Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Ashcroft's Smoke and Guns Part II: Big Tobacco, Faith-Based Initiatives, School Vouchers, and Civil Rights

StoryJuly 10, 2001
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Attorney General Ashcroft has thrown the Justice Department’s important gun control case into doubt. But critics saythat he has also severely undermined the Justice Department’s case against big tobacco.

Under former President Clinton, the Justice Department sued big tobacco because smoking costs the federal system $20billion a year in health care costs.

But a few weeks ago, Ashcroft asked the Justice Department to see if it could settle the case out of court. At thesame time, Justice officials said publicly that they were worried about ultimately losing the suit. (Analysts saythat this was the equivalent to waving a white flag before a charge.)

Rep. Tom Udall (D–N.M.) is so upset that last week he asked President Bush to take Ashcroft off the settlementteam.


  • Bill Corr, Executive Vice President of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
  • Phylis Schlafly, President and founder of the Eagle Forum.

Related link:

Finally, People for the American Way was one of the staunchest opponents of Ashcroft’s nomination. We’re joined nowby Elliot Mincberg, the legal director, to talk about the role of Ashcroft and the Justice Department in the debateover Bush’s "faith-based initiatives," school vouchers, and civil and voting rights.


  • Elliot Mincberg, Legal Director and Vice President of People for the American Way.

Related link:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation