Sunday Links

My criticism of the CRA caught me some flak on Twitter yesterday. So with the encouragement of ChiefHava I decided to take the time to write about why I think the CRA has failed to date and why I will continue to support it while remaining vocal. I had the chance and sit with Glynn Loope and have a cigar with him at Cigar Inn on a quiet weeknight in NYC. I shared with him my thoughts and while his answer was “we are working on it”  nothing has materialized yet.

The fact is that Cigar Smokers cannot win this battle alone. We need to recruit the public to get behind our battle which is no easy task. During the recent battle in NY for a tax increase I saw on the news quotes from people stating, “I don’t smoke but enough is enough it’s not fair to tax someone this much”. Yet, I never saw a quote from the CRA on the news, in the papers or on the radio why?

Fact is only the hardest of the hardcore cigar smokers know what the CRA is. I hang out in cigar shops and mention the CRA and I get a look of bewilderment from many. The CRA needs to have brand recognition and until it does as a group our voices will not matter.

I work in the security industry and do private investigations. One of the people I worked for before becoming partners with someone worked for NYPD and his specialty was gangs. About 2-3 years ago there was a lot of gangs on the news and his publicist got him on various news programs such as Sean Hannity on Fox. This led to him being on various TV shows about gangs most noticeably the TV show Gangland where he is one of the experts offering information between footage.

Well every time that a call to action is needed around this country we need to get a representative of these on these news programs to offer up how these new taxes and regulations will hurt business. Glynn is an engaging person to speak to and he needs to rally more people into the group by getting out there in the public eye. The CRA also needs to get rid of the deadwood ambassadors. In Florida a friend never sees them at events. In New York City I only saw the local ambassador when he came to free load dinner at Club Macanudo with me and my friends.

What needs to change:

  • CRA needs a publicist and to get the name out there.
  • CRA needs to be in the public eye in the press and media outlets.
  • CRA needs a celebrity spokesperson much like the NRA had Heston
  • CRA needs better ambassadors that get the word out.
  • CRA needs better management (7 out of my 10 emails/messages go unanswered)

With this said and done I will still continue to be a member of the CRA because the concept is there, just needs to be taken to the next level.

The Sunday Links:

  • Chief Hava has his mid-year nominees for Cigar of the Year 2010.
  • Casas Fumando reviews the Avo LE 10.
  • Smoking Stogie gives us a sneak peak at the Pinal Del Rio BOTL Small Batch.
  • Stogie Review tell us the Rocky Patel Edge Sumatra is back and Brian compares old vs new.

Til next time!