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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

The Fields are Alive with the Sound of Lobbyists

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Marco Rubio is a (R) Junior U.S. Senator from FL, whom you may remember ran in the 2016 Republican Primaries for President of the United States. He has spoken on several issues involving economic growth in his home state of FL as well across the U.S. About 3 weeks ago he spoke on behalf of the cigar industry on the Senate floor. Marco starts off by describing the differences between cigar smokers vs cigarette smokers. Talking about the difference in demographics between them and why “premium hand rolled cigars” are consumed differently and target a different clientele. Marco mentions several times that the law passed in 2016 for FDA Tobacco regulations “were never intended for premium hand rolled cigar industry”. He brings up his home town of Tampa FL, specifically YBor City where the century old cigar manufacturer J.C.Newan stands in jeopardy of going out of business. I get the impression from the video, however, that Marco is upset about this regulation not because he has a vested interest in the cigar industry, but because he is a paid lobbyist. (

I mean, do I really have to explain that these FDA regulations will impact not only J.C. Newman, but the global economy and international trade? For many Central American and southeast Asian countries tobacco is not just a luxury it’s a cash crop to sustain their economy. Cuba’s export revenue from tobacco alone counts for almost 18 percent of their country’s income. I believe it would be much more effective to explain the international ramifications of the FDA regulations vs one facility in YBor city.

Don’t get me wrong, a potentially sincere Senator fighting for our liberties is better than no Senator at all. My only regret is that Marco is a lobbyist, but only just. Without experiencing the effects of the FDA Regulations first hand, it becomes more difficult to believe that you in fact have our best interests at heart. Even if all he did was smoke cigars, paying more at the counter is at least a basic connection to our pain. It would just be nice to have an authentic representative, than a hired one.

This is just my opinion, I want to hear your thoughts on his speech and the subject of FDA regulations. Feel free to email us or find us on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. Wanna talk about it on our show? Let us know!

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