Your morning jolt: This anti-tax protest brought to you by the good people at Big Tobacco

The invitation to the Tuesday noon anti-tax rally was fairly standard.

It noted that Grover Norquist, of government-small-enough-to-drown-in-a-bathtub fame, is the featured speaker.

Said the e-mailed invitation:

“Now is the time to overhaul the state’s budget process and find long-term solutions. Now is the time to cut spending and encourage economic growth. Now is the time to stop digging!”

Then there was the fine print at the tail end:

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A dollar-a-pack cigarette tax is one of the alternatives being considered by the Legislature.

The formal sponsors of Tuesday’s rally are Americans For Prosperity, Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, and the Conservative Leadership Coalition.

Virginia Galloway, head of the Georgia chapter of AFP, said she had no knowledge of the e-mailed invitation above — until she saw the post this morning. However, ATR and Norquist have in the past received financing from tobacco companies.

Mark DeMoss, who operates a Christian-oriented public relations firm out of Buckhead, was Mitt Romney’s evangelical liaison 2008.
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The language of the campaign upset him so much that, last year, he began an effort to bring more civility to politics. He partnered with Lanny Davis, a prominent Washington Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter.

Late last week, DeMoss – a major Republican donor – informed chairman Michael Steele that he was “ashamed” of a Republican National Committee slide show for donors that featured President Barack Obama as a socialist Joker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as Scooby-Doo.

“Shameful, immature and uncivil, at best,” DeMoss said.

This from Politico.com:

“I’m afraid the presentation is representative of a culture and mindset within the Republican National Committee,” DeMoss, a past member of the RNC’s “Eagle” program for top donors who gave the party $15,000 in 2008, wrote in the letter to Steele, which he shared with POLITICO. (DeMoss hasn’t given this cycle.) “Consequently, I will no longer contribute to any fundraising entity of our Party—but will contribute only to individual candidates I choose to support.”

On Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said much the same thing. “That sort of thing is certainly not helpful,” McConnell said. “I can’t imagine why anybody would have thought that was helpful. I mean, typically, the way parties raise money is because people believe in the causes that they advocate.”

The DuBose and Carol Porter ticket – he’s the candidate for governor, she’s the candidate for lieutenant governor — got its first national airing on Fox News on Sunday morning. Here’s the clip:

The House today is expected to take up a bill to permit Atlanta to renew its hotel-motel tax. H.B. 903, sponsored by former House speaker Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek, would extend the sunset for the tax from 2020 to 2045.

That’s considered the first step in negotiations with the Falcons over whether the football team would stay in Atlanta – by offering a new stadium or a remodeled Georgia Dome.

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35 comments Add your comment

OldGrowth

March 8th, 2010
9:33 am

…and Lee Hawkins takes a stand against the Tea Party Movement!

Finally a politician willing to say they aren’t with the crazies!

Lee is a great progressive candidate for congress up in the 9th!

Lanier Peach

March 8th, 2010
9:35 am

Senator Lee Hawkins is a recent “convert” from the Democratic Party. He switched parties in 2004 to run for Senate. It’s no wonder he wants nothing to do with the Tea Parties. I personally agree with what they stand for – a return to what is right in this country.

Darrell

March 8th, 2010
9:54 am

Just because “big tobacco” is against something doesn’t make it a bad thing. Ever think that smokers will go across state lines to buy their cigs and we will still have to pay for health related cost with less money because we ran them to other sources? If tobacco is such a bad thing let’s just outlaw it.

Kyle

March 8th, 2010
9:59 am

If you really think Metro Atlanta residents (that make up a major bulk of Georgia taxpayer revenue) are going across state-lines to save a buck…I got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

booger

March 8th, 2010
10:14 am

Is there such a thing as “Little Tobacco”. It’s strange how spinsters put the word “Big” in front of something to make it sound menacing. “Big Tobacco”, Big Oil”, etc. Just an observation.

Darrell

March 8th, 2010
10:21 am

Look back on other cig tax increases, people quit, they cross the state line, buy bootleg from others, etc and tax rev goes down not up. The Legislature needs to keep looking for ways to cut spending not how to get more out of the tax payer.

professional skeptic

March 8th, 2010
10:26 am

booger
March 8th, 2010
10:14 am

And “Big” government?

oldfart

March 8th, 2010
10:29 am

Since they think passing sin taxes are so easy then legalize casino gambling and tax the hell out of it.

booger

March 8th, 2010
10:31 am

Skeptic,

The scariest of them all!

oldfart

March 8th, 2010
10:35 am

Yeah, there is such a thing as little tobacco. The farmers that used to be able to supplement their income by growing a small plot. Also the little hand rolled cigar shops in Tampa I would consider to be “little tobacco” as well. The term “big oil” was coined to discern the Exxons of the world vs wildcatters and their type. How does the “Big” appellation make it appear menacing?

retiredds

March 8th, 2010
10:39 am

So, let’s do the math. A person drives to the Alabama line on I-20 which is about 50 miles from Atlanta (the shortest interstate route). That person drives a vehicle that gets 20 mpg on the highway. At $2.65 per gallon the person will spend $13.25 for gas. At 30 mpg it will cost $8.75. Although the math looks better with the higher mpg, I would be surprised that thousands of people will drive the 50 miles for a pack of cigarettes. (Oh, and this does not count the cost of added mileage, wear and tear, inconvenience, etc. for making the trip).

lmno

March 8th, 2010
10:40 am

Our legislators are too scared to raise taxes. You can’t just keep cutting this budget. Raise some taxes.

booger

March 8th, 2010
11:33 am

retiredds,

One pack no. Five cartons maybe. Ten cartons for sure.

d2

March 8th, 2010
11:40 am

The revenue projected form the Cig tax already takes in for the count of people living close to the border to buy Cig. out of state and for the decline of over all sales in state due to the increase cost of buying a pack. Anyway, the only State I know of that Cig is cheaper is NC.

retiredds

March 8th, 2010
11:55 am

You may be right booger. However, my point is unless one lives fairly close to the state line where tobacco taxes are less than GA, there is a cost. And if they speed and get caught or have an accident, then their risk/reward ration goes down the drain in a hurry. But since the threat of lung cancer or other maladies doesn’t scare them off, what a few hundred bucks here and there.

sintax10

March 8th, 2010
12:00 pm

Why not add a dollar to all lottery tickets? One dollar goes for the game the other dollar goes to the general fund. All lottery tickets are numbered and can be tracked. Better than depending on the stores to collect the tax and then pay that tax to the Department of Revenue. We already know that doesn’t work.

Another sin tax could be to add 1 cent to every text message sent. Texting falls into the same category as smoking. Texting has been shown to be dangerous while driving and it is generally annoying. So lets tax it like smoking.

Marlboro Man

March 8th, 2010
12:32 pm

To target one group for income, one that is weak and has an addiction is about the worse thing a bully can do. If you need income, let everyone pay. If you want to stop smoking, make the sale and production of tobacco illegal in GA. What a cowardly act to pick on smokers for income. Truth is it will take food from kid’s mouths. Middle man in the dope deal, no better than meth dealers.

d2

March 8th, 2010
1:03 pm

Marlboro man–If they can afford a pack of Cig then I don’t think their poor. What a cowardly act for smokers not to quit. You know, medicare payment of Cig related illness iscosting taxpayers already. I think you Marlboro Man is in fact a paid blogger from Phillip Morris.

Marlboro Man

March 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Tobacco companies have already and continue to pay for the health cost, it called the tobacco settlement, d2 you aware of these millions. I advocate banning the sale and manufacture of tobacco as this is the right thing to do if you care about health.

Keith

March 8th, 2010
1:22 pm

At least Ms. Porter is kinda hot for an old (over 50) chick.

d2

March 8th, 2010
1:33 pm

My bad —I misunderstood your comments. Sorry–I agree with you 100%

Willie Ray

March 8th, 2010
2:07 pm

DDS the state tax for Alabama is 42 cents and South Carolina is 7 cents.
People will not drive for a “pack of cigarettes however they will drive for multiple cartons.My wife and I are both smokers so we WILL drive to another state to save that money.

I will buy five cartons for each of us at a time and will save georgia tax of $100 minus the gas cost of of about $7.00. SOOO over the course of the year it will cost the state of GA about $1444 in tax revenue.

That does not count the cigarettes that I will be buying for friends. See we smokers work together so we will take turns driving to Alabama or South Carolina.

@willie ray

March 8th, 2010
2:28 pm

Alabama is considering raising thier cigarettes which is at 4.41 a pack on average for more taxes and South Carolina is considering the same which is 4.10. If it is the price you are worried about then why haven’t you gone to South Carolina already? Georgia’s is currently at 4.35 per an average per a pack. So a 1.00 more would put it around 5.35. Just think if S.C. and Bama raises there taxes on that pack like they are thinking about, where are you going to g–o Louisana where it is currently 3.55 per a pack. Good luck with that.

Oh Please

March 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

Why are big corporations like Philip Morris allowed to use our Capitol grounds to push their agenda?

Willie Ray

March 8th, 2010
2:40 pm

Your taxes that you quote are incorrect those are average retail prices

Willie Ray

March 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

Oh Please

Because at the end of the day democrats and repubs all take money from large corps

@willie ray

March 8th, 2010
2:52 pm

No, they do include the taxes–I check my facts do you?

Robbed Smoker

March 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

I smoke and I do plan to quit one day, but this is just un-fair to tax people that are already taxed enough even more money so we can fix budget issues. How about this then, I say we raise the taxes on beer a dollar and see how many of these non smokers flip out. And PS, no I will not drive to Alabama to get cigerettes, but there is this great thing called the mail and if this passes i will start ordering them online from a cheaper source. F HB 39 in the A.

[...] and encourage economic growth.” But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway notes that the fine print at the bottom of the invitation e-mail says the list serv was paid for [...]

Robbed Smoker

March 8th, 2010
3:06 pm

or Maybe I’ll get with Wille Ray on the carpooling to another state for smokes. F HB 39 in the A.

Willie Ray

March 8th, 2010
3:11 pm

Sorry i read your comment wrong you are quoting the avg retail price.
Yes so if you multipy that by 10 for a carton the savings by traveling and buying 10 at a time would be
the figures I quoted before about $1444 per year.

If they go up guess we will have to order off the internet or drive to Cherokee for the indian reservation.

Appalled

March 8th, 2010
3:12 pm

And what the hell they didn’t make enough money the last time they raised taxes. I started smoking less than 10 years ago and I got cigerettes for 3 dollars a pack. now its almost double that.

Appalled

March 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

F you Ron Stephens. I hope you get voted out of office next elections you POS.

Ole Guy

March 9th, 2010
2:50 pm

You people are all nuts…talk of driving 50 to 100 miles to save a few pennies, etc etc…for Christ’s sake, just do the right damn thing, stop talking about it and just damn do it. Many of us have had to sacrifice in one way or another, and you morons cry over your GD cigs! Dammit, stop bellyaching, pissing and moaning and just do what the hells right!

[...] his checkbook to demand more politeness in political campaigning. This spring, DeMoss announced he would withhold contributions from the Republican National Committee, after word leaked of an RNC fund-raising slideshow that portrayed President Barack Obama in Joker [...]