Reynolds American

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Reynolds American is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, American Snuff Co., LLC, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. and Niconovum AB.[1] R.J. Reynolds Tobacco produces Camel and Winston brand cigarettes.

In May 2013, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Reynolds American gave $175,000 to Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and $50,000 to the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity in 2012.[2]

These are two of the most active and secretive political nonprofits operating in the U.S. today. Americans for Prosperity spent over $33 million in attack ads directly targeting President Obama in the 2012 campaign. Americans for Tax Reform reported nearly $16 million in expenditures in 2012.[3]

Reynolds American only publicly disclosed these contributions due to an anonymous activist shareholder. Without such rare individuals, most corporations' bankrolling otherwise remains secret. “The shareholder specifically requested that we disclose information about 501(c)(4)s, and in the interests of greater transparency, we agreed,” Reynolds American spokeswoman Jane Seccombe said.[4]

CPI also reports Reynolds American’s other contributions last year to 501(c)(4) groups include $100,000 to the Partnership for Ohio’s Future, an organization run by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce that spent several million dollars in a failed 2012 ballot initiative campaign to uphold a law limiting public workers’ collective bargaining rights. It also gave $12,500 to the National Taxpayers Union, a 501(c)(4) group that backed Republican candidates last year with modest expenditures.

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Reynolds American is Private Enterprise Board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, was a "President" level sponsor of 2011 ALEC Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $100,000, and among other things, sponsor of the "Cigar Reception"[5] and the "Leadership Dinner" speech of Arthur C. Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute at the 2011 ALEC Annual Conference.[6]

A list of ALEC corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Sourcewatch resources

External resources

References

  1. Reynolds American Reynolds American Corporate home page, accessed July 5, 2011
  2. Dave Levinthal, Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits, The Center for Public Integrity, May 30, 2013
  3. Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, Americans For Tax Reform, organizational report, accessed May 31, 2013
  4. Dave Levinthal, Tobacco giant funded conservative nonprofits, The Center for Public Integrity, May 30, 2013
  5. Eric Carlson, Journalist Kicked out of ALEC Conference, Threatened With Arrest, PRWatch.org, August 5, 2011
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011