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Altria (Phillip Morris) plans ads on Bush, Kerry policies

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:07 PM
Original message
Altria (Phillip Morris) plans ads on Bush, Kerry policies
Edited on Mon May-17-04 12:26 PM by Cocoa
How can this possibly be allowed? This must be just be a hail mary pass. Or at least I hope so.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&nci...

WASHINGTON - Tobacco and food giant Altria Group Inc. is asking federal regulators to sign off on its plan to run magazine ads contrasting the policies of President Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry

<snip>

Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris Cos., told the Federal Election Commission it believes the ads do not fall under a ban on corporate contributions and spending in federal elections but asked the FEC for its opinion. The commission is expected to rule within the next month.

The corporation donated $2.2 million to national Republican Party committees during the 2001-02 election cycle, the last time parties could accept "soft money," corporate, union or unlimited contributions. It was the third most generous donor to the GOP.

The campaign finance law that took effect starting with the 2003-04 election cycle prohibits corporations from contributing to presidential or congressional candidates or spending on their behalf.

The company contends the ads on candidates' policy positions should be considered a nonpartisan voter guide exempt from the law's restrictions. It also argues that the ads fall under exemptions that let magazines stage candidate debates and carry news stories, commentaries or editorials on candidates without running up against the law.

more...





Edit: and what's with "Altria", that's new to me. Is it supposed to sound like altruist?

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, I see a court case coming.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Right. Non-partisan voter guide
Edited on Mon May-17-04 12:57 PM by pduck
How can this NOT be considered a corporate contribution? Russ Feingold, we need you!
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demdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. "only if both parties answer and that it wouldn't edit the statements"
The company said it would publish responses only if both parties answer and that it wouldn't edit the statements.

So I guess it would come down to what the questions were.

I have no problem with this as it is stated. The answers would have to be unedited. The defining feature is that nothing would be published unless BOTH parties answered. That gives all the power to the individual parties.

As an aside, could they back, create, support or otherwise endorse a 527 type org? I know a candidate cannot be directly tied to a 527 but I never heard of a restriction on a company.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. This message brought to you by Big Tobacco
Edited on Mon May-17-04 12:29 PM by Why
I can see it now. This is going to be like those signs I see at convenience stores/gas stations saying "your elected officials say I have to card you" some some such tripe. I saw one in a supermarket that says "some wine would be good with this," with the plug being that New York state doesn't allow supermarkets to sell wine, and we should all vote in favor of some referendum next general election.

I wonder what the impact would be when Big Cancer comes out in favor of Bush (sort of). Perhaps the undesirable effect (to the GOP) of this kind of crap coming from say, the Tobacco Institute, is why Altria would rather spin their own propaganda rather than dish out money to some 527.

I don't think it will fly. If it did, everyone from Wal*Mart to GE to Dow Chemical would be doing it. Not a good idea.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Altria - the Kindler and Gentler tobacco giant...nt
Sid
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Phillip Morris
Now there's someone you can trust. This company practically invented big lie advertising. The public relations techniques it uses were the predecessor in interest to Karl Rove.
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recidivist Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. Re: what's with "Altria?"
Years ago, Phillip Morris decided to diversify. It now owns Kraft, Nabisco, and I-don't-know-how-many household name brands. It used to own Miller Brewing, and for all I know, it owns DU. (Just kidding.)

So part of the answer to your question is that the non-tobacco parts of the company wanted a corporate name that wasn't a lightning rod. Since they continue as quasi-independent operating units and may very well be spun off in the future as Higher Order Corporate Strategies unfold, that is perfectly reasonable.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Damage control
Phillip Morris had diversified long before the name change. They had received so much bad press lately (late 90's when the famous 60 Minutes episode aired) that they decided to change their name and get a fresh start.
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recidivist Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. Here's a truly radical suggestion.
Phillip Morris should have exactly the same right to speak out on politics as any other group. If MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club, the NRA, labor unions, or for that matter the Democratic Party can do it, Phillip Morris should be able to do it.

In other words, I think the First Amendment should apply to everyone. Government should not be in the business of licensing some speech as being in the public interest while outlawing speech by disfavored groups.

What is done to Phillip Morris today can be done to you and me tomorrow.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. In a perfect world, that may be fine and dandy....
Edited on Mon May-17-04 01:34 PM by loudsue
But as we've seen with the Super Bowl advertising boycott of MoveOn ads, since the media can accept or reject whatever ads they desire to air, this will ONLY give more media time to the right wing spin.

They can decide to air liberal ads at 3:30 a.m.

They can decide NOT to sell advertising or media time to liberals

They can make liberal articles more expensive

Well, you get my drift.

And the right wing has installed all these neocon judges in the courts, so the right wing has the option to interpret laws in ways that just continue to erode the rights of citizens in favor of corporations doing whatever in the hell they damn well please.

And that's EXACTLY what the neocon courts have already been doing!

:kick:
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. not radical at all
that was the foundation of the anti-McCain-Feingold argument, an argument which lost in Congress and I believe it also lost in the Supreme Court.

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recidivist Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Yes, and I hope the next Supreme Court nominee is quizzed hard about this.
"Sir, do you believe the first amendment protects speech by politically unpopular individuals and groups, or do you believe it protects only individuals and groups that you personally agree with?"

The Supreme Court blew it on McCain-Feingold and the decision needs to be reversed.
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Mind control (TV) costs big, favoring fascists and the rich corporations.
The legal decision that money was free speech was flawed on the face of it.

You get all the free speech you can buy.

"Liberty and justice for all"
(Offer not available in some areas, prices subject to change.)
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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. There's one large difference
Between, you, me, and Phillip Morris. Phillip Morris is a corporate entity, not a citizen of this country.

Viewing corporations as the equivalent of people in terms of constitutional rights has helped lead to the current climate of graft, and the corruption of our electoral process with the influence of big money.
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TucsonGreen Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. Corporations are not People
Phillip Morris or Atria or whatever is a CORPORATION not a PERSON and as such, shouldn't have any right to freedom of speech. It's only due to an obscure non-judgement in the 1880s that CORPORATIONS were granted all the rights of actual people. The founding fathers NEVER meant for the bill of rights to apply to non-people.

The only problem with that is that corporations don't die, you can't throw one in jail when it misbehaves, and you just generally can't hold it accountable for its actions.

This is truly one of the reasons our country is so F'ed up when it comes to corporate power. If you'd like to know more about it, check out www.poclad.org
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recidivist Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-04 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. A corporation is an association of people.
Do individuals lose their rights when they band together for a common purpose? Should Congress be able to outlaw political participation by MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club, labor unions, disfavored political parties, etc. because these organizations are not "people" either?

If it is not a crime for me to spend my own money to advertise on behalf of a candidate of my liking, it should not be a crime if I organize with other like-minded individuals to pool our resources for the same purpose.
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dusty64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-04 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. Corporations already have
WAY too many rights and that is the root of all of our problems. They are NOT citizens and do NOT have rights under the Constitution, yet they run all of the statehouses and Washington. MoveOn and Sierra Club, and yes even the "christian" coalition are groups of like minded citizens banding together to push a cause, there is a BIG difference. Corporate influence needs to be cut completely out of the picture if we are EVER to change things for the better in this Country.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. Boy, aren't we getting nervous
only 5 months till the election.
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Blasphemer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
14. What a laugh...
I love how the GOP was going after groups like MoveOn, MediaFund, etc. crying about how they were violating the FEC rules. Meanwhile, they have their corporate cronies planning a truly flagrant violation of the rules.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. Senator Kerry has never been in a position to establish policy
How can they compare policies?
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