“The tobacco industry is seeing a major return on its investment in Oklahoma’s political system,” said Dr. Robert McCaffree, co-director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center. “There’s a clear correlation between tobacco industry contributions and the suppression or opposition of legislation intended to reduce tobacco use in our state ...”
According to the website, 84 of the 97 representatives in office as of Oct. 1 have accepted a total of $80,550 in campaign contributions from tobacco lobbyists since 2006. Also since 2006, 45 of them have accepted a total of $29,750 from tobacco PACs. And 86 have accepted a total of $25,304 in meals and other gifts from tobacco lobbyists. Nine representatives have accepted more than $3,000, and only one of them voted for tobacco-control legislation last year.
Over in the Senate, 41 of 48 senators have accepted a total of $74,750 in campaign funds from tobacco lobbyists since 2006. Twenty-two have accepted a total of $19,750 from PACs, and 42 have accepted a total of $12,615 in meals and other gifts.
Eleven senators have accepted a total of $3,000 or more.
The local-control measure was not heard in the Senate last year.