Stop the Measure 50 Tax Hike

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Stop the Measure 50 Tax Hike was a front group formed in Oregon by Philip Morris in 2007 to stop a ballot initiative to raise the state's cigarette tax to fund children's health care. The group's treasurer, according to Orestar (a resource similar to Guidestar focusing on Oregon), was Carol A. Russell of Bandon, Oregon. The 800-number telephone contact given for Carol A. Russell belongs to the Oregon Cranberry Network.[1] Funds flowed to the group through Altria Corporate Services (the parent company of Philip Morris), Philip Morris U.S.A., and Goddard Claussen Strategic Advocacy, a group that, according to a 1996 Tobacco Institute memo, had run campaigns against public health initiatives before in Oregon.[2]

Total expenditures of Stop the Measure 50 Tax Hike were in excess of $6.9 million.[3]

The tax measure was defeated, and tobacco industry interests broke the record for the most expensive campaign in Oregon's history, spending a total of $12 million to kill the measure.[4]

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