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Arthur T Denzau

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.


Arthur Denzau, an economics professor at the University of Washington, St Louis, was recruited to help the tobacco industry survive by Robert Tollison an economist at George Mason University and James Savarese, a lobbyist with Ogilvy and Mather, The network was run through O&M in the early 1990s, and later with his own lobbying company James Savarese & Associates (aka Savarese & Assocaites).

Overall, this pair recruited (in total) between 120 and 130 professors of economics (usually Libertarian - Public Choice zealots at State Universities). Some stayed for the duration while others washing temporarily through this lobbying scam. Most of the recruits were members of Tollison's Public Choice Society which had the public-choice libertarian economics guru James Buchanan at its head.

Anna Tollison (wife) also appears to have handled the Society and some network operations, while Savarese had Leslie Dawson (wife of Sam Dawson from United Steel Worker's Assoc/union) and Kelleigh Varnum (aka Kelleigh Varnum-Roffman) as his key assistants.

The recruited professors would be instructed on occasions to write a 1200-1400 word opinion article (known as 'op-eds') for their local newspaper. The subject to be discussed or the claim to be challenged, and any important statistical information and possibly a broad outline, would be sent to them along with the names of (usually two) selected newspapers. They would also be given the name of two local Federal or State politicians to lobby by sending a copy of their article, along with a personal note.

They were paid on the basis of work performed -- at rates which varied between $600 and $3,000 for each article. This was good money for a second-rate State university professor of economics at the time. See longer explanations: Economists' network and the full-blown Cash for Comments Economists Network.

Documents & Dates

1947 June 18 Born


1964-65 Californian Institute of Technology.


1965-70 At Arizona State University (Mathematics)


1965-70 Electrical Engineer with Motorola in Arizona


1971 MA in Economics from Washington University


1973-75 Resarch Associate at the Center for the Study of Public Choice, Virginia Polytechnic Institute


1973 Dec PhD from Washington University in political economics


1976 Sep - Aug 1977 National Fellow, Hoover Institute

In this year he also co-edited (with JR Mackay) "Essays on Unorthodox Economic Strategies: Anarchy, Politics and Population" published by the Center for Study of Public Choice. This was a memorial volume of writings of Winston C Bush (died Dec 1973) -- a guru in public choice economics who had also been at the GMU Center when it was at Virgina Polytechnic and a Fellow at the Hoover Institute. [2]


1977-80 Associate Professor University of Arizona


1979-82 Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute


1981 Research Associate, Center for the Study of American Business, Washington State Uni.


1982 Associate Professor, Washington University at St Louis, Department of Economic


1983 June He was working with Clifford M Hardin at the Center for the Study of American Business. [heavily funded by the tobacco industry] [3]