Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Raoul pressed again on tobacco contributions
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Raoul pressed again on tobacco contributions

Thursday, Dec 21, 2017

* Some background is here. CBS 2 has a story about Sen. Kwame Raoul’s AG campaign taking $100,000 in $10K increments from companies owned by local tobacco mogul Don Levin

“It’s improper because there’s a case pending before the attorney general, and it’s seeking to influence someone who would be attorney general,” said Jesse Ruiz, an attorney general candidate. “I think you have to stand up and show ethical behavior now, even before you ask voters to elect you to that office.”

Illinois’ attorney general is seeking millions from Levin’s company, in a dispute over payments to the state from tobacco settlements. Raoul insists Levin’s donation isn’t a conflict.

“I’ve known him for years. He’s contributed to me before, and all my votes have been anti-tobacco. I’m not for sale,” Raoul said.

* From Maze Jackson’s Facebook page

I often tell the story of when I lobbied in Springfield, about the time heroin was changed from a crime to a sickness. I also talk about that being the turning point for me because at the same time we passed that law, we also passed a bill to ban flavored blunt wraps specifically, which was owned by a pair of Black businessmen.

I thought it was extremely odd that the the bill’s sponsor Senator Kwame Raoul attacked flavored blunts (which contained no tobacco and were essentially wrapping papers) but made a specific carve out to protect menthol flavored wraps. I will never forget the after the bill passed, the two Black men asking me why their business was targeted specifically.

Fast forward a few years and it all comes to light that Raoul was operating in the interests of Don Levin (a billionaire tobacco magnate) who makes his money selling tobacco products in the Black Community, essentially killing us. Additionally, I thought the Attorney General was supposed to fight Big Tobacco not work FOR them. So for ten contributions of $10,000 our potential AG candidate is willing to support Big Tobacco?

Well, at least he didn’t go cheap…

Ouch.

* I remembered when the flavored wraps language was added to the heroin bill, so I Googled it and found this story

An Illinois House committee Tuesday approved a ban on flavored cigar wraps despite concern from lawmakers that it unfairly favors one company over another. […]

Tony Abboud, a lobbyist for National Tobacco, said the two provisions were combined for political convenience, because similar bans on flavored cigar wraps have failed twice already.

Abboud said the bill is anti-competitive. National Tobacco makes chocolate chip and cotton candy flavored cigar wraps, while other flavors, such as menthol and tobacco, are specifically exempted. National Tobacco’s competitor, Republic Tobacco, makes those flavors.

“If you believe it is drug paraphernalia, why in the world would you leave unflavored wraps on the market?” Abboud said. “It is entirely and inherently inconsistent.” […]

Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, said the menthol and tobacco-flavor exemptions were requested by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which pointed out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on flavored cigarettes specifically exempts menthol and tobacco flavors.

Emphasis added, because as Greg Hinz reported this week, all ten of the Don Levin contributions to Raoul were companies with the same address as Levin’s holding company, Republic Group. Republic Group owns Republic Tobacco.

* On a side note, when I used the Google, this came up…

Clicking the link takes you to a post I wrote this week about Raoul and the contributions.

Obviously, I’m not running ads attacking Raoul, but somebody sure is. And that somebody is doing it in a way that avoids disclosing who is paying for it. Google shouldn’t allow that to happen, but somebody out there is violating state law.

Whoever it is, please leave me out of your little dirty trick. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - West Wing - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    This is the last thing Rauol needs right now. Self-inflicted wound that strengthens the hand of Pat Quinn at the top of the ticket.


  2. - Anon221 - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Rich- You may already have this, if not, wouldn’t hurt to contact Google about the use of your column for ad purposes by an unauthorized third-party.

    https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6018015


  3. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    I’m going to remain in increased denial to the ever-growing odds that Pat Quinn will be the nominee for AG…


  4. - DarkHorse - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 2:28 pm:

    Raoul is finished. The last thing Pritzker needs is to be running with Mr. Tobacco in the general election. Cook County Dems will either unendorse or slow-walk if he doesn’t give the money back.


  5. - So_Ill - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Not a good look here for Kwame. Ouch indeed.


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    You missed this one:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/stantis/ct-state-senator-kwame-raoul-smoking-20171220-story.html


  7. - Where's the Beef - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    Wow. The AG candidates are outdoing themselves. Raoul is for hire in Illinois. Ruiz sold out school children. Quinn is all about patronage and diverting Neighborhood Recovery money. The one to watch is Drury. These scandals promote his message.


  8. - City Zen - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    Flavored Blunts Menthol…Another great band name.


  9. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Where’s the Beef - Scott, is that you? Mr. Drury? Reveal yourself.

    Yes, Drury is “the one to watch.” OK.

    What about the outstanding women who are running?

    If you think your summaries of Raoul, Ruiz or Quinn have any resemblance to reality, you are deluded.


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    Where is Kathy Drea today to assure us Kwame’s intentions are pure as the driven snow?


  11. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    === Raoul is finished. The last thing Pritzker needs is to be running with Mr. Tobacco in the general election. ===

    Um, pardon me, but:

    Kwame Raoul is backing Chris Kennedy.

    Raoul is Chris Kennedy’s candidate.

    While I don’t think that JB Pritzker has made an endorsement, it seems that a lot of the same folks who are backing JB are also supporting Jesse Ruiz.

    Has anyone seen any comment from Chris Kennedy on this?


  12. - realworld - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    anyone will be better than Pat Quinn


  13. - OneMan - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:48 pm:

    Flavored Blunts Menthol? Sounds like someone has a interesting holiday week plan…


  14. - Responsa - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 6:13 pm:

    Kwame was not well very known statewide. So he was always going to have to introduce himself to voters and stake out his identity and his place in this race. Unfortunately for him he had not yet done that and so, his introduction to voters has been formed and managed by others due to some bad decisions on his part that he can’t escape from. In this crowded field with so many choices there seems to be little reason for Kwame to think he still has a chance, now.


  15. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 9:50 pm:

    In the bag with Big Tobacco and last on the ballot. See ya, Kwame.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 11:38 pm:

    From the Republic Tobacco Wikipedia link above: “Levin began with a small smoke shop called Adams Apple (which still exists, although it is no longer owned by Levin). He then went into wholesale distribution and grew his company into the largest roll-your-own tobacco company in the world.”

    I knew Levin’s name sounded familiar! Adams Apple is still in business on California near Devon on the northwest side of Chicago, near Mather “High” School, lol. Proprietor is Sheldon “Shelly” Miller, usually found behind the counter with a Buddha type expression on his face. In biz since 1969, according to the stained glass sign out front. Levin used to be his partner back in the early days, I’ve heard Shelly mention his name.

    Far out! Be sure to stop in to the most authentic head shop in Chicago if you go through O’Hare. Re. Raoul, the guy’s a hollow front puffed up as the next Obama from the south side. No loss there if he drops out of the AG race.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Tonight's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Sen. Connelly concedes
* Question of the day
* GOMB: State needs another $3+ billion a year to stay even
* Raoul announces transition committee
* *** UPDATED x1 *** The Democrats' vote-by-mail juggernaut
* Why the Firearms Restraining Order Act is so important
* Pension benefits are not cut in the abstract
* The way forward
* Yes, something can be done
* Monday's heroes
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller