Seneca Nation lobbies against cigarette trafficking bill
The Seneca Nation of New York has mounted a lobbying campaign in hopes of stopping the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.

The tribe spent over $300,000 last year on lobbying firms in Washington, D.C. The tribe also donated $15,000 to the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and has authorized up to $250,000 in other contributions this year.

“Isn’t that the way things go in the American system?” Richard Nephew, the co-chairman of the tribe’s foreign relations committee, told The New York Times. “It is something new for us to actively get involved in the American political process,” he added. “But we are trying to learn what works in America, and I guess making political contributions is something that works.”

The campaign, which includes advertising that highlights the tribe's impact on the local economy, appears to be working. Two New York members of the House who voted for the bill in May 2009 are now urging the Senate to defeat it even though two co-sponsors are from the state

The bill prohibits the U.S. Postal Service from delivering cigarettes and certain tobacco products, effectively killing the tribal tobacco industry. It passed the House in May 2009 and was headed for a vote on the until some Democratic lawmakers said they would try to block it, the Times reported.

Get the Story:
Senecas See Comeback Over Sale of Cigarettes (The New York Times 3/6)
Plan to limit their supply of cigarettes rankles Indian nations (The Syracuse Post-Standard 3/7)

Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.
H.R.1676 | S.1147

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