U-T story to the contrary, a San Diego Democrat, Denise Ducheny, took $4,300 in Tobacco – related campaign funds

Jim Sills Jim Sills

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A story in yesterday’s Union-Tribune left readers with the impression that only  GOP state legislators in S. D. county  took campaign money from tobacco-related firms between 2003 and 2010  ….  Not so fast. Public records reveal then-State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny’s campaign accepted $3,300 from  Philip Morris on Dec. 30, 2005,  and another $1,000 from RJ Reynolds,  April 18, 2005.   Ducheny is a prominent San Diego county Democrat.

…STORY CLAIM:  “NO SITTING DEMOCRAT FROM  SAN DIEGO  COUNTY RECEIVED  DIRECT  CONTRIBUTIONS”

The U-T story lists “Tobacco money to sitting lawmakers 20032010,” while noting, “Some numbers reflect donations for different offices and can vary by number of years in office.  No sitting Democrat from San Diego County received direct contributions.”  The U-T cites the American Lung Association as a source.

The 2005 Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds donations to Sen. Ducheny’s campaign  committee  can be seen  on the California Secretary of State’s campaign disclosure website:  http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1251579&view=received&session=2005&psort=AMOUNT

Senator Ducheny left office in December 2010, owing to term limits, but was a “sitting” senator throughout the 2003-2010 time period specified in the U-T story.  The donations she accepted were completely legal and no wrong-doing is suggested on her part.

We will hope to see a clarification/revision from the Union-Tribune and reporter Michael Gardner on this issue.

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