The defeat of the tobacco bill represented a nice return on investment for Big Tobacco, which has lavished about $30 mil-lion in contributions to Washington and Utah politicians over the past decade.

About two-thirds of those contributions went to Republicans, who just happened to take the lead in stamping out the tobacco bill in the U.S. Senate this week. Last year's No. 1 donor to the Republican Party was cigarette giant Philip Morris, which gave the GOP a grand total of $1,190,702 in contributions from executives and corporate coffers. The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company chipped in $475,500 to the Republican Party.The Republicans are showing no signs of shaking their addiction to tobacco money, or six-figure donations from other special interests. At the same time the U.S. Senate was squeezing the last life out of the tobacco bill, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was playing games with a significant campaign-finance reform.

Could Jim Hansen and all the other Republican apologists explain to me again how Republican values are closer to the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Scott Morgan