MTPR

American Cancer Society

Big Tobacco Violated Campaign Laws, Commissioner Finds

Sep 10, 2018

HELENA — Two Big Tobacco companies violated Montana’s campaign practices and disclosure laws as part of a campaign opposing a tobacco tax ballot initiative.

That’s according a 14-page decision issued by the state’s top campaign practices official.


The latest fundraising reports show that opponents of the ballot initiative proposing increasing Montana’s tobacco tax boosted contributions by $7.7 million in August. That’s nearly eight times what the campaign supporting the ballot issue raised in the same period.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Cellular tower.
(PD)

The Kalispell School District is accepting comments on a proposal to put a cellular tower on top of a local high school.

Verizon Wireless approached Kalispell Public Schools a few months ago wanting to install communications equipment on top of Flathead High School, which is currently being remodeled.

Kristin Page-Nei, one of the authors of I-185, speaks in support of the initiative in Helena, April 19, 2018. The ballot initiative proposes increasing tobacco taxes to raise money for health care programs, including Medicaid expansion.
Corin-Cates Carney

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides more than 93,000 people in the state health coverage, expires in just over a year. Campaigns are now underway to stop that from happening and to lobby support for the health care program.

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