Why is Dole Talkin’ ’bout Tobacco?


When it comes to tobacco, it seems Bob Dole can’t help but put his mouth where the money is.

Since the beginning of 1995, Bob Dole has received $25,500 from tobacco companies, according to the New York Times. The San Francisco Examiner puts the industry’s lifetime contribution to Dole at $477,000.

On the “Today” show, Dole downplayed the significance of contributions from tobacco interests, emphasizing that Democrats had also accepted such contributions.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , tobacco contributions to the Democratic Party from 1993 to 1995 totalled $800,000, while the industry’s contributions to the Republican Party weighed in at $4.5 million.

But there’s more to it than money. MoJo’s May/June exposé, Tobacco Dole, outlines the long-standing relationship between Bob Dole and the tobacco industry. Many bigwigs in Bob Dole’s campaign pull double duty by working for Big Tobacco.


May/June ’96 Mother Jones Cover Story:

Tobacco Dole
What Bob Dole’s telemarketer, his chief California strategist, and one of his national co-chairs have in common.

The Tobacco Election
How our republic can kick the habit.

Tobacco Strikes Back
A Mother Jones special report on the cigarette makers’ secret comeback strategy.

Censored: The Leaked ABC Tape
The full transcript and QuickTime video clips of “Tobacco Under Fire,” the provocative TV documentary ABC chose not to let you see.

See for yourself the spiked PSA
The anti-smoking public service announcement that aired in Caifornia until it was pulled by governor Pete Wilson.

Additional Resources:
Smoking-related readings from the MoJo wire and beyond.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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