C4C (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the ScienceCorruption.com journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to editor@sciencecorruption.com

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


The Cash-for-Comments Economists Network generated an enormous number of documents in the tobacco archives, since the individual economists (those not in the core group) were paid a fee by the tobacco industry (via the Center for the Study of Popular Choice - CSPC) only after they sent in proof of publication of their op-ed articles in a local newspaper -- and a copy of their letter to a local congressman.

So these these are just a fraction of the documents available to demonstrate the range of activities in which they were involved.

Robert Tollison and Richard Wagner where also working for the tobacco industry well before the Cash-for-Comments nework was established. James Savarese became involved through his work at the PR side of Ogilvy & Mather, which was essentially an advertising company. Later, he established James Savarese & Associates and he and Tollison took the business away from O&M and ran it themselves. Tollison's wife Anna Tollison helped maintain the payment side of the business through the CSPC.

The C4C network appears to have been handed over to the Independent Institute in the early 1990s. Tollison was on the Board of Advisors at the Institute since 1986 [2] and it had emerged as one of the key organisations in the fast-growing Atlas Group. This was a network of libertarian think-tanks which was spreading across the USA, and also extending globally.

Savarese and Tollison continued to work for the Tobacco Institute with Dwight Lee and a couple of other economists, but they focussed mainly now on the Labor Management Committee in the union movement. By the end of 1993, Savarese was back working on the Tobacco Institute account through Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart (the later manifestation of O&M. This company was now very active in both the excise tax area, and in health-care lobbying. Some payments are made to Eric Shulman (of Ogilvy) through the James Savarese & Associates accounts "as per our arrangement". [3] [4] [5]

RELATED ENTRIES
Cash-for-Comment Economists Network
Economists' network (lighter overview)
Com. on Tax & Economic Growth
Robert Tollison & James Savarese
C4C Network Documents

Core Group

These were the core group of Senior Fellows at the time the C4C network was taken over to the Independent Institute. They appear to have continued to operate there for the tobacco industry under the leadership of William F Shughart (Utah State), probably with the administrative assistance of Robert Higgs who also worked at the Institute.

The Independence Institute also had dozens of other academics and writers who provided contract services to the tobacco industry -- like Richard A Epstein, John C Goodman, Peter W Huber, Paul Craig Roberts, Paul H Rubin, Peter Samuel, S. Fred Singer. Russell S Sobel, etc. [6]

Documents & Timeline

1977-81 Robert Tollison during this period was Professor of Economics at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and also Executive Director of the Center for Study of Popular Choice on the Virginia Polytechnic's campus. He is a disciple of Buchanan who is the leader of a cult of extreme libertarian economists who distinguish themselves as proponents of "Public Choice." He also works with his friend Richard Wagner, writing books for the international tobacco lobby, ICOSI.


1980 Dec 23 George R Berman of Devon Management Resources in New York was an advisor to the tobacco industry on the ICOSI (International Committee on Smoking Issues) program, and its subsidiary SAWP (Social Acceptability Working Party). He is advising SAWP members that a report by

...Tollison and Wagner, expands their previous study of the social cost of smoking to include other products and a broader array of issues . The authors have indicated that they would like to submit this material for publication. [7]

The SAWP members were the key disinformation executives of the major cigarette companies and Don Hoel and Tim Finnegan (lawyers) and Mary Covington (ICOSI director)

1981 Jan 7 At the time of Ronald Reagan's inauguration, the Social Costs/Social Values report of ICOSI is circulated. It says:

The report by Drs. Tollison and Wagner, "Consumer Protection, Public Policy and Cost-Benefit Analysis", has been completed. The authors have requested support in preparing this for publication as a monograph.[8]


1981-83 Robert Tollison had been appointed Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission This is a Reagan 'spoils' appointment and it lasts until the scandals and clean-out of political appointees during Reagan's first term in the 1983 period.


1983 Robert Tollison takes a position as Professor of Economics at Clemson University.


1983-84 James Savarese at Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations sets up the five-person Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth for the tobacco industry, with Professor Robert Tollison of Clemson University as Chairman. It produces a pamphlet opposing cigarette excises taxes and provides a witness service for the tobacco industry. The other four members of this so-called 'Committee' of economics professors are Harold M Hochman, Thomas E Borcherding, Fred McChesney and Dolores T Martin.

This group all later join Savarese's larger group we know as the Cash for Comments Economists Network . They become the core members and Robert Tollison led the group -- and later still, he effectively became the part-owner of the organisation and a partner in Savarese's business.


1984 Tollison transfered from Clemson University this year to become the Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice (now being housed at this university).


1984 Jul: The Tobacco Institute's Cigarette Excise Tax Plan.

The plan augments our basic lobbying efforts by relying on groups outside the industry -- some not regularly associated with the industry -- to argue against excise taxes for us. It is an ambitious program, based on the notion that many of the most effective protests against tobacco taxes will come from groups philosophically distant from The Institute. Many such groups agree with us on the excise issue, even though they disagree with us on other matters.

At the federal level, supporting Congressional members from the tobacco states is essential to our lobbyists. The tobacco members consistently vote as a unified group -- something that is rarely seen in Congress today. They are our lobbyists' most important resource. The program recommends that economic and other consultants assist us in developing, "packaging," and presenting our anti-excise arguments in legislative testimony or meetings with coalition members.
Resources:
Economic consultants with different areas of expertise will conduct research and act as spokespersons for The Institute and organizations supported by The Institute. Specific activities with economists are discussed throughout the tactics.
Tactics:

  • Stimulate reputable public finance economists at key state universities to determine the validity of state revenue forecasts, perhaps on behalf of state business organizations and present arguments against excise taxes in various forums; e.g., meetings with potential coalition members or budget officials.
  • Encourage economists to make the case against regressive taxation in meetings with potential coalition members and legislators.
  • Retain public finance economists affiliated with non-profit organizations to research the subject and use their findings in forums such as:
  • Private meetings with state legislators or staff ;
  • formal testimony before government bodies ;
  • targeted media appearances;
  • speeches before business, civic, labor, and other groups ;
  • tax symposia in key states where the proceedings could be published for use in other states ; and
  • articles which raise the visibility of key arguments in the business, academic, and popular press.

Strategies:

  • Presenting specific members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees with arguments prepared by economists with whom they share some common interest; e.g college affiliation, service on the same commission.
  • Gaining the support of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the most influential labor/liberal tax reform group in the country, in opposition to excise taxes.
  • Relying on the AFL-CIO -- via The Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco Workers Union-- to ensure that the labor/liberal tax package that emerges in the next session of Congress does not include tobacco. [Note: the union became known as BC&T or BCT. Later BCTGM - also later still as IUF)

Appendix:

- A list of economists in key states who may be willing to act as industry and third-party spokespersons on the tax issue.
- Following is a list of economists in key states who might assist us as experts receiving honoraria. We have begun contacting them to ensure their willingness and expertise. We are asking each about past experience; work with similar issues; previous work with the industry; published articles or research; and availability.
[This is the establishment of the Cash for Comments Economists Network as distinct from the Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth]
Our intent is to have a group of individuals whom we can call upon as needed to testify, conduct special research and discuss their research projects and/or views on excise taxes with budget officials, potential coalition members, legislators and the media. [9]

1984 Nov 20 Ogilvy & Mather PR (O&M) is organising for the Tobacco Institute the first economists forum at the Public Choice Society meeting in New Orleans, Feb 21-23. (Note: at this time James Savarese worked for O&M's PR division)

The topic would be "Public Choices About Tax Reform." William F. Shughart II, an economist from Clemson University, would chair the panel. Those who would present papers would be:

  • Thomas Borcherding, from Claremont Graduate School. Subject: "Tax Reform and Simplification: A Public Choice Perspective."
  • Harold Hochman, from City University of New York. Subject: "The Value-Added Tax: Do We Need Another Excise Tax?"
  • Fred McChesney, Emory University Law School. Subject: "Tax Reform in a Rent-Seeking Perspective: The Role of Interests."
  • Gary Anderson, an economist from George Mason University, would be the discussant.
Bob Tollison would be responsible for getting us on the program. He and Jim Savarese would work with each of the people to ensure that each paper contained a clear anti-excise tax message. Shughart and Anderson would also mention excises in their presentations. We will be obtaining CV s from Anderson and Shughart, who Jim and Bob Tollison know well. The other economists have all worked with us before.

Savarese's estimate of the costs for running this Economists' Forum project with the three papers at $2,000 each and Gary Anderson with $1000, plus travel, hotel, administration, etc. was $16,000. [10]

This appears to be the first operation of what was to become the Cash for Comments Economists Network

1985 Nov 6: Ken Arnold of Ogilvy & Mather PR writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute.

Fred, here is a summary of the Economist Op-ed and Economic News Service projects. With regard to the Economist Op-ed project, we have submitted a total of 34 op-ed articles, and 18 of them have been published. Recent articles appeared in the Huntsville Times on September 11, by Robert Ekelund and in the Providence Journal on October 25, by Arthur Mead (see attachments).
Enclosed is a revised op-ed chart, indicating House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committee Members impacted to date, and the circulation of each newspaper publishing the articles. In most cases, the papers are the largest in the targeted district.

This chart list all the important Congressmen they want their economists to influence. [11]


1985 Dec 12: The Annual Report of the Tobacco Institute's Public Relations division:

We believe that the active and creative use of experts -- our scientists in particular -- gives us an edge. But without question, public smoking is our toughest challenge. A close second is taxation. In 1985, most of our resources in this area were focused on the federal situation. That being the case, we concentrated almost exclusively on the home districts and offices of the 56 members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees.

We identified and utilized economists from universities in 48 of those districts. Some testified at the four federal tax hearings in which had interest. Others participated in academic symposia attended by Congressional staffers. Others communicated directly with their Congressmen.

And 34 of them wrote op-ed articles on the need to consider excises as part of tax reform. Many of these articles appeared in the principal newspaper in the targeted districts which have, by our estimation, a total circulation of nearly 4 million. The economists were of great help. [12]

1985 June/1986 March-July The Cash for Comments Economists Network was commissioned by the Tobacco Institute to write economic opinion pieces opposing excise taxes on cigarettes in mid-year-1985. This propaganda requirment resurfaced as a major project for the economist in the peak of the Tobacco Industry's PR campaign against the Packwood tax plan (although the threat was obviously still a possibility until the end of 1986r).

The Tobacco institute (much later) put together a package of commissioned economics reports (see front section of document), followed by about thirty op-eds and composite pieces which were generated by the Tollison/Savarese Cash for Comments Economists Network in this 1985-86 time frame. It illustrates the propaganda value of this network -- and shows what it can accomplish in a very short time for just a few thousand dollars in academic bribes.

These op-eds attacking the Packwood tax plan were all published in local newspaper across the USA. (Copies needed to be sent in for payment to be made.) A few are from July 1985 and the rest appeared in local newspapers during March-July 1986. These spontaneous independent expressions of expert opinion all miraculously come from Professors of Economics attached to the Center for Study of Public Choice ...

Joseph M Jadlow, Oklahoma State Uni. (He had two op-eds in different papers.);   William C Mitchell Uni of Oregon, Eugene;   Lee G Anderson, Uni of Delaware;   John S Howe Uni of Kansas, Lawrence;   D. Allen Dalton, Boise State University;   Thomas F Pogue, Uni of Iowa, Iowa City (He had two.);   Scott Atkinson, Uni of Wyoming. (He had two in different papers.);   S. Charles Maurice, Texas A&M Uni;   Todd Sandler, Uni of Wyoming;   Michael A Crew, Rutgers Uni, Newark;   Robert B Ekelund Jr., Auburn Uni (He had two.) ;   Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College;   Lee Alston, Williams College;   Paul L Menchik, Michigan State Uni;   Henry N Butler, Texas A&M Uni;   Burton A Abrams, Uni of Delaware;   Ryan C Amacher, Clemson Uni (He had two.);   Dominick T Armentano, Uni of Hartford;   Fred McChesney, Emory Uni;   and a think-tanker David Wilhelm (Citizens for Tax Justice);

Also short extract pieces and letters-to-the-editor from A James Heins, Uni of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana;   William J Hunter, Marquette Uni, Milwaukee;   Dennis E Logue, Dartmouth College;   William F Shughart, George Mason Uni;   Harold Hochman, Baruch College, City Uni of New York;

Also uncredited overviews in the Newport Daily News, the Times-Review in Texas, Herald PA, etc. which expresses the encapsulated wisdom of most of the above with the addition of Thomas Borcherding (Claremont Graduate School, Calif);   K. Celeste Gaspari, Uni of Vermont, Birmingham;   David N Laband, Uni of Maryland;   Dean Tipps (Service Employees Intl. Union);   Allen M Parkman, Uni of New Mexico, Alburquerque, NM;   Richard K Vedder, Ohio Uni, Athens;   Roger L Faith, Arizona State Uni, Tempe;   Lee Alston, Williams College Mass;   and William J Hunter, Marquette Uni, Wisc.; (Some sections were published in multiple papers). [13]
This was a massive amount of propaganda coverage for a payment of less than $1000 each to these Professors at that time.


1986 May: A bundle of 72 pages of information is being circulated by the Tobacco Institute to its Regional Directors. The data is predominantly about the tobacco industry beat-ups known as Sick Building Syndrome and the general problems of Indoor Air Quality [all of which down-plays the effects of smoking in confined spaces] Section 1 is headed

List of sources. Local and national experts you can call for quotes or background information. (It promotes the services of three specialist lobbyists)

  • Lewis Solmon - an academic who discounts problems of workplace smoking
  • Al Vogel (of Response Analysis Corp)- who claims to be an expert in public attitudes to smoking and the effect of smoking on labor productivity.
  • Mike Forscey, a labor lawyer/lobbyist who helped the tobacco industry keep the union movement on-side.

They have also provided a list of the 52 Professors of Economics from various State Universities who can be called on to provide services for roughly $1000 a time: This economists name and address are included under "Tobacco & Taxation (listed by state, alphabetically)". [14]


1986 May 19 Ed Battison at the Tobacco Institue has suggested that they direct the economists in the network more towards conducting useful research, and they have received back many proposals. This is his appraisal of the ideas received from:

[15]


1987 Feb 6: Jim Savarese, Bob Tollison and Henry Butler write to "Participants in advertising op-ed project" [the academic economists on the Tollison/Savarese list].

We are finally ready to get this first op-ed project off the ground. I am asking you to review the attached materials and write an editorial for a major newspaper in your state. This article should support the basic right to advertise legal products and oppose attempts to restrict advertising either by outright bans or by punitive use of the tax code. Obviously, the point of this exercise is to support tobacco's right to advertise on basic constitutional grounds. Arguments which touch on issues such as censorship, cutting off the free flow of information, and even the experiences in other countries with such bans might be useful.
Upon completion of a draft op-ed, please send it to me immediately via Federal Express. I will go over the article and return it to you for submission to a newspaper. At that time you will be given some guidelines for submitting your editorial to a newspaper and an appropriate newspaper in your state. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Anna Tollison, Jim Savarese, or Linda Prichett at 202-466-7590. You can also direct any technical questions to Bob Tollison or Henry Butler at 703-841-2665.

[Note this letter gives us a detailed account of how the op-ed system worked, and how much these "independent" academics were expected to conform to tobacco industry control in return for their generous payments. Note also that this is directed to new academic economists. The letter below, appears to have been sent to the established cash-for-comment academics who had obviously been working on projects already.] [16]

1987 Feb 6: [Same day as above] a letter to the established economist members from Jim Savarese, Bob Tollison and Dwight Lee [Note, not Henry Butler here]:

Re Excise Tax Op-ed
We have received our first op-ed project of 1987 and for many of you it is a familiar one. The issue once again is opposition from any and all reasonable angles to an increase in cigarette excise taxes.
We are attaching some materials which may be of help in formulating your argument and generating relevant data. Some of the more salient points are listed below:

[This list gives figures, promotes the regressive nature of such taxes, and requests "earmark" arguments against the use of excises to fund Medicare, health care, environmental protection.]

It is important that we generate a generalized opposition to the principle of earmarking revenues.
Upon completion of a draft op-ed, please send it to me immediately via Federal Express. I will go over the article and return it to you for submission to a newspaper. At that time you will be given some guidelines for submitting your editorial to a newspaper and an appropriate newspaper in your state.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Anna Tollison, Jim Savarese, or Linda Pritchett at 202-466-7590. You can also direct any technical questions to Bob Tollison or Dwight R Lee.

[17]


1987 Feb 24 Dennis Dyer who works at a state level for the Tobacco Institute has sent out a direct form-letter which was a request for the economists in the Cash for Comments Economists Network to work for the Tobacco Institute itself.

(We can only assume he was attempting to by-pass Savarese/Tollison perhaps!.)

He has written directly to Professor Gaspari at the University of Vermont (among many others). This is the form-letter he sent out:

Some time ago you were contacted by Jim Savarese with regard to the economic impact of the tobacco industry on [STATE], I assume you continue in your interest in the economics of tobacco.

In anticipation of possible tax and smoking restriction legislation in [STATE] in 1987, I would like to discuss some of your opinions on the economic arguments in each of these areas. For your consideration, I have enclosed the following materials:

  • New York Smoking Prohibition Economic Impact Study.
  • New York Summary of Cigarette Tax Trends and Impacts.
  • New York Study of Cigarette Tax Sunset Provisions on Sales and Bootlegging,
These are typical of the type of materials sometimes prepared for Tobacco Institute use. I would appreciate your written candid comments on the substance of, presentation of, and ability to defend the materials. [18]

Celeste Gaspari was not amused by this letter. She replied saying that she was not happy with the slack way they paid their retainers. See Gaspari's reply below.


1987 May 7 The list of all the 18 current working economists, on the "Tobacco Ad Ban Project" with amounts owing and whether the previous accounts have been paid. (compare with later list) [19]

Robert Tollison sent a bill to the Tobacco institute: "Second billing - excise tax op-ed project, 25 articles written, 15 published - $33,810 [20]


1987 May 18: The Tobacco Institute has had James Savarese & Associates's accounts audited because of "possible improprieties noted during the examination of the initial two-month period." The auditor found that:

  1. This is a one-employee operation - Savarese billed at a rate of $150 per hour, or approximately $300,000 a year.
  2. He only keeps rough accounts and has no contract with the Tobacco Institute.
  3. He marks up the conveyed cost of all subcontracters by varying amounts up to 100%.
  4. Often the name of the subcontractor is not disclosed or [their existence] establishable ... because of concerns that disclosure of their remuneration by the Tobacco Indsitute could harm the credibility of the work they produce."

The examination of the books revealed to the auditor that:

  • The inital "Economic Impact" research was done by Robert and Anna Tollison, with help from William F Shughart, and EA Masaitis (staff of CSPC).
  • The Economists list was put thogether by Robert and Anna Tollison, with help from Carol Roberts (staff of CSPC) and DRL Inc. (unknown).
  • A so-called "Prohibiition Video project" done by Mary Claire Sanders (charge at $300 per week — total $4,700 + $3.062) seems to have been a hidden supplementary payment made under directions of senior staff at the Tobacco Insitute. Ms Saunders was employed by the TI through a temporary employment services to work with the TI on Federal Relations.
  • Recommendations:
That the "independent consultants and subcontractors working under Savarese's direction, bill to, and be paid directly, by The Institute unless there is an important business reason to do otherwise. " [21]
[There is no record that economist-contractors were paid directly, so the TI must have found "important business reasons to do otherwise."]

1987 May 18: The same day as the [above] audit report, James Savarese & Associates was placed under contract with the Tobacco Institute for two years. There is nothing unusual in the contract except that:

[Note:There is no suggestion of the Tobacco Institute paying contract academics directly (as per auditor recommendations). However, Dennis Dyer who was their Regional Director in the Massachusettes, Vermont area, appears to have decided to take direct action himself. See below.

1987 Jun 3 Memo on "Economic Witness Evaluation" from Dennis Dyer of the New England division of Tobacco Institute to his superior, George Minshew.

The Public Relations Division has identified six economists in New England who appear willing to work with us on our tobacco-related issues. In April another economist was identified and subsequently contacted -- Professor Simon Rottenberg, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. During the past three years, I have had an opportunity to meet and work with the designated economic witnesses in Maine (Professor Robert McMahon) and New Hampshire (Professor Dennis Logue).

  • Professor McMahon reviewed and agreed to "author" [his quotes] an economic impact study on the effects of a public smoking bill in Maine. He presented testimony at two worksessions and conducted a limited number of one-on-one briefings. The bill was defeated.
  • Professor Logue testified on a broad workplace bill. In conjunction with this testimony, he submitted an economic impact study prepared by Jim Savarese. The bill was enacted.
[This is an unequivocal statement that these academics allowed their names to be attached as 'authors' to propaganda and pseudo-research prepared by the tobacco industry in order to deceive legislators.]

On February 24 I contacted each of the identified economists in the region by letter (Attachment B). In each instance I provided the economist with three examples of Tl-generated economic impact studies and asked for their initial impressions and recommendations.
[He was effectively asking them whether they would put their names to this pseudo-research]

Three of the seven economists [in the New England region only] responded (Attachments C-l through C-3). With the exception of Professor Celeste Gaspari from Vermont, the other two seem to continue their interest. Only Professor Logue chose to give even the briefest of responses to my inquiry.

Follow-up conversations with all of the identified economists indicate a general willingness to be involved but a lack of real understanding as to what our requirements might be.

This was a variation on the tobacco industry's standard technique for recruiting scientists and academics. Before they were formally commissioned, they must first prove that they were aligned to industry requirements by turning in written commentary which shows that they support the industry's pro-tobacco position.

Dyer has a plan for more effectively use of these economists, nationwide. He also includes the full multi-page resume of Professor Dominick T Armentano (see table above) who has proved to be one of their most successful recruits.

On Page 44 there is a copy of Dyer's letter to Dom Armentano. The Professor had been previously contacted by Jim Savarese (a specialist lobbyist and recruiter of economists) and this was the follow-up letter arranging a formal review of some literature (to ascertain his opinions re smoking) and to arrange a meeting for recruitment discussion. This letter has been prominently labeled:

"**SAMPLE LETTER TO ECONOMIC WITNESSES**"
  • Attachment 1. Page 15 is a pro-industry article Armentano has written in the Hartford Courant, "Cigarette taxes flunk on fairness"
  • Attachment 2. Page 16 is the resume of Robert C McMahon, who is an Associate Professor of Economics at the USM.
  • Attachment 3. Page 19 is the resume of Lee J Alston, Assisant Professor of Economics at Williams College and a private consultant to an unnamed law firm. [He was in Australia on leave - see reply page 45]
  • Attachment 4. Page 24 is the resume of Dennis E Logue of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. [He is at Georgetown University at this time, and he replies (Page 46) favourably reviewing the literature he has been sent, and suggesting lines of defense for the industry]
  • Attachment 5 . Page 32 is the resume of Arthur C Mead, Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island. [He didn't reply to the TI request that he review their literature and comment on the economic case]
  • Attachment 6 . Page 37 is the resume of K. Celeste Gaspari, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Vermont. [She replies (Page 48) saying she is still waiting for the annual $1000 retainer she was promised, and is disappointed with the Tobacco Institute. She won't work with them if this is the way they do business.]

    " I will reiterate my disappointment with the Tobacco Institute. It is true I never had a written agreement with the Institute —we only spoke over the phone. I did, however naively, trust that a verbal agreement with a prestigious institute was as good as a formal contract. I was evidently mistaken. In answer to your letter, I am not interested in working with your group at this time if this is the way you do business."

  • Attachment 7 . Page 40 is the resume of William F Shughart II, ex Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Economics at the FTC, and now an Associate Professor at Clemson University. [He apparently didn't reply -- but he was a long-term lackey anyway.] [23]
[Every economist on this list was a paid lackey of the tobacco industry.]

1987 June 22This is a full list of all 34 of the economists (listed by State) in the network who are working on the "Excise Tax Op-ed Project", together with the "Targetted Publication" + "Current Amount Due" + "Previous Amount Due" + "Total Earnings to Date". They currently owe them $22,250 at an average of about $1,100, and they previously owed $18,275. Alongside each name is now: 'PD in Full'.

This has all the appearances of an audit/reckoning document where money had been owing for some time.
Carol Roberts charges out at about $750 for the production of each final paper, while the economist are being paid about $1000 to research and write them. [25]
  • On the same day as the above Robert Tollison bills the Tobacco Institute $27,388 for "Final payment, Excise Tax Op-ed project." [26]
  • On the following day Robert Tollison bills Susan Stuntz (their normal handler at the Tobacco Institute) $11,200 -- of which $7,900 is for a "DC Economic Impact Study", $2,000 is for testimony, and $1,300 is for writing a letter to the Wall Street Journal.
  • On July 1 (a week later) James Savarese & Associates then bills Susan Stuntz $10,900 for the same work ($8,200 + $2,100 + $600)
These last two invoices appear to be for Tollison's personal work, as distinct from the network organisation. Savarase may have had an agreement to mark up these payments by a large amount (he was accused by one auditor of marking up by 100% on occasions)

1988 Mar 21 Jim Savarese has been advised by Karen Hochberger and Richard Marcus at Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs as to the "outlines of the ideas we sent to the Tobacco Institute on promotion of the Tollison/Wagner book." Tollison and Wager are also to be engaged on media tours for the Tobacco Institute to promote the book and they want some of the action.

It may be that promotion of the book requires a gimmick that can be used to get a foot in the door and catch the attention of the media. We can arrange for media training of Tollison and Wagner. We can also schedule the tours in TI-selected cities.
Aside from the media tours, two other avenues of promotion come to mind -- university lecture circuits and book review placements. It may be possible to promote one of the authors on a lecture tour.
One possibility for both general and specialized book reviews is the development of a review by a known economist or economist within the network who can create a review for his local paper. This pre-produced review can be distributed to book review sections nationwide. This program would function much the same way as the op-ed programs.
[27]


1988 Oct 25-27 Economic Experts Witness Team Orientation and Media Training Program.

Purpose: To develop and train a corps of economists for testifying at federal and state hearings, and for meetings with legislators.
Participants: We expect approximately 25 individuals in the program (list attached)
Instructors/Moderators:

Tollisoni is included in the list of participants. [28]


1989 Jan: The network now had 64 working economists writing op-eds, lobbying Congressmen, and acting as witnesses for State legislative/ordinance hearings. The Tobacco Institute's budget papers show that each op-ed now earned the economists $3,000. Presentations to conferences earned them $5,000. Savarese was paid $70,000 to $100,000/yr for this project, and Ogilvy & Mather $250,000.... See page 5 [29] See also [30] and [31]


1990 By this time they were getting sensitive to possible discovery. Many article now needed to be cleared by both of the main tobacco law firms Shook Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, and Covington & Burling in Washington DC. Previously the articles were cleared by the internal staff at the Tobacco Institute, and only refered to an outside lawyer if there was likely to be some legal problem. See example [32]


1991 Robert D. Tollison and Richard E. Wagner have produced "Self-interest, Public Interest, and Public Health," Public Choice 69 (1991)



1991 Jan /E Tobacco Institute draft plan for 1991 with emphasis on "Taxes." (These are the economist-related paragraphs):

Objective: To discourage reliance on consumer excise taxes on cigarettes to meet social and economic objectives by demonstrating that excise taxes are regressive and inconsistent with fair taxation. Goals and Tactics:

  • Commission two op-ed articles in 1991 from consulting economists. As articles are published, provide to other Institute decisions for promotion and submission to appropriate policy makers.
  • Conduct at least 10 presentations by consulting economists on the excise tax issue before national, regional and state tax policy conferences.
  • Continue to utilize consulting economists for testimony and briefings. Expand appearances to include presentations to business clubs and the business press. Conduct media refresher courses for public speaking appearance and delivery of testimony.
  • Utilize the consulting economists for an op-ed program that addresses the national earmarking issue and state specific earmarking issues. As articles are published, provide to other Institute divisions and promote to appropriate public policymakers. Use field staff network to support distribution efforts. [33]

1991 Jan 8 Savarese has sent the current list of network economists to Carol Hyrcaj at the Tobacco Institute. It contains three new names, but otherwise is essentially the same as the old lists. [34]

ALABAMA, Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Auburn University
ARIZONA, William J Boyes, Arizona State University
ARKANSAS, David ER Gay, University of Arkansas
CALIFORNIA, Gary Anderson, California State at Northridge
                    Roger Arnold, California State Univ. - San Marcos
COLORADO, Barry Poulson, University of Colorado
CONNECTICUT, Dominick Armentano, University of Hartford
DELAWARE, Burton Abrams, University of Delaware
FLORIDA, Bruce Benson, Florida State University
GEORGIA, Dwight R Lee, University of Georgia
IDAHO, Allan Dalton, Boise State University
ILLINOIS, James Heins, University of Illinois
INDIANA, Cecil Bohanon, Ball state University
IOWA, Todd Sandler, Iowa State University
KANSAS, Michael Babcock, Kansas State University
KENTUCKY, Brian Goff, Western Kentucky University
LOUISIANA, Michael Kurth, McNeese State University
MAINE, Robert McMahon, University of Southern Maine
MASSACHUSETTS, David Tuerck, Suffolk University
MISSISSIPPI, Bill Shughart, University of Mississippi
MISSOURI, Joe A Bell, Southwest Missouri State University
                    Thomas I. Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University
MONTANA, Terry L. Anderson, Montana State University
NEBRASKA, Dee Martin, University of Nebraska
NEVADA, John Dobra, University of Nevada Reno
NEW HAMPSHIRE, Dennis Logue, Dartmouth College
NEW MEXICO, Allen Parkman, University of New Mexico
NORTH DAKOTA, Cliff Dobitz, North Dakota State University
OHIO, Richard Vedder, Ohio University
OKLAHOMA, Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University
OREGON, William Mitchell, University of Oregon
PENNSYLVANIA, Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College
RHODE ISLAHD, Arthur Mead, Universityof Rhode Island
SOUTH CAROLINA, Ryan Amacher, Clemson University
SOUTH DAKOTA, Dennis Hein, Augustana College
TENNESSEE, JR Clark, The University of Tennessee at Martin
TEXAS, S Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University
                   Michael Davis, Southern Methodist University
VIRGINIA, Richard B Wagner, George Mason University
WASHINGTON, Richard D. Zerbe, Jr., University of Washington

 


1991 Jun Calvin ('Cal') H George and Carol Hrycaj were now looking after the "Social Cost" issues management at the Tobacco Institute. Their report for June shows:

A task force comprised of consultants and TI staff was convened to discuss the promotion of The Institute's social cost resources and to address using the resources more aggressively in the workplace and public smoking areas.

The first draft was received of consulting economist Robert Ekelund's critique of the underlying methodology the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used to estimate the "social cost" of smoking. Review and clearance of the white paper will be completed this summer. We anticipate promoting the HHS critique this fall in major media markets and to key policy makers.

At the state level, social cost media tours were activated to respond to Pennsylvania Governor Casey's use of "cost" arguments to justify the proposed 30-cent hike in the state's cigarette excise tax. In advance of the tours, we developed the pitch materials and worked closely with Media Relations to finalize details for the visits.

Consulting economist Robert Tollison and a spokesperson from The Institute traveled to Harrisburg and Philadelphia to discuss the social cost concept and tobacco-related issues with the media. Richard Wagner discussed the taxes and social cost theory with reporters in Pittsburgh and Scranton. [35]

1991 Jul 1 Savarese now has a new executive at the Tobacco Institute in Calvin George. He writes to him with yet another Ekelund research proposal.

Excise Taxes and Excise Tax Increases: Effects on Rural Americans.
In research conducted in 1989 Ekelund and Long (May 1989) uncovered a significant bias in the distributional impact of excise taxes. Specifically, a disproportionate burden of such taxes fall on rural consumers, including farmers.

They want to update the old study for a fee of $28,000. [36]


1992 /E The Independent Institute, which is itself a component of the Atlas Group of ultra-free-market think tanks with links to the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute -- all heavily dependent on commissioned corporate funding -- appears to have taken over the role of administrator of the Tobacco Institute's economists network at the end of the 1990s or early in the new decade. Their research director and journal editor, Robert Higgs, was already a member of the network.

Tobacco funding continued to flow to the Independent Institute which may have just continued to front for Savarese and Tollison -- or it may have taken over the role of 'warehousing' these academic supporters to insulate them from discovery. The documents suggest that the Institute acquired the bulk of the cabal of cash-for-comments economists who were still operating, and even some who had been retired.


1992 Robert Tollison and Richard Wagner have published their "The Economics of Smoking". Now that the Master Settlement Agreement has released millions of tobacco industry doucment, there's little point on concealing the relationship. So, unlike their previous publishings, this tome gives credit to both the Tobacco Institute and Carol Roberts.

This manuscript was produced under a grant from The Tobacco Institute. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Institute or its member companies. We are grateful to Mrs. Carol Robert for her unfailing and unflappable assistance in the preparation and typesetting of the manuscript.[37]

At least they are half-honest.

There are some great quotes in this book if you bother to read it. However there's no admission that the authors every got it wrong, or that she and they surreptitiously worked most of their lives for the tobacco industry, and reaped a modest fortune from the pockets of those addicted to nicotine. Quote:

  • More than 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are over age 65--an age group in which only 16 percent are smokers. Even if it is assumed that smoking harms health, there is no valid basis for claiming that smokers place an above-average demand on Medicare.
Cowell and Hirst (1980) estimate that smokers have a life expectancy that is 7.3 years less than that of nonsmokers. If one assumes such figures are accurate, they suggest that smokers should be taxed less for lifetime health insurance--and Medicare is a form of open-ended, lifetime health insurance.
It would be a reasonable assumption that the reasons only 16% of the aged are smokers, is a) many smokers have died prematurely. b) lung cancer and coronary bypass operations don't come cheap. c) those who have survived their cancer of the lung operations and coronary by-passes have now given up under medical advice. d) passive smoking will have also killed a large number of non-smokers. e) the cost burden on survivors may now fall on their spouses, and others in the family f) what about house fires, bush fires, etc... etc.

The ideology behind this Public Choice libertarian accounting mentality is that society is about money, not that it is about living a comfortable and productive life, and helping others do the same.



1993 Apr 8 The economist's network is still functioning, but Savarese and Tollison have negotiated a different deal for the participants. Savarese now bills the Tobacco Institute for economist network op-ed commissions, half-down and half on delivery. They are being paid for preparing the articles rather than only when they succeeded in getting their articles published. This bill is for $37,000.

  • Op-ed article by Robert Tollison to be submitted to Wall Street Journal -- $4,000.00
  • Rebuttal article by Bob Ekelund, Auburn Univeristy, to be submitted to the Birmingham News -- $3,000.00
  • "Monster" tax op-ed project using twenty economists to submit articles in opposition to using excise taxes on cigarettes to finance health care reform - to be submitted to twenty newspapers in twenty different states. FIRST HALF = $30,000.00 [38]
[Note:They now get $3,000 each per article -- half on commission/half on deliver -- while Tollison gets $4,000]

1993 Apr 13 Calvin George writes to his Tobacco Industry boss Susan Stuntz asking for permission to spend the $67,000 for the 22 op-eds listed by Savarese.

As previously discussed, the 20 economists proposed for the comprehensive op-ed program in opposition to excise taxes for health care reform have been selected with two primary criteria in mind:

  • first, capacity to reach major media markets in states and Congressional Districts represented by key members of the Senate and House Leadership, as well as the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees; and
  • second, the previous track record of the economists in being able to place successfully op-eds in the major dailies identified.
The cost of this project would be $67,000, which is consistent with previous experience for similar efforts. I am recommending approval of this proposal. Funds are available for this purpose under the line items for "Economists to deliver briefings, testimony, and write articles..." ($45,000) and "Op-eds on...health care costs" ($25,000). [39]

1993 Apr/May Robert Tollison has a private billing on the Tobacco institute for $4,000, and it is being billed by James Savarese & Associates. [40]

Savarese is billing for his own April Consulting Services $11,000 for Excise Taxes, and $9,000 for Public Smoking. [41]


1993 Jun 25 Tollison to Susan Stuntz and Cal George, with 3 pages consisting of copies of letters-to-editors

"These have been submitted via fax to New York Times, News and Observer, Professor [Mark] Fleming at NC State." [42]

[Tollison has drafted LTE's for the Tobacco Institute -- perhaps Fleming has put his name to them?]

1993 Jul 1 Cal George was sending material to Bob Tollison [43]


1993 Jul 12 Public Affairs at the Tobacco Institute sending material to Richard Wagner at GMU [44]


1993 Oct Towards the end of this year there was a reorganisation of the Tobacco Institute where:

  • The overall TI budget was proposed to be cut by 61%, from $38,925,000 down to $15,000,000
  • 38 staff positions were to be eliminated.
  • 34 staff were to be fired (15 professional and 19 support staff) -- $2m in termination costs.
  • Close all field offices -- terminate 5 Regional VPs
  • Freeze all salary reviews
  • Eliminate the Public Affairs and Federal Relations divisions and merge the remaining staff into Issues Management

James Savarese's position was terminated and he was advised in November [[45]]



1994: The crucial year when the tobacco companies accepted they were losing: internal documents being exposed to public scrutiny. Hillary Clinton's health task-force focused on tobacco; the Waxman hearings and whistleblowers exposed them: class action suits were filed against the cigarette companies.


1994 Mar: Florida judge Robert P Kaye was over-ruled by his state appeal court. He was forced to allow 60,000 flight attendants to jointly sue US tobacco companies for health difficulties they claim were caused by inhaling passengers' cigarette smoke. (This was the first class-action against tobacco.) [46]


1994 Apr 18 Time Magazine asks "Is it all over for Smokers: The battle against tobacco is turning into a rout." Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General, says:

America will be smoke-free, but not in my lifetime. We have 40 million people who are addicted to smoking, We've got to help them get over their addiction, and that's going to take a while.

  • Henry Waxman's House subcommittee will vote next week on the Smoke-Free Environment Act.
    • Any building entered by 10 or more people each day will have to become smoke-free.
    • One subcommittee wants to raise the cigarette tax by $1.25 for health care reform
    • Last month Congress signed a bill outlawing smoking in all public and some private schools.
    • Department of Defence now bans smoking in offices, even soldiers in their tanks.
  • Marylands, Washingon State will ban smoking in virtually all workplaces,
  • OSHA has proposed a ban on almost all indoor smoking in the workplace
  • FDA is taking a look at classifying nicotine as a drug
  • MacDonalds and other companies have banned smoking,
  • [A year ago] EPA said passive smoking was a Class A carcinogen which killed 3000 non-smokers a year
  • For the first time members of the antismoking Congressional Task Force on Tobacco and Health outnumber pro-tobacco House members, 53 to 42. The industry lost its virtual stranglehold on Congress.
  • CDC says cigarette smoke kills about 418,000 people a year. [47]

1994 May 23: Mike Moore, the Attorney-General of Mississippi, filed suit against the tobacco companies to recover medical costs for tobacco-related illnesses.

" The state of Mississippi didn't smoke cigarettes, but the state of Mississippi has had to pay about $100 million a year for the care of our residents who smoked after they were deceived by the cigarette companies about the addictive nature of their products, " said state Attorney General Mike Moore. [48]

The tobacco companies were anxious to get the federal law passed before the Mississippi case came to trial - further negotiations were now done on a state by state basis. So they settled Mississippi, then later Florida and Texas. A dozen other States lined up, and this formed the basis for Minnesota settlement.

1994 Aug 19: Hubert H Humphrey III, the Attorney-General of Minnesota also acted. The Minnesota court set a cut-off date: documents produced before this time must be produced by Philip Morris and placed in a public Depository in Minnesota . (They became generally available after the Master Settlement Agreement in1996) [49]

FROM THIS TIME ON THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY WAS MUCH MORE CAREFUL ABOUT THE DOCUMENTS IT CREATED. THE COMPANIES BEGAN TO SYSTEMATICALLY CULL THEIR FILES UNDER WHAT WAS EUPHEMISTICALLY CALLED THE "Document Retention Program". THEIR ASSOCIATED, HELPERS AND SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS WERE ALSO MUCH MORE WARY ABOUT BEING ASSOCIATED WITH THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY.


1994 Aug A Alexis de Tocqueville report "The EPA and the Science of ETS" has been funded by the Tobacco Institute. The author was Adjunct Scholar Kent Jeffreys, and the senior reviewer was S. Fred Singer, a Professor of Environmental Science (on leave from the University of Virginia) and a Senior Fellow at the Institute. The final report was scheduled to be complete mid-June and it would be entitled "Science and Environmentalism".

A confidential memo by the president of the Tobacco Institute, Samuel D. Chilcote, Jr., described how this secret tobacco-funded report was being used in legislative lobbying:

This morning Reps. Peter Geren (D-TX) and John Mica (R-FL) held a press conference announcing the release of a study by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution that evaluates the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) scientific principles used to justify policy decisions. Geren and Mica were joined by Cesar Conda, executive director of the de Tocqueville Institution and coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys." [50]

"Press coverage included States News Service, Stephens Publishing and Cable Congress. Several congressional staffers also attended, copies of the Geren/Mica "Dear Colleague" letter, press release and the study are enclosed."

[51]

This report is part of a larger coordinated effort to blindside the EPA. A "panel of experts" was assembled to "peer-review" the report. Naturally the majority were people with identified links to tobacco-funded institutes and think tanks, and some who share the same small set of funders.

Academic Advisory Board:

Senior Staff and Contributing Associates
Rachael Applegate,   Bruce Bartlett,   Merrick Carey,   Cesar Conda,   Gregory Fossedal,   Dave Juday,   Felix Rouse,   Aaron Stevens

Ten of the 19 names of the Academic Advisory Board are members of the Cash for Comments Economists Network. At this time S. Fred Singer was a Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, but they chose not to credit him with such close links.

These attempt to link the tobacco industry's problems to arguments about climate change were part funded by the Olin Foundation, Koch Family Foundations and Scaife Foundations.

  • 20 page Draft document sent to the Tobacco Institute [52]
  • The release about the final report (August 11 1994) It is now an attack on "environmental regulation" -- ETS, radon, pesticides and agricultural regulation, and the Superfund toxic waste cleanup program ... and based, supposedly, on the quality of the science used by the EPA. [53]
  • The final report was called Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination.' It had the approval of the Cash for Comments Economists Network. [54]



1995 William Shughart now a Professor of Economics at the University of Mississippi has written "The Economics o Excise Taxation, which the Independent Institute (Oakland CA) has published. A copy has been sent to the Tobacco institute. [55]



1997 June 20: The tobacco industry agreed with some of the State Attorneys-General to pay a penalty of $370 billion, curtail advertising that might affect children, and subject itself to FDA regulation. The 68-page "Proposed Resolution," (which later became the Master Settlement Agreement) reported that the industry would fund a variety of health programs, pay monetary damages, subject itself to FDA regulation, and restrict certain sales and marketing practices.

In return, tobacco companies will be exempt from all punitive damages for their past conduct and immune from new class action lawsuits. This was just the first draft of a long process.

 


1988: The tobacco industry had (in June 1997) agreed to pay a penalty of $370 billion, curtail advertising that might affect children, and subject itself to FDA regulation in return for exemption from all punitive damages and immunity from new class action lawsuits. In 1998 Senator John McCain sponsored a bill that would raise the price tag to over $500 billion and strip the industry of immunity (This was defeated).

However, in 1998 Philip Morris created its Youth Smoking Prevention ("YSF") department, which was directed to help reduce the incidence of youth smoking -- then in August 1988 Geoff Bible of Philip Morris called a meeting of CEOs to discuss a possible settlement of the remaining Attorney-General cases.

 


1999 Jan In his State of the Union Message, President Clinton announced that the federal government would sue the tobacco under the Racketeer Act (RICO).


1999 Sept 22 A Civil Action in US District Court for the District of Columbia

[On this day] the United States brought this massive lawsuit against nine cigarette manufacturers of cigarettes and two tobacco-related trade organizations. The Government alleged that Defendants have violated, and continue to violate, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 1961-1968, by engaging in a lengthy, unlawful conspiracy to:

  • deceive the American public about the health effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke,
  • the addictiveness of nicotine,
  • the health benefits from low tar, "light" cigarettes, and
  • their manipulation of the design and composition of cigarettes in order to sustain nicotine addiction."[56]

The tobacco industry was still fighting over the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement and the conditions imposed by the settlement of the RICO case many years after. There's a 16 page document that illustrates the legal minutia that allowed them to escape many of the substantial penalties. It mentions the CEHHT, IAPAG, ARIA, IAI and its successor ISBE, Tobacco Document Center, etc. They were as slippery as a snake in avoiding many of the MSA requirements. [57]