Pot, Kettle, Vinny DeMarco

So Vinny DeMarco is calling Andy Harris’ query on when his congressional health care plan kicks in, “blatant hypocrisy.”

In case you forgot, DeMarco, the media’s “hail fellow well met” crusader against big tobacco, is in fact, a tool of Phillip Morris.

According to Slate the public health benefits are dubious at cements Phillip Morris’s market dominance.

“It is a dream come true for Philip Morris,” Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, told me. “First, they make it look like they are a reformed company which really cares about reducing the toll of cigarettes and protecting the public’s health; and second, they protect their domination of the market and make it impossible for potentially competitive products to enter the market.” Other tobacco companies have taken to calling the bill the “Marlboro Monopoly Act of 2009.”

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It’s hard to fathom where Congress is finding the political cover necessary to pass an industry-sponsored love letter like this one. But it’s coming from Philip Morris’ partner in crafting the legislation: a nonprofit anti-smoking organization called Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

DeMarco’s Faith United Against Tobacco is a creature of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids was a direct but secret ally of Altria in the push to pass the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This was part of Phillip Morris’ Project Sunrise designed to divide and conquer the anti-tobacco movement in the late 1990s.

Media reports laud Vinny DeMarco, famed foe of evil big tobacco, for his principled stand and organizational genius. Yet DeMarco was right there in the middle of all of it a willing participant in Project Sunrise, helping Phillip Morris sell more cigarettes.Keep up the good fight Vinny, you’ve shamed Phillip Morris–all the way to the bank and market dominance.

Lobbyist, heal thyself

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