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Cesar Conda

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

In 1994 Cesar V. Conda was executive director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) listed as "Senior Staff and Contributing Associates" on a Lorillard Tobacco Company paid-for publication titled "Science, economics, and environmental policy: a critical examination" by author Kent Jeffreys (see: AdTI-Funding). [1] Principal Reviewer was listed as S. Fred Singer, and to give this propagandistic tract a sheen of scientific appearance, a loaded gang of "experts" from assorted tobacco-funded front organizations with impressive names was listed: SEPP, Hoover Institution, John M. Olin Center for Policy, George Mason University.

As Executive Director of Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Conda had more than a casual association with the production of this deception piece. SEPP was certainly known to him, as an article the same year in Commonsense (Fall 1994) "The New Populism: The Rise of the Property Rights Movement," article by Cesar Conda and Mark LaRochelle, mentions SEPP. [2] Kent Jeffreys bonafides would also be known to him. Jeffreys at the time was listed as environmental studies director [3] for Competitive Enterprise Institute [4], an organization with close ties to Alexis de Tocqueville.

At about this time period, Jack Kemp became co-chairman of Alexis de Tocqueville, while retaining his position as Co-Director of Empower America. Lately Conda has moved into Empower America as a Director on the Board. [5]

Conda was weaving and bobbing between so many roles that at one time he was a recipient of a lobbying letter while working for Senator Abraham reminding Conda that "A third faction supporting the study includes libertarian think tanks such as Cato, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, and the Reason Foundation." This statement must have been very amusing to Conda, as essentially he (and his paymaster Koch Family Foundations) were de Tocqueville-Cato-Reason. [6], [7] [8] .

From a flattering biography we learn: "Cesar Conda served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s principal adviser on domestic and economic policy issues, supervising the Vice President’s five person domestic policy staff. Prior to joining the White House in January 2001, Conda served twelve years in various positions in the United States Senate including Administrative Assistant and Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) (now the Secretary of Energy), Minority Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Small Business, and Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Robert W. Kasten, Jr. (R-WI)." [9]

It is interesting that Kasten was on the payroll of Alexis de Tocqueville Institution for $100,000, as a consultant in 2000 form 990 filing [10] (page 7), down from $138,000 in 1999 [11], $100,500 in 1998 [12]...

Cesar Conda earned the wrath of the Ludwig von Mises Institute: "Joining in this richly-funded campaign of hysteria and smear was the entire official libertarian (or Left-libertarian) movement, including virtually every "free-market" and "libertarian" think tank except the Mises Institute. ... For their part, the neo-conservative and official libertarian think tanks joined the elite condemnation of Prop. 187. Working closely with Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute, Cesar Conda of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution circulated a statement against the measure that was signed by individuals at the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Reason Foundation, and even the Competitive Enterprise Institute." [13]

Documents & Timeline

Cesar Conda has consistently written pieces in support of tobacco industry positions on topics ranging from tobacco taxes to secondhand smoke.


1980: press release] opposing increase in tobacco tax.[14]


1994 press release] claiming U.S. EPA used "inadequate science" in risk assessments[15]


1994 MayEditorial critcizing EPA's risk assesment] Time to Rationalize EPA Rules



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." [16]

"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."

[17]

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 [18]
  • 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. [19]
  • The final report was called Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination.' It had the approval of the Cash for Comments Economists Network. [20]

Affiliations

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