Federal Support for Anti-Tobacco Advocacy Raises Legal Questions | Washington Free Beacon
And it keeps getting more interesting...is someone pushing back against this overwhelming nannying?
Among grant recipients is the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), a large nonprofit “dedicated to improving the health of the uninsured and underserved” in the Show-Me State.
MFH received nearly $3 million from 2010 to 2012 for its Social Innovation Missouri program, which was created to administer CNCS funds, and helped built coalitions to enact additional restrictions on tobacco use in the state.
It has been a powerful force in that effort, its allies say.
“The Missouri Foundation for Health was seen as a leader in the tobacco prevention and cessation initiative, education, and working with smoke free coalitions,”
“The intent [of Social Innovation Missouri] is to increase access and support, and encourage tobacco-free policy implementation and tobacco control by engaging the community and fostering policy change in the target population,” the group wrote.MFH is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, meaning it can engage in lobbying activities. However, federal law prohibits lobbying organizations from receiving federal funds.
And the best part comes near the end of the article.
Dan Epstein, executive director of the government watchdog group Cause of Action, said his group investigated similar allegations of federally funded lobbying efforts financed by Obamacare and the 2009 stimulus bill.
COA dug into Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grants through its stimulus-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work program.
Ostensibly a “preventative health” project, CPPW “laundered money through so-called stealth lobbying coalitions, formed to skirt prohibitions on lobbying by non-profits, in order to promote local laws banning otherwise legal consumer products such as sodas, e-cigarettes, and fast food,” COA wrote in a report on the program.