'A true hometown hero'
I would like to correct a gross misstatement that Jim Kwid made in his letter to the editor Oct. 23 ("Out of touch" alleging Congresswoman Kathy Castor was hostile to the cigar industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tampa's cigar industry does not have a better friend in Congress than Castor. When Castor first learned that the Food and Drug Administration was contemplating regulating America's cigar industry, she co-sponsored HB 1639, a bill that would prevent the FDA from regulating premium and the traditional cigars made in Tampa. Sen. Bill Nelson co-sponsored a similar bill, S 1461. With its restrictions on how we manufacture, advertise, market and distribute our cigars, FDA regulation would be catastrophic to the entire premium cigar industry and would cost thousands of jobs. As far as Tampa's cigar industry is concerned, Congresswoman Castor is a true hometown hero. Eric Newman Tampa
The writer is president of J.C. Newman Cigar Co., president of the Cigar Manufacturers Association of Tampa and past chairman of the Cigar Association of America.