Anti-Tobacco Activists File Complaint Over Measure 4 Advertising


We’re just weeks away from election day and while it’s been a pretty quiet cycle here in North Dakota that doesn’t mean we won’t be free from the usual last-minute “gotcha” claims.

Case in point, the press release below from Raise it for Health ND – the folks behind Measure 4 on the November ballot – who object critics of their measure calling it a 400 percent tax hike because it would, in fact, impose a 400 percent tax hike.

They say it’s misleading because the 400 percent tax hike is on cigarettes, but that’s some thin gruel. I don’t think anyone believes Measure 4 is going to raise taxes on everyone 400 percent, any more than the average voter believes that Measure 4 is really about helping veterans and not creating a huge new flow of revenue for professional anti-tobacco bureaucrats.

This isn’t about health. This is about employment.

They also complain that some of the tobacco companies spending money opposing the message are violating federal law which prevents parties to the tobacco class action Master Fund Agreement from commenting on how states use the funds from that agreement.

The Raise it for Health folks say they’ve filed a complaint with the Burleigh County State’s Attorney but, let’s be honest, nothing is going to happen with that complaint. Because if the Raise it for Health folks were really concerned about law breaking, and not just creating sympathetic headlines for their cause weeks before election day, they’d have filed this complaint weeks if not months ago.

This is a common “October surprise” tactic. File a complaint that almost certainly won’t be addressed until well after election day, and then milk it for all it’s worth.

Here’s their full press release:

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