Tony Abbott is probably right to eschew tobacco donations because, as he says,
Mr Rudd is going to run a distraction a day … and I don’t want furphies like this to distract people’s attentions from the main issues of this campaign.
Labor has been at war with smokers for some years now, but still relies on the votes of some rusted-on Labor voters who are longtime smokers.
You know that the reporters of this story (Sean Parnell and Joe Kelly) are merely regurgitating a Labor spin sheet when they write
In a move to end big tobacco’s influence, Mr Rudd said a re-elected Labor government would amend federal laws to ban donations from tobacco companies to Australian political parties and candidates. (my emphasis)
Why is it necessary to use a pejorative adjective in the news report? Are we happy to be influenced by small tobacco?
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said
Tobacco companies themselves have admitted they only donate to political parties to try to influence policy. By British American Tobacco’s own admission, they only donate to the Liberal Party to influence Liberal Party policy.
But all companies donate to political parties to influence policy. I’ve never heard of a company making a donation for purely selfless reasons. So, Mr Rudd, why not ban donations from all companies and the union movement? Do you accept money from big banks and big car companies? The same companies trying to get the taxpayer to hand over a wad of money? At least tobacco companies are not seeking taxpayer largess.