K. Celeste Gaspari
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Professor Celeste Gaspari was a Professor of economics at the University of Vermont. She was also a tobacco industry lobbyist as a member of the Cash for Comments Economist Network, run through the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University by its Director, Robert Tollison. Tollison worked with professional lobbyist James Savarese and the two eventually went into partnership, with Tollison's wife Anna doing the network administration functions.
Documents & Timeline
- Her CV as sent to the Tobacco Institute is on Page 37
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:
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. 
- 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,
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.
|If there are any lingering doubts that these economist knew exactly what they were doing, it should be dispelled by a Tobacco Institute memo of June 3 1987. . This shows that they knew that this work was unethical - that it needed to be done surreptitiously - and that they were working for the Tobacco Institute ... but in a way that was deniable since no formal contracts existed.
Apparently Prof. McMahon has " … reviewed and agreed to "author" an economic impact study on the effects of a smoking bill …"