Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
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Nathan Fletcher Picks Up Big Money from Big Tobacco, Says Lung Association
GOP Assemblyman and San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher has received a total of $25,100 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry, according to a database of state legislators released today by the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing, run by the American Lung Association of California.
In an accompanying report, the center said during the two-year state election cycle from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010, "tobacco interests spent $9.3 million to influence elections and legislative policy and have spent nearly $100 million on campaign contributions and lobbying in the past decade (2001-2010)."
According to the center's data, during 2007-2008, Fletcher raised $13,400 from tobacco interests, including $7,200 from Phillip Morris parent Altria Group and $4,600 from RJ Reynolds. During 2009-2010, Fletcher raised a total of $11,700, $7,800 from Altria and $3,900 from RJ Reynolds.
Fletcher's fellow GOP Assemblyman Martin Garrick, recently detained for DUI, received $15,600 during the most recent cycle. Assemblyman Joel Anderson got $8,400, and Sen. Mark Wyland took in $5,800.
Local legislative Democrats reportedly received no tobacco money, according to the database, but the center's numbers do not include so-called independent expenditures, contributions to campaigns supposedly staged without a candidate's knowledge or direction.
Sen. Juan Vargas, now vying to replace Democratic mayoral candidate Bob Filner in Congress, was the notable beneficiary of a massive independent expenditure by Put California Back to Work, sponsored by the Civil Justice Association of California, a big business lobbying group of which Altria is a member.