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CW News


SMOKE THE VOTE CRA Launches Pro-Smoking Political Efforts

Fairfax, VA – 2010 can mark a special moment in history for those that share the passion
of a great cigar. It has to.

As we reflect on the hits and slaps we took from 2007 to 2009, it’s our moment to begin a fight back for freedom, defense of property rights, warding off local, state and federal government regulation, ordinances that dictate where we can enjoy a cigar (where we would otherwise be welcome) and an effort to defeat onerous taxation that only results in further economic harm upon our communities. Now, is our time.

So today, Cigar Rights of America launches Smoke the Vote 2010. This will be the first
national effort to truly impact elections on November 2, 2010, from the cigar enthusiast
perspective. It’s a process. We may not change every seat we wish, but it starts – now.
On November 2, every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and 36 members of the
U.S. Senate are up for election. In addition, critical races for Governor are being held
in 37 states, including major races in states such as Arizona, California, New York,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

How are we going to do this? Today, we launch the Smoke the Vote Grassroots Network. It’s
quick, easy, and free. All we need is the basic contact information for every passionate
cigar smoker in America, and we, can change some elections. From 25,000 to 50,000, and off to 100,000 and more, we can begin the process of rolling back taxation, smoking ban regulations, appeal for amendments to existing law, and send a message that spans from Main Street USA, to each end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Starting today and working our way to the fall elections, we’ll keep you posted on critical races throughout the nation, focusing upon the US House of Representatives, US Senate and the Governor’s Office in each state. We’ll let you know about their records, suggest those that would most benefit this passion for cigars we share. We’ll let you know about voter registration, state and federal issue updates, and how we’re growing this base of Cigar Voters. In addition, you can follow races on your own through the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics (which is rarely wrong in its election predictions) by using this link:

 Simply pass along the link to the Smoke the Vote 2010 Grassroots Network to all of your friends, family, co-workers, cigar club members, neighbors and others that love a great cigar, and are tired of government intrusion. The issues are significant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is determined to bring cigars under their domain, potentially ripping the culture and soul from this industry. Local, state and federal efforts to further tax this legal product upon which thousands of jobs are dependent will not cease. And while they’re taxing, they want to ban – the ultimate oxymoron in the political process.

The time is right. For the last twelve months, we have all been working to build the
needed infrastructure to get to this moment. Now, CRA has members in all 50 states, we
have CRA member tobacconists in 47 states, and membership is up 98% from this time last
year. We need to build upon that success, learn from other interest groups that also
exert their political muscle, and work to build new coalitions with other like-minded
groups and allies.

We’ve all heard stories of the close election. George W. Bush beat Al Gore in Florida by 537 votes [which allowed President Bush to twice veto SCHIP taxes]. In 1974, John Durkin won a US Senate seat in New Hampshire by two votes. A 2008 election to Congress in Alaska was decided by one vote, and a 2007 state senate primary in Virginia was decided by 75 votes, when a local cigar shop owner rallied their costumers to beat the advocate of a smoking ban.

It is time to change the cigar political calculus in America. With the ranks of CRA growing throughout the country, we are entering a pivotal time in protecting one of the great pleasures of life - a fine cigar. Let’s work together to build the Smoke the Vote 2010 Grassroots Network.


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