WASHINGTON — Tobacco companies generally don’t donate to many Democratic candidates for political office. But this election cycle, Black Democrats in particular are getting showered with campaign cash from cigarette makers.
Reynolds American, which is behind the Newport and Camel brands, has donated to 17 Democrats this election cycle, more than two thirds of whom are Black members of Congress, according to data published by the Center for Responsive Politics in late September. The political action committee for Altria, which makes Marlboro, has donated to only 37 Democratic lawmakers this cycle, but 16 of those recipients — 43% — are Black. Black lawmakers make up just 21% of sitting Democratic lawmakers.
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