Peter G. Sparber

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

Peter G. Sparber was a Tobacco Institute Vice President in the 1980s who worked on combatting legislated and voluntary workplace smoking restrictions. Sparber also worked on a Tobacco Institute program to attack the insurance industry and undermine non-smoker discounts on insurance premiums, and a program to form a coalition to publicly portray public health adovcates as intolerant, anti-social and in need of help.

Between 1986 and 1989, Peter Sparber of the Tobacco Institute gave a speech discussing the Institute's plans to take a more "aggressive posture" against public health efforts to control tobacco. Sparber discussed "mobilizing smokers" to go "head-to-head against the anti-smokers." He described the purpose of the Center for Indoor Air Research (to provide science for the industry's scientific witnesses), and plans to form a group (headed by a celebrity spokesman) that would portray public health advocates as extreme, anti-social and over-reacting to life's small annoyances: "The coalition would sponsor research demonstrating that over-reactions [to being forced to breathe secondhand smoke] are abnormal and anti-social."

Sparber stated, "We will never be able to say that ETS is not harmful...The question is, when will we have solid, credible evidence that concerns about ETS are unfounded?"[1]

Sparber went on to form his own lobbying firm, Sparber and Associates, Inc.. In 1993, Sparber and Associates, Inc. recommended that the Tobacco Institute portray restaurant workers as public health problems rather than victims: "Since restaurant workers are largely incapable of speaking out for themselves, we believe the only way that the 'restaurant workers as victims of ETS [environmental tobacco smoke]' issue can grow is if the anti-smokers can generate sympathy for them. The best way of countering the antis, is to encourage third parties to increase public awareness of the public health threat posed by restaurant workers. It may be hard to generate public concern over restaurant worker exposure to ETS, when the public is more concerned about contracting rare, Central American strains of tuberculosis from restaurant workers." [2]

In 1998, Sparber worked for the Washingon libertarian think tank the Heartland Institute.

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Documents & Dates

1980 Sep 15 The Student Profiles of the Tobacco Institute's College of Tobacco Knowledge said this about his background.

Peter G. Sparber , Special Projects Director, The Tobacco Institute.

Currently Sparber is vice president of public affairs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware Incorporated. Sparber will officially join the public relations department of The Tobacco Institute as Special Projects director in October.

Previously, he was director of communications for the New Jersey Hospital Association, and before that a reporter for the Morris County Daily Record. Sparber lives in Wilmington, Delaware and is house-hunting in the Washington metropolitan area.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/fmw09a00/pdf


1980 Oct Sparber fomally joined the Tobacco Institute as director of Special Projects.


1980 Nov 26 He has asked the Florida Press Association if he can become an associate member. The Executive Director of the FPA (Reg Ivory) feels they have a

"definite obligation to open clear channels of communications with these businesses and industries so that we can present a more accurate and unbiased view of their accomplishments to our readers."

The Press Association want $300 pa. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/eyx83b00/pdf


1980 Dec 18 A memo from Sparber outlines who are the "Good Guys" in the media who will give them good publicity http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wjy83b00/pdf


1981 /E Gene Ainsworth of RJ Reynolds has prepared a confidential report on the Tobacco Institute and its staff . He believes the TI has spent the last few years resting on its laurels.

My visceral reaction to the future of the Institute is that we need to have some type of trade association as our "front." Since we are such a concentrated industry and since we are such big fish in this pond, we need to have a front to absorb a lot of the heat that is generated with the Surgeon General's report etc.

He recommends new staff and lists the current staff problems. They need:

  • a 'top-flight lobbyist, a heavy hitter with 5-7 staff, to replace Jack Mills. Jack Mills is too closely associated with "his tenure as the Executive Director of the RNCC/RCCC, and is approaching retirement age.
  • Fred Panzer is limited in effectiveness and is best dealing with the unions and the 'liberal fringe of the Democratic party.'

  • George Yenowine - should be chief administrator.
  • Sam Chilcote, Jack Kelley, Roger Mozingo, Peter Sparber, Walter Merryman all get the tick of approval ]
  • Mike Kerrigan -- "I wouldn't trust him to give me the right time of the day.
  • Bill Kloepfer -- "a goose egg".
  • Bill Prendergast: Bill has served in a consultant's role in the past year and to my mind has been worth his weight in gold. He has brought a fresh perspective to the job. His former life at DISCUS [Distilled spirits lobby] has exposed Bill to a number of situations that now threaten the tobacco industry.
    He has been able to make excellent suggestions that, woefully, no one in our industry had thought of. I hope that Bill will want to stay on a while longer at TI.
  • TI has but one full time lobbyist, Jack Mills. The rest, Fred Panzer, Bill Prendergrast, Horace Kornegay, and Sam Chilcote are part-time at best. The outside law firm of Cook and Henderson is being utilized as in-house lobbyists and are being paid a very large fee for its services.
  • [T]he federal lobby function should be primarily an "in-house" function of TI. There undoubtedly would be roles for law firms and consultants, but they should not be handled in the currently incestuous manner which TI, at Horace Kornegay's insistence, maintains with Marlow Cook and Dave Henderson.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/lwd88d00/pdf


1982 Feb 25 Peter Sparber is at the Winter Meeting of the Tobacco Institute in Palm Springs. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/okt03b00/pdf


1982 Dec Sparber is handing over some of his responsibilities for Tobacco Institute issues to Susan Stuntz.


1983 Sep 28 William Kloepfer is reminded by Mozingo that they were going to meet Paul. Pete Spaber is ccd. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/nup09a00/pdf


1984 Apr 18 Peter Sparber advised Sam Chilcote President of the Tobacco Institute that Ray Scannell of the Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Worker's Union (BC&T) had suggested running a series of ads in various 'liberal magazines like the New Republic. These magazines might not accept the ads from the Tobacco Institute, but they would from the union. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ozm04b00/pdf


1984 Sep (in 1986 Jan TI's PR resources - Fire/Witness)

  • Accidental Fires - Where The Tobacco Institute Stands
  • (In this) Three-page reprint of Peter Sparber article, published in Fire Chief magazine. September 1984
  • (Sparber) Discusses the tobacco industry's role in helping the fire service with fire prevention and the industry's viewpoint on the "fire-safe" cigarette

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/lgf85e00/pdf


1985 Sep 30 List of current, and ex employees of the Tobacco Institute. He is listed as an employee. [until 1988 when he became a contractor) http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ojr16b00



1985 Dec 13 Peter Sparber at the Tobacco Institute is venting his fury his associate to Bill Buckley:

Gerald Kupris' handling of our project with the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association is the single worst piece of staff work I have seen in five years at The Institute.

In mid-June, we met with Jerry, Bob Diamond and [Richard Scanlon|Ric Scanlon]] to outline an overall program to avert restaurant legislation in that state. Every element of the program was spelled out and then confirmed in writing.

All commitments of resources and deadlines were honored by this division. Altogether, more than $14,000 (not counting the latest $2,500 in mailing costs) was spent to make this program a success.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/urf88b00/pdf


1985 Dec 19 Peter Sparber to subordinates Meg Buckey and Susan Stuntz -- he is handing over the responsibility for the fire-related activities of the Institute.

As discussed generally, the accidental fire issue is now managed by Susan Stuntz who will be assisted by Meg Buckley, Tri-Data, other consultants and myself.

This action is in recognition of the expected surge of legislative, regulatory and other issues-related activity expected within 18 months of this date.

There are about a dozen distinct functions related to the management of this issue. By and large, those management functions which I have been performing will now be Susan's responsibilities. Meg's role should not change appreciably. Tri-Data's assignments will modestly decrease and change given the increased staffing. We will share the contact work.

This document outlines the range of activities and allocates responsibilities for each area. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/xsb48b00/pdf


1986 Jan 28 The Public Relations Resource Catalogue of the Tobacco Institute carries a cover-note to Regional Directors listing the TI senior staff handling different issues.

  • TOP MANAGEMENT Bill Buckley, Hurst Marshall, Peter Sparber
  • [Edward Battison|Ed Battison]] --Director - Economic Issues
      • State/Federal Taxation : research projects; econometric models/forecasts; graphs; state ecomomic profiles of industry; economic impacts of tax proposals; Federal budget
      • Industry Economics
      • "Social & Health Costs" of Smoking
      • Insurance
  • Paula Duhaine -- Manager - Legislative Issues
      • State/Federal Taxation : fact sheets; research projects; monthly state/municipal tax reports; Tax Burden; Federal budget
      • Health Care Cost Containment
      • Indigent Care Funding
      • Sales Restrictions
      • Worker Right-to-Know
  • Katherine Becker -- Manager - Legislative Issues
      • Public Smoking Legislation : ventilation; restaurants; voluntary policies; legal analysis; economic impact study/witness; voters survey;
      • Product Liability
      • Sampling/Advertising
      • Legal Clearances
  • Cathey Yoe -- Manager - Legislative Affairs
        • Legislative Reporting
        • StateLine Special Reports;
        • "Self-Extinguishing Legislation ; Clove Cigarettes "Minors" Legislation ; Smokeless Warning Labels ; Initiative/Referendum
    • Walter Woodson -- Manager - Communications

    1986 Mar 11 Bill Kloepfer, the Vice President in charge of Public Relations at the Tobacco Institute send a memo to President Sam Chilcote on "Consultant Economists' Tax Issue Advice." He says:

    As you suggested, I met March 5 in a hotel room with five economists to discuss approaches by the industry to tax issues. Pete Sparber participated. Attending were:

    The advice we received was to consider carefully any earmarking proposals, perhaps accepting those which present a coalition probability and protesting those which do not.

    The effect of price, including excises, on cigarette demand apparently is usually measured on an immediate basis. Most economists evidently find the demand for cigarettes to be relatively inelastic.

    While the so-called social costs issue affects public policy in many ways, it was recognized as one of the incentives for increased cigarette taxes. The group recognized the 1985 Office of Technologic Assessment memorandum as a landmark and its members indicated they would welcome an opportunity to study it as a basis for proposing research projects which could mitigate its unwarrented effects.

    They understand that The Institute does not have an economic research budget per se , but that we would welcome any suggestions which we might consider on their merits.

    The discussion lasted for about five hours. It was quite worthwhile. We should take appropriate steps internally now to consider the major points which emerged.
    [Note: All those consulted at this meeting became surreptitious helpers for the tobacco industry at a later date through George Mason University thought a group run by James Savarese and [[Robert Tollison] (See Cash-for-comment Economists Network) http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/orw64b00/pdf

    1986 Apr First draft of his report ExComs on hand, new draft to be prepared immediately TI12780462_0464.pdf


    1986 Jun 11 Peter Sparber at the Tobacco Institute memoes Fred Panzer, enclosing a number of Congressional statements. [Only days after they were made.]

    Enclosed are statements prepared for various Congressional hearings on the tax issue that specifically comment on earmarking to some degree. [Note: Earmarking is the political practice of tying legislation and funding to a specific activity, like anti-smoking services.]

    These statements are by:

    I've asked Jim Savarese, who provided these papers, to begin working on copy that could serve as the text for multipurpose anti-earmarking publications.

    [Note: These were all member of the Cash-for-comments Economists Network]] run by Savarese and Tollion.] http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/biu83b00/pdf


    1986 Jun 12 Sparber is helping the notorious Sorrel Schwartz, the Georgetown University head of CEHHT and IAPAG, set up the infamous tobacco-loaded Georgetown Symposium https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco Type-in Bates Number TI10191901


    1986 Aug 18 Peter Sparber was forced to resign from the Board of Governors of the Institute for Life Safety Technology and Emergency Management Education , because the Institute couldn't insure him against liability. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/taf93b00/pdf


    1986 Dec 5 Barbara Lundquist of TriData has written to Peter Sparber at the Tobacco Institute and their lawyer John Rupp of Covington & Burling.

    Attached is [[Philip Schenman|Phil's] (Schaenman) first article on the new study, Overcoming Barriers to Public Fire Education . The article was sent today to Fire Chief magazine to meet the deadline for their January issue. If you see any needed changes I can call them in; there is no mention of cigarette issues . Invitations to speak at fire meetings have already started -- three key talks arranged so far are in Washington, California, and Pennsylvania as noted (**) on the attached meetings list.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/mkf93b00/pdf

    [Note: Phil Schaenman was a regular on media tours for the Tobacco Institute. His message was that smoking was rarely responsible for fires.]


    1987 Apr 6 Fred Panzer and Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute advise Peter Sparber that the tobacco industry will need about a half million (dollars) to support the Freedom to Advertise Coalition campaign.

    • Membership costs for the industry as a whole -- $100,000
    • Video and brochure printing     -- $100,000
    • Advertising         -- $50,000
    • Professional Fees       -- $130,000
    • Support for third-parties to act as a front (NASBE & CASE) -- $120,000
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/sez49b00/pdf

    1987 Apr 8 Sparber writes to William Kloepfer (Internal TI memo) re ongoing support for the Freedom to Advertise Coalition (FAC)

    Our first question is this:

    1. Given the opportunity, would the Tobacco Institute prefer a coalition supported entirely by non-tobacco interests?
      This week, the organizers of the coalition suggested that it may be possible to operate FAC without tobacco support. We also learned that the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) voted against participation in FAC because of tobacco involvement.
      A month ago, Stan Temko [C&B tobacco lawyer] addressed the question and said that the ideal situation would be no tobacco funding.
      We believe that tobacco funding is necessary if we have any hope of relying on FAC once the debate shifts away from an advertising ban and onto such subjects as tougher warning labels, tombstone ads, counter advertising.
    2. Second: FAC was proposed well after our 1987 budget was written.
      Depending on the degree of-our participation and our expectations of FAC, costs could range lrom nothing to $500,000 this year.
      If we choose to belong to FAC, our dues will be the larger part of the $100,000 originally expected from tobacco. These dollars are for federal lobbying and it would be reasonable to assume that they will come from a lobbying budget.

    1987 Apr 15 Chip Foley (at TI) on a Ventilation Project to promote Gray Robertson and Sick Building Syndrome. Others involved were: Peter Sparber, Susan Stuntz, Bill Cannell, Walter Woodson, Scott Stapf, Katherine Becker (State Activities), Rich Marcus (Ogilvy & Mather), Dennis Dyer, Ron Morris, John Kelly, Mike Brozek, Ric Scanlan and Jim Savarese http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/qfn91f00/pdf


    1987 May 8 Korn-Ferry, the recruitment company has been asked by Sparber -- then Vice President, Public Relations at TI -- to recruit a new Manager, Media Relation for a salary between $60,000 and $65,000 pa. [Note: the close relationship between tobacco and Korn-Ferry was explained by Philip Morris's major political lobbyist Craig Fuller becoming its CEO] http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/nag82b00/pdf


    1987 May 12 Management Catalyst has been asked by Peter Sparber to recruit an Executive Director for the Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR). http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/uhg82b00/pdf [Note: Guy Oldacher of RJ Reynolds was to be acting director and Sparber later became Secretary to the CIAR board. This was a sham scientific grant makeing body.] http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/qxf85e00/pdf


    1987 Nov 1 Hilton Beach Hotel Lugana Baach, Calif. The Tobacco Institute Government Relations Seminar ( Type-in Bates Number TIDN0003000/3009


    1987 Dec 28 Peter Sparber has prepared the Tobacco Institute's "Public Affairs, Management Plan, Progress Report (to Dec 1987)" The staff are dealing with a number of issues:

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gyh91f00/pdf



    1988 This Tobacco Institute document is headed ' Organized Labor and it also lists with an asterisk those organizations which are being financially supported by Philip Morris as well as the Tobacco Institute. Examples:

    • AFL-CIO*
    • Air Line Pilots of America*
    • Association of Flight Attendants
    • Coalition of Labor Union of Women*
    • United Auto Workers*

    The point of departure for discussion with unions would Iikely go directly to workers' rights. (We recognize that labor is being handled at this point by Pete Sparber.) (* = PM supported organisations) http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/znx45d00/pdf


    1988 Jan 15 Sparber is listed as "Secretary to the Board, CIAR" c/o Tobacco Institute http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zfg82b00/pdf



    1988 June Peter Sparber is now the Vice President of Tobacco Institute. They have a staff of 19 and 4 Senior Vice Presidents looking after various areas. Sparber is primarily on Issues Management and Public Relations.

    However in June of this year Sparber became a consultant to the Tobacco Institute through his Sparber & Associates at this time. He also provided services through additional staff to the various tobacco companies

    See Sparber & Associates for further listings of the corporate activities.


    References

    1. Sparber PG, Tobacco Institute Comments Peter G. Sparber Comprehensive Public Smoking Issue Plan Speech. No date. Tobacco Institute Bates No. TI01770029/0100
    2. Hamilton J, Sparber PG, Sparber and Associates Restaurants and Smoking Restrictions. Restaurant Program Observations and Recommendations Undated. 8 pp. Bates No. TI01621160/1167

    <tdo>resource_id=3696 resource_code=sparber_peter_g search_term=Peter G. Sparber</tdo>