Nance Ad Was Misleading
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by Ross Nordeen

[This letter appeared in Florida Today on January 11, 1999]

The ad placed by attorney James H. Nance regarding the Florida tobacco settlement was misleading, to say the least.  The suit was brought for one reason: To fatten the coffers of the state at the expense of an unpopular industry.

In Nance's attempt to convince the readers of Florida Today that giving billions to trial lawyers will make us all better off, he left out many facts.

First, not only does Florida's congressional delegation support tobacco subsidies, but Florida has also manufactured and sold cigarettes and invested $825 million of its pension funds into tobacco stocks.

Florida reached the pinnacle of hypocrisy when it was sued by an prisoner addicted to cigarettes manufactured by the state.  State attorneys claimed that Florida was no more responsible for his purchase of cigarettes than for his "buying a candy bar at the canteen."

Perhaps the most important fact of all is how much Nance and the other "hand-picked" attorneys gave to the Democratic party and to Lawton Chiles' last election fund.

Will Nance engage in some voluntary disclosure?  I doubt it.


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