CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2010
THREATS TO CIVIL LIBERTIES
Tobacco and the Rule of Law



The 112th Congress should
  • deny funding for the Justice Departmentís racketeering suit against cigarette makers,
  • enact, under the Commerce Clause, legislation that abrogates the multistate tobacco settlement,
  • deregulate the growing of tobacco and the manufacture and advertising of tobacco products; 
  • end government subsidies of the tobacco industry.

The federal government has paid tobacco farmers to grow tobacco, and sues cigarette makers for selling cigarettes. If this makes sense to you, then you are probably not a Libertarian candidate for Congress.


Use of government coercion to fight tobacco encourages government coercion in other areas:

I have received dozens of letters from anti-tobacco advocates. These letters are identical, and are doubtless generated by an anti-tobacco website. Here is one of them:

Subject: Protect Kids from Big Tobacco!  
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 08:53:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: alternagirl@planet-save.com
To: kevincraig@kevincraig.us
Cc: alternagirl@planet-save.com

Dear Kevin Craig,

The big cigarette companies, alone, are now spending more than $30
million per day to promote their products. It's no wonder 2,000
more kids become addicted smokers everyday. One in three will die
prematurely.

Despite this tremendous toll, tobacco products remain virtually
unregulated and hardly any states are keeping their promise to
use tobacco settlement money for tobacco prevention.

You can be a leader in reducing tobacco's toll. These policies can
protect our kids and save lives:

- Funding Tobacco Prevention Programs

- Regulating Tobacco Products

- Increasing Tobacco Taxes

- Sponsoring Clean Indoor Air Legislation

- Aggressively enforcing the terms of the lawsuit settlement with
the tobacco industry.

There is much elected officials can do to protect our kids from Big
Tobacco. For information on what you can do, go to
www.KidsBeforeProfits.org today. I urge you to make preventing
tobacco use among kids a major focus of your agenda, both during
your campaign and after the election --and I look forward to
hearing your views on each of these important strategies for
reducing tobacco use and its enormous harms and costs.


Sincerely,

[Name and Address snipped]

Here is my response:

Dear [name],

I am unique among most candidates. I am honest.
No promises I won't or can't keep.  No campaign
rhetoric that makes you feel like I agree with you
if I don't.

You support:
> - Funding Tobacco Prevention Programs
>
> - Regulating Tobacco Products
>
> - Increasing Tobacco Taxes
>
> - Sponsoring Clean Indoor Air Legislation
>
> - Aggressively enforcing the terms of the lawsuit settlement with
> the tobacco industry.

I oppose all of the above.
I oppose all government-funded programs.
I oppose all government regulation.
I oppose all government taxes.
I oppose all legislation governing my indoors and the
      indoors of other property owners.
I believe the tobacco lawsuits were an abuse of the legal system.

I'm sure you've never heard a politician flat-out state
he disagrees with you. Usually you'll get some vague
double-talk that sounds like it might be agreement
with your views.

I oppose all of the above because they are unconstitutional
and represent the initiation of force and threats of violence
against others.

http://KevinCraig.US/libertarian/

It doesn't seem like we have much in common, does it?

However, I have never smoked, find smoking to be offensive,
and would definitely vote to abolish all tobacco subsidies.

http://www.KevinCraig.US/tobacco

I do not like to see children take up smoking. But
giving regulatory power to the federal government
is not the best solution to this problem (and it
is not consistent with the oath a Congressman
must take to "support the Constitution").

My campaign motto is "Liberty Under God."
If you're interested, and if you write me back expressing
that interest, I will write you back and explain why
I believe there would be less smoking in a world of
Liberty Under God. I appreciate your question, and
I will try to carve out some time to update my
"tobacco" webpage (see link above) to explain
how I think your goals can be achieved without
coercion and extortion by the government.

I do think we share the same goal, but not the same
means to an end.

Thanks for writing. I hope to hear back from you.
--


Kevin Craig
Libertarian Party Candidate
U.S. House of Representatives
7th District, Missouri
P.O. Box 179
Powersite. MO 65731
417.598.8303
417.339-4417 (fax)
www.KevinCraig.US

So far I have received one reply:

Subject: Re: Protect Kids from Big Tobacco!  
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 18:01:07 EDT
From: Ella11573@cs.com
To: KevinCraig@KevinCraig.US

In a message dated 10/14/04 4:40:32 PM Central Daylight Time, KevinCraig@KevinCraig.US writes:
http://KevinCraig.US/libertarian/

Here's my view, you are an idiot.  I would never vote for you.  I lost my father to cigarettes and your beliefs are ridiculous.  Enough said, I won't waste anymore time on you.

This person is undoubtedly a product of government schooling. As with most examples of political name-calling and departures from the Constitution, it can be traced to the absence of an appreciation for the concept of "Liberty Under God." I replied:

Subject: Re: Protect Kids from Big Tobacco!  
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 15:58:16 -0000
From: "Kevin Craig" <KevinCraig@KevinCraig.US>
To: Ella11573@cs.com

You wrote:

> Here's my view, you are an idiot.  I would never vote for you.  
> I lost my father to cigarettes and your beliefs are ridiculous.  
> Enough said, I won't waste anymore time on you.

I lost my father to cigarettes too.
But nobody FORCED him to smoke.
He made choices, and suffered the consequences.
(And my mother still suffers the consequences.)

Some people like to smoke, and they don't die
because of it. They are happy to pay the cigarette
makers to sell them cigarettes. You apparently want
a Congressman who will threaten to lock the cigarette
makers in prison with psychopaths who will beat them
and sodomize them.

http://KevinCraig.US/prison

The same government you want to empower to
inflict vengeance against cigarette makers is the
government that makes it illegal for teachers
in government schools to tell students that they
are created by God, and their body is the temple
of God. Children are not taught a respect for life,
nor faith in God, and as a result they become
peer-dependent, and then advertising-dependent.

http://KevinCraig.us/education/

http://vftonline.org/Kevin4VFT/MooreKidz.htm

I do not believe in using government coercion and
violence to treat symptoms, rather than get to
the root causes.

Name calling is just verbal violence.

I'm glad you wrote back, because you challenge me
to think through my position. I hope I have done
the same for you.
--


Kevin Craig
Libertarian Party Candidate
U.S. House of Representatives
7th District, Missouri
P.O. Box 179
Powersite. MO 65731
417.598.8303
417.339-4417 (fax)
www.KevinCraig.US

Why do children take up smoking? They want to "be cool." Do young adults who believe they have been created in the Image of God, and are getting ready to exercise dominion over the earth feel the need to be accepted by those who are "cool?"

What is the effect of teaching children that they are merely random mutations and meaningless chemical conglomerations? Is the answer to adolescents who take up smoking or drinking inflicting violence on cigarette makers?

Instead of passing laws against free speech, and instead of giving the government power to regulate commerce, we need to ask why our schools produce people are gullible and irresponsible.

Once again, the answer to the social problems that perplex us is "Liberty Under God."


next: The War on Drugs