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Thu October 28, 2004
Both Sides Debate Smoking Money
Laramie, Wy – Both sides of the smoke free ordinance that will be on Laramie's ballot next week are accusing the other side of using outside money to make their case. Opponents of the ordinance have received around 20-thousand in campaign contributions, while supporters received over 12 thousand.
Opponents are critical of outside money from health organizations, but supporters of the smoke-free ordinance point to a 34-hundred dollar contribution from R-J Reynolds and they say tobacco lobbyists have helped them organize.
Jan Drury of the American Heart Association's Cheyenne office says some of those in-kind contributions are around ten thousand dollars.
But Drury admits that her organization and others have also gotten involved to help the pro-ordinance group. Chairman of the Opponents Group, Trudy McCraken says the truth is that both sides are using outside help to push their position. She maintains that a more business friendly approach by the city council would have kept the issue from being so contentious.