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Dori: Politicians would rather buy votes than prevent cancer

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

If there’s one thing you know from listening to my show, it’s the extent that you get criminally ripped off by government. Take the lottery for example. They sold it as funding schools, but instead they spent the money and had to raise property taxes to fund schools. Politicians are like heroin addicts. Money is their drug — they can’t get enough of it. And they will lie and cheat and steal and break into your house to get more of their drug.

The latest example of politicians stealing and lying with your money has come to light. Remember a couple of decades ago when Christine Gregoire was attorney general, she started suing the tobacco companies? And I hate the tobacco companies, don’t get me wrong — the way they market to kids, the way they hide the dangers of their products. But at the time, when the state won the lawsuit, they said they would use the proceeds to fight lung cancer and help people kick the smoking habit.

Well guess what — the American Cancer Society has just graded every state on preventing tobacco-related cancer deaths. They gave our state an F — F as in failure.

Washington state gets $600 million every year from the lawsuit settlement and tobacco taxes. Do you know how much of that we spend fighting tobacco-related cancer? We spend $1.5 million a year. That is one-fourth of one percent of the money. The tobacco companies spend $90 million in Washington each year marketing their cancer-causing products and trying to get people addicted.  The tobacco companies spent 60 times what the Legislature preventing lung and throat cancer to cause those same diseases.

So our politicians would rather spend the money to hire more six-figure cronies than to prevent kids in our state from getting cancer here in Washington. And I mean that literally.

All they care about is spending money so they can buy votes which will galvanize power so they can climb the political ladder. You remember that when the carbon tax initiative that will cost your family between $400 and $1,000 per year is on the ballot this fall — it’s not about keeping the skies and water clear, it’s about transferring billions of dollars between politicians.

Political power is more important to our Legislature than people getting cancer. I really, truly mean that. Otherwise, they would spend the money where they said that they’re going to spend the money. But that would be the right thing to do.

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