Once taboo, tobacco money now is accepted in large amounts by both parties.
  • Once taboo, tobacco money now is accepted in large amounts by both parties.
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Smoking giant R.J. Reynolds of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been handing out some big money lately to California politicos, including $1500 each to Democratic state senator Ben Hueso and Republican assemblyman Brian Maienschein. GOP senator Joel Anderson picked up $2500, as did Republican assemblywoman Marie Waldron. Once money to be shunned, tobacco-industry political cash is making a comeback in California, with Democratic governor Jerry Brown accepting $53,000 in the current campaign cycle, breaking a no-tobacco-money precedent set by previous governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis, and Pete Wilson, reports Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain. “For the first time in years, tobacco companies gave roughly equal amounts to Democrats and Republicans, $228,700 to Republican officeholders, compared with the Democrats’ $203,100. What’s striking is the shift. Especially in California, Democrats led efforts to curb tobacco use and sought to capitalize in campaigns on Republicans’ general support for tobacco industry positions.” …

San Diego-based lobbyist Richard Ledford, cousins with the big Mission Bay hotel-leasing Evans family, has a new client associated with Balboa Park’s 2015 centennial, the Electriquette Motor Cart Company, which wants to “provide 1915 exhibition authentic electric cart replicas for use in Balboa Park.”

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