From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Philip Morris Owns America

April 9, 2003 12:05 AM

Philip Morris, aka Altria, recently got sacked with a $10 billion judgment in Illinois for lying about "light" cigarettes. They plan to file an appeal like they always do, but first they must post a $12 billion bond. That would likely force them into bankruptcy.

Great! Finally the company largely responsible for the 3 million smoking related deaths worldwide each year will get the justice it deserves.

But hold on a second, Philip Morris owes 50% of the $246 billion 25 year settlement to the states. If they file for bankruptcy, the states probably won't get their money, and many states have already taken loans out on that money. Nearly every state is in a fiscal crisis and desperately needs the money. Philip Morris has a $2.5 billion payment due April 15th.

So now the states are begging Illinois to let Philip Morris appeal without posting the $12 billion bond.

Philip Morris has done an amazing thing. Forget piddly campaign contributions, they now own every state government in America!

Philip Morris Owns America (04.09.2003)

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Jim Gilliam
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