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Federal Focus

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

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Federal Focus (FF) claims to be a nonprofit policy research foundation incorporated in the District of Columbia on March 24, 1986. In fact it is a lobby-shop front operation, and it shares the same business address as Multinational Business Services on DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. According to it's Web site, it now works on science policy: but originally it had simply been a two-man lobbying organisation operated by two out-of-work Republican bureaucrats, Thorne Auchter and James Tozzi

Federal Focus also has a subunit known as the Institute for Regulatory Policy. It claims on its web site to provide "objective and impartial information and analysis on government policy, science policy, and scientific issues." Moreover, it will only "disseminate information and views that are objective, unbiased, and impartial." And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

Federal Focus was originally incorporate by Jim Tozzi who was involved in pro-tobacco activities with Philip Morris and another science-scam entrepreneur George L Carlo in a scam known as Good Epidemiological Practices (GEP) -- an attempt to manipulate the standard for the statistical science of epidemiology and limit the value of findings in litigation, legislation and regulation of dangerous substances. They received grants from Philip Morris to hold 'educational seminars' on science policy for public officials [1] [2]

Multinational Business Services, also working on behalf of Philip Morris (used Federal Focus as a third-party vehicle) to help distract attention away from smoking as a youth issue in 1994, when the U.S. Surgeon General was addressing the effects of smoking on the young. The strategy was to emphasize the death-rate of youth from other factors like accidents and alcohol -- thus trivialising the much larger long-term harm done by tobacco.[3]

Federal Focus, Multinational Business Services, and both Auchter and Tozzi also had a financial interest in the Wireless Technology Research (WTR) scam established by George L Carlo for the Cellular Telephone Industry Association to prove that the old pulse-code cellular mobile phones were safe (when they probably weren't) This ploy was conducted through Carlo's Health and Environmental Sciences Group which appears to have had Auchter in its advisor board.

Federal Focus Jazz Band

Jim Tozzi had originally tried to make his fortune as a traditional jazz trumpet player in New Orleans. When he turned up in Washington (after a period working in the Reagan bureaucracy) he was only a small-time PR operator. However even working with a more influential Thorne Auchter (ex Deputy Director of the OSHA) they quickly realised that they needed a gimmick to develop the contacts needed to work effectively within the political and bureaucratic establishments.

They invented a very innovative way of expanding their social reach, Tozzi would put together a made-up-on-the-spot trad-jazz band which would be offered for a nominal fee for Washington social functions. They would be virtually loaned to the political parties, influence peddlers and other PR companies whenever they were running their own meet-the-politician event. With "Federal Focus Jazz Band" livery, Auchter and Tozzi were quickly expanded their contact list (everyone wants to talk to the trumpeter) and their name became very well known around Washington. It was a very productive ploy.

Funding

Funders of Federal Focus include:

  • American Cement Alliance
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Iron and Steel Institute
  • American Paper Institute
  • Arkansas State Society
  • AT&T
  • Beer Institute
  • Dr. Eric Bovet
  • Business Council on the Reduction of Paperwork
  • Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (the CTIA)
  • Chemical Manufacturers Association
  • Ciba-Geigy Corp.
  • Citizens for a Sound Economy
  • Communication Systems Development, Inc.
  • District of Columbia Commission for the Arts
  • Edison Electric Institute
  • Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • Friends of Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Friends of the U.S. National Arboretum
  • Gibson Associates
  • Government of the District of Columbia
  • Health and Environmental Sciences Group, Inc. (Carlo's HESG)
  • Kentucky Society of Washington
  • Landon School
  • Marriott International, Inc.
  • Multinational Business Services, Inc. (Their own company)
  • National Chamber Foundation
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Paint and Coatings Association
  • NEXTEL
  • Oracle Corp.
  • Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp.
  • PCS Prime Co., LP
  • Peter Tare, Inc.
  • Philip Morris
  • Photo Marketing Associates International
  • PSI Energy
  • Richard Bray Orchestras
  • Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society
  • Schuller International, Inc.
  • Scientific Advisory Group on Cellular Telephone Research (just a CTIA committee)
  • Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.
  • Solar Energy Research Institute
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • USA Today
  • Wireless Technology Research, L.L.C. (The CTIA/Carlo propaganda project)

References

  1. Grant-in-aid request Tozzi J. March 15, 1991. Philip Morris Bates No.2071413114/3115
  2. Federal Focus web site accessed January 10, 2008
  3. No title Tozzi JJ/Multinational Business Services. Letter. January 11, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2048213860/3864

Contact

Federal Focus, Inc.
11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20036
Email: infoATfedfocus.org (substitute an "@" sign for the "AT")