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Big Tobacco spends Big Money

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Tobacco companies spent more than $7 million during just the first six months of 2013, as much as they did during all of 2011 and 2012 combined, the New York Public Interest Research Group reported Wednesday.

Much of the money was spent lobbying local governments, including Buffalo.

Interestingly, one lobbying firm, Nixon Peabody, represented during the same period in 2011 and 2012 both Altria, makers of Marlboro and other brands, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, whose scientists for years have been producing major reports on cigarette smoking and cancer.

In all, 27 separate lobbying firms represented the tobacco industry in the past couple years, NYPIRG reported. Altria, at $4 million, was chief among the big spenders, not including $300,000 in campaign donations, the group said.

While Senate Republicans received the most in tobacco industry donations, NYPIRG noted that the New York Democratic Party, controlled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, ended its promise, enacted in 2000, to stop taking cigarette industry money.

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Albany | Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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