can get beyond the hype of “opposition to
Proposition 29 is entirely funded by the tobacco companies”,
we hope they will then recognize that this ballot initiative is
in reality largely another example of blaming and punishing
the victim. Nicotine is a drug that is addicting. Those who
are unfortunate enough to smoke are currently paying 87
cents in excise tax to the state for every pack of cigarettes,
accounting for 905 million dollars annually, and by add-
ing one dollar per pack, Prop. 29 would more than double
that. The same people who would pay this tax are generally
people who are already suffering from the effects of tobacco.
It’s doubtful we can ever succeed in getting everyone to
quit smoking and another tax on cigarettes and all tobacco
products will only serve to put more stress and burden on
those who smoke -- almost all of whom are part of the 99
percent.

Proposition 29 would create another politically-
appointed bureaucratic entity to administer these funds
without any real accountability. One of the most chilling
things about Proposition 29 is the fact that if this tax goes
into effect it has built in immunity to any changes for the
next 15 years.

While it’s probably true (as the proponents argue), that
increasing the cost of cigarettes by about 25 percent would
somewhat discourage teenagers from starting to smoke, it
should be noted that only a small portion of the funds that
are raised would actually go to prevent people from (or help
them to stop) smoking. Instead, the bulk of the money will
mostly subsidize highly paid researchers. If Prop. 29 were
truly serious about helping to prevent smoking, then the bulk
of the money would instead have been used for prevention
programs.

Finally, voters should be aware that the notorious Don
Perata (formerly leader of the State Senate) used this bal-
lot measure as one of the main vehicles to raise money to
help him (indirectly) with his 2010 campaign for Oakland
Mayor. For example, in early 2010, Perata’s state initiative
campaign fund already had $700,000 in its accounts and
it was sharing an office with his Mayor’s campaign -- and
“the Don” was using some of that initiative money on con-
sultants who were also working on his Mayoral campaign,
and on mailers which publicized himself to Oakland vot-
ers, as well as on fancy hotels and meals, etc. (See: http://
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/the-cancer-in-the-oakland-
mayors-race/Content?oid=1600133. And after Perata lost
the Mayor’s race to Jean Quan, he then paid his friend,
city council member Ignacio DeLaFuente, $12,000 to be a
“consultant” on the initiative campaign, etc.).

Of course, Perata calculated that it would be very un-
likely that any major group would (sympathetically) defend
addicted smokers from a tax increase on tobacco, and that
(probably) only tobacco companies would contribute much
money to defeat it (which so far is the case), so for the solid
majority of voters, the “politically correct” position is likely
going to be to approve this proposition. Nevertheless, as
we explain above, there simply are too many problems
with this proposition to support it -- from its gross lack
of consideration for the plight of existing smokers, to the
corrupt use of the money raised to qualify the initiative, to
its failure to use the bulk of the money raised for smoking
prevention and cessation programs. California’s existing
addicted smokers should be viewed as a “disadvantaged
minority”, yet proposition 29 shows no compassion at all
for their situation and is instead essentially 100 percent
punishment.

Vote “No” on Proposition 29.

See also:

Don Perata in the news (Anybody But Perata for Mayor of Oakland)
http://www.notdon.org/peratainthenews.html

The Cancer in the Oakland Mayor's Race
There's evidence that Don Perata is attempting to circumvent Oakland's campaign contribution limits by using a statewide fund to fight cancer.
By Robert Gammon, February 10, 2010 News
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/the-cancer-in-the-oakland-mayors-race/Content?oid=1600133
by Yes on 29 & Oppose Most Sales Taxes
Sunday May 20th, 2012 6:25 PM
This Peace & Freedom Party member, whose party also is No on 29 because they oppose sales taxes although this sales tax is a luxury tax as are alcohol taxes, is glad I voted Yes on 29, and I have already voted. All of the above arguments miss the point.

Any increase in price immediately knocks a lot of the workingclass, the majority of the smokers, off the smoking train, and prevents young people from ever starting. The ideal would be that cigarettes be $10 per pack, instead of the current $5 per pack, and that would end most smoking by the workingclass and prevent most young people from ever starting.

There are lots of ways to kick the habit, cheaply. The American Lung Association has an online program. See
http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/
After reading all on that page, go to the Freedom From Smoking program at
http://www.ffsonline.org/
Kaiser members can go to the Kaiser website as well at
http://www.permanente.net/homepage/kaiser/pages/f17523.html

Starting September 2012, on the cigarette packs you will see graphic pictures, as shown at
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/21/cigarette.labels/index.html
The picture of the healthy lung next to the smoker's lung says it all: STOP SMOKING SO YOU CAN BREATHE.

Those of us who work in the Financial District as well as everyone else who works where lots of people stand outside buildings smoking CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO STOP SMOKING as walking past these "cancer wards" is hard on our lungs.

My 78 year old neighbor stopped smoking with Nicotine patches, available at your local pharmacy.

WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY, and we will all be healthier when no one smokes. We will also save the tremendous cost in healthcare.

Smoking is 30% in the workingclass communities, while it is 13% statewide in California. All we have to do is raise the price, and that ends any interest in cigarettes. It is mostly the young who smoke and young people can break habits. If a 78 year old can kick the habit, anyone can.

My personal observation about these groups that are Left of Center and whining about the higher sales tax that is Prop 29 is that many of them are smokers or former smokers. Dear Comrades: Stop Smoking and Support all Anti-Smoking Efforts.
by seriously
Monday May 21st, 2012 4:49 PM
>>All of the above arguments miss the point.

You mean having Don Perata control more of everything is not damaging to poor and working people?

>>Any increase in price immediately knocks a lot of the workingclass, the majority of the smokers, off the smoking train, and prevents young people from ever starting.

So crack and coke and cannabis being FAR more pricey than cigarettes has really *knocked* the working class right off the recreational use train!?

Sure increasing the prices will cause some to not use it (by no means the majority), but why does this need to be another Don Perata boondoggle? Isn't that TOO on the backs of poor people when the Don's buddies get buckets of cash for political moves that have little or zero to do with basic substance abuse prevention?

I understand the rationale, but you totally ignore all of the above points and simply blanket them all with "miss the point". What would Don Perata have done to OO when Quan basically stood down? I guess you'd say that's worth it.
by non-smoker
Monday May 21st, 2012 4:51 PM
I've never smoked one in my life, and suggesting that I or anyone else who is against 29 is a former smoker is grasping at straws.
by Yes on 29 & Oppose Most Sales Taxes
Tuesday May 22nd, 2012 8:49 AM
The 70% of the workingclass who do not smoke do not for the most part use marijuana, cocaine or any other illegal or semi-legal drugs. The 80% of us who sell our labor for less than $77,000 a year are the workingclass, including this writer, who remembers wearing rags from the Goodwill and buying shoes a size too large, stuffing newspaper in the front until I grew into them because we could only afford to buy shoes once a year.

The information on drug use in this country may be found at
http://drugrecognition.com/Use%20Statistics.htm
Cocaine use is less than 1%. See
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Cocaine
It appears that some 1 million people in the US use cocaine. This country has 310 million people.

IT IS AN INSULT TO SAY THE WORKINGCLASS WILL USE ILLEGAL DRUGS IF THEY STOP SMOKING. If you do not like Nicotine patches, try sugarless chewing gum, celery sticks, water, fruit or some combination thereof. Where there is a will, there is a way.

As to raising the price, it certainly works with young people and 90% of smokers start between ages 12 and 18. It is just a thrill, a curiosity, and that thrill is gone when the price of cigarettes goes up.

You must know all this, so your attack on Prop 29 is that of someone who is defending smoking, whether you realize it or not.

What Democrat Perata or Democrat Quan do is beside the point, and you know that too.

This writer knows many of the people involved with Left politics are, or most likely, were smokers. It was not grasping at straws at all. I have seen the whole act of defending smoking, knowing it is deadly.

Smoking tobacco causes all kinds of cancers, with one kind of leukemia directly caused by smoking. It also causes heart disease, high blood pressure, and emphysema.

Here is the Yes on 29 website at
http://californiansforacure.org/facts
and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at
http://californiansforacure.org/facts/faqs?_c=10l5k6ok87ypwtc

Then go to the nearest hospital and watch the dying lung cancer victims, hooked up to lung machines for life. I have seen it with my own eyes. The victim was 39.