Sigarenliefhebbers in New York hebben geld ingezameld waarmee ze gaan proberen de burgemeester van New York af te houden van een herverkiezing.
Burgemeester Bloomberg, vroeger een fervent sigarenroker, voerde twee jaar geleden de draconische New Yorkse rookwet in die op veel weerstand stuit onder rokers en in de horeca.
Led by Marvin Shanken, the publisher of the glossy Cigar Aficionado magazine, the informal “Get Bloomberg” alliance has raised more than $25,000 (£13,000) for the war chest of the mayor’s Democrat rival as he campaigns for re-election in November.
Fernando Ferrer is a powerful New York politician who appeals to the city’s black and Hispanic populations and is running neck-and-neck with Mr Bloomberg in the polls.
The alliance, furious about the near-total ban on smoking cigars, and cigarettes, in any public gathering place – from gentleman’s club to restaurant and stadium VIP box – are keen to see the mayor humiliated at the polls even if the law is unlikely to be changed.
“We want Bloomberg out – not only is he responsible for this drastic but unnecessary change in New York lifestyle, he is a shocking hypocrite because we knew him for years as a lover of fine cigars,” said Carlos Fuente, the fourth-generation head of Tabacalera a Fuente y Cia, one of the world’s leading hand-rollers of cigars. Mr Fuente has contributed $1,000 to the campaign.
“The Bloomberg ban is very sad – not just because I am in the cigar business but because it is so un-American,” said Mr Fuente, speaking from his company’s factory in the Dominican Republic.