Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Raoul pressed again on tobacco contributions
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
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…


* 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        

  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.

  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:

  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.

* Question of the day
* Uihlein says Ives "proved that people are hungry for change"
* If you thought Dorothy Brown's office was a mess before...
* It's just a bill
* Will Pritzker stiff the Tribune editorial board?
* Budget optimism abounds
* Beware the hot mic
* IRS to state tax work-arounds: No
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Catholic Conference, other pro-life groups issue budget vote warning
* Shouting into the wind
* The debate over debates begins
* Stop Illinois Big Coal Bailouts
* Cassidy says LIG process "riddled with trap doors, blind alleys and loopholes"
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fig.....
* Uihlein says Ives “proved that people are hungr.....
* Illinois House panel OKs marijuana to fight opi.....
* Illinois House panel OKs marijuana to fight opi.....
* Illinois House panel OKs marijuana to fight opi.....
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fig.....
* Illinois House Considers Using Marijuana to Fig.....
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fig.....
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fig.....
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fig.....

* US Foods to expand Louisiana distribution facility
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fight opioids
* Judge who took part in storied undercover Chicago probe dies
* Woman killed by Gurnee police linked to earlier incident
* Lawmaker charging retaliation wants complaint system changes
* Report says pilot possibly disoriented before Illinois crash
* Census: Chicago's population drops third year in a row
* Condemned killer blames attack on 'homosexual panic'
* The Latest: Board hears mercy request from condemned killer
* Chicago suspect in shooting of ATF agent pleads not guilty

* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fight opioids
* Lawmaker charging retaliation wants complaint system changes
* Under the Dome Podcast: Cassidy vs. Madigan. Guns. Death Penalty.
* Lawmakers debate non-death penalty parts of Rauner's safety rewrite
* Bernard Schoenburg: Butler seeks to help caucus with $$, joins gun group
* Two anti-sex harassment bills go to Rauner's desk
* Illinois governor gets bill legalizing industrial hemp
* Rauner's gun veto not all or nothing, aide says
* Illinois Senate panel endorses wage-equity plan
* Judge: IDOC must comply with prison mental health plan

* Feds probing whether traders manipulating crypto prices
* U of C settles retirement plan lawsuit for $6.5 million
* Show us your office!
* A low-tech way to help ex-offenders rejoin society
* Steve Dolinsky wants you to know Chicago is a great pizza town

* Businesses evacuated after Aurora freight train derailment
* New Bears coaching staff plans to expand Tarik Cohen’s role — if he can block
* Don’t lock up teens for car theft if it’s unclear they knew the car was stolen
* Obesity linked to these 12 types of cancers: report
* Mom charged with kidnapping daughter shoved stroller at cop, ran: prosecutors
* Developer for South Works site ends contract
* NAACP official asks Rauner’s environmental agency to help black communities
* Take a breath and learn, college grads, before you go out and change the world
* Welington Castillo is first active Cubs or White Sox player suspended for PEDs
* Talking Points: Five things learned from five Bears offensive assistant coaches

* Freight train derailment reported in Aurora
* Harvey Weinstein set to turn himself in on sex crime charges in New York
* Irish developer walks away from plan to build 20,000 homes on South Works site
* Jack Johnson — pardoned by Trump — fought hard against racism
* Morgan Freeman apologizes in wake of harassment accusations
* Let's hear it for Memorial Day weekend at the beach. Oh, but the litter ...
* EPA deal marks dramatic shift away from dirty coal power in Chicago area
* Trump's 'animal' comments were loathsomely loaded and coded
* CTA manager resigns after nude photos found on his computer
* Switch to relief pitching paves the way for the Cubs' Justin Hancock to reach the major leagues

» Healthcare Worker Violence Prevention Act; Immigrants in Champaign County; Taking a Knee in the NFL
» What Is Your Relationship With Your Doctor Worth To You?
» Illinois Could Get More Nurses Trained To Help Sexual Assault Survivors
» May 23, 2018 - Full Show
» Gun Restraining Order Bill Passes IL House, Latest in String of Gun Legislation
» Gun Restraining Order Bill Passes Illinois House, Latest in String of Gun Legislation
» Mr. Beef’s Chris Zucchero Helps Chicago Celebrate Italian Beef Week
» NW Indiana Cop Has A History Of Confrontations At Bar
» Update on Illinois Men Accused of Bombing; Evictions in Decatur; Illinois Politics Update
» Madigan Calls For Investigation After Accusations Of Retaliation

* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fight opioids
* Lawmaker charging retaliation wants complaint system changes
* Under the Dome Podcast: Cassidy vs. Madigan. Guns. Death Penalty.
* Lawmakers debate non-death penalty parts of Rauner's safety rewrite
* Bernard Schoenburg: Butler seeks to help caucus with $$, joins gun group
* Our View: SIU drama can't lead to more bureaucracy
* Our View: Deterrence program carries great potential
* Two anti-sex harassment bills go to Rauner's desk
* Illinois governor gets bill legalizing industrial hemp
* Rauner's gun veto not all or nothing, aide says

* The 2018 Carbondale Sunset Concert lineup is here
* Where in the world? National Geographic Bee contestant Kavya Kalathur can likely tell you
* Road rage? Gas prices way up ahead of holiday travel
* Lesson learned: Hudson man gets his 'Big Boy' back
* Troopers, hot weather in store for holiday weekend
* New Athens man charged with domestic battery hit his dad, spit on his mom, police say
* New census numbers show which Southern Illinois communities are shrinking
* Southern Illinois man acted out diaper fetish with 12-year-old girl, prosecutors say
* Just released: What do census numbers show about Decatur's population total? Let's look at the data.
* Big Story: Off Limits goes underground

* Freight cars derail in Aurora; no injuries reported
* Grant aims to help teens get back on track
* Des Plaines resident Brian Chan overcomes health issues to graduate from Oakton
* 'Invader' helping clean city's beaches
* White Sox catcher Castillo apologizes for failed drug test

* McDonald's workers allege widespread sexua...
* US Democrats urge Netanyahu to halt demoli...
* The Glen receives EPA award recognizing si...
* 'It's a f---ing circus': Experts are floor...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Political rally in St. Charles for Underwo...
* Underwood rally draws more than 300 suppor...
* Hultgren talks gun control after St. Charl...
* Letter: Hultgren isn't good for the enviro...
* EDITORIAL: Sign your names, GOP Congressme...

* Companies Urged To Extend GDPR Privacy Sta......
* Luetkemeyer, Wagner attend Trump signing o......
* For prisons, let First Step Act be just that...
* Senators Push Companies to Adopt EU Data P......
* Column One: Heeding Democratic warnings...

* Luetkemeyer, Wagner attend Trump signing o......
* Duckworth on Trump axing N. Korea summit: ......
* Harris, Feinstein, Colleagues Call on Sess......
* Santa Fe Victim's Mother Speaks Out For Gu......
* Roy Blunt is right on harassment bill: Tax......

* Rockeller Chapel presses its majestic carillon into service for a two-day festival of new music
* Sunday, bloody Sunday.
* Chicago is becoming a bourgeois town. Spread the news all around.
* Property Tax Assessment Help Available (Including Today!)
* EXTRA: Castillo first Chicago ballplayer suspended for steroid usage
* The [Thursday] Papers
* #Deadpool2
* Greg Hinz: Chicago population drops for third year in a row
* Instagrammer & Foodie Expert Taste of Koko Shares '13 Best Chicago Restaurants You Have to Eat At'
* Chicago session sold out, but June 22 LAP volunteer training session in Carbondale still has openings

* IEMA Releases New Broadcast Campaign Focusing on Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness
* Rend Lake Water Conservancy District Water Main Break
* Statement from Gov. Rauner
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters

* Swatter indicted in Kansas gamer’s death also accused of net neutrality vote bomb threat
* The Nvidia Shield gets a new UI with Android Oreo update
* Elon Musk thinks you can crowdsource truth, but that’s not how the internet works
* Mattress company Emma is fastest-growing startup in Europe
* Huawei's bootloader unlock service is being shut down
* Teaser video shows off the BlackBerry KEY2’s refreshed looks and mysterious button
* How AI and robots are about to augment and accelerate human beings

* Farquhar expected to throw out 1st pitch June 1
* Tilson joins White Sox after almost 2-year rehab
* Castillo receives 80-game suspension
* Castillo receives 80-game suspension
* BREAKING: Castillo suspended 80 games
* This White Sox prospect could be close to callup
* Most Essential White Sox Vote: Round 5

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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