Lawmaker under fire for linking death to taxes


Oregon Democrat made reference to black man killed by New York police in news release about cigarette tax hike. 

How is this in any way racist? You think there are no white guys selling cigarettes out there to scalp the $2 per pack? There’s nothing racist about that. It’s good business sense. We do that (legally) in Washington by coming to Idaho to purchase the same items for cheaper. 

The cheapest gas in Pullman is $2.73

Drive down the hill to Lewiston and you can get gas for $2.06

You think that’s worth a trip to fill up and hit up the Costco down there? 

The only people who want to stop scalpers are the government. But when they put a $2 tax on a pack of cigarettes, you are going to get a thriving black market — regardless of the ethnicity of the sellers. 

SALEM, Ore. — Two dozen Democratic members of the Oregon House sharply criticized a senator from their own party Friday for referring to the death of Eric Garner, a black man killed in New York by police, in a statement opposing cigarette taxes and using Garner’s last words: “I can’t breathe.”

Garner was killed in 2014 after officers stopped him for selling single, unpackaged cigarettes, thereby ducking a sales tax.

Rep. Diego Hernandez took to Facebook, saying he believes the news release from Sen. Dennis Linthicum is racist and unacceptable.
“Yesterday, on the day the Oregon Governor signed the 2019 Black History Month Proclamation, State Senator Dennis Linthicum released a press release that blamed the death of Eric Garner … on high tobacco taxes. In order to oppose a proposed cigarette tax,” said Hernandez, a Democrat from Portland.

The Oregon Health Authority is seeking a $2 increase in the cigarette tax, from $1.33 to $3.33 a pack.