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Thomas Collamore

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

Thomas J. Collamore

Thomas Collamore (Thomas J. Collamore) served as a Vice President of Philip Morris Corporate Affairs , Policy and Administration at Altria Group, the parent company of cigarette maker Philip Morris (PM). From 1997-2001 he was Vice President of Public Affairs for Philip Morris. Philip Morris Corporate Affairs department has historically been responsible for implementing countermeasures to combat public health efforts to control tobacco, like PM's Accommodation Program, and PM programs to enact tort reform, head off increased cigarette taxes and thwart legislated smoking restrictions.

Biography

Collamore joined Philip Morris in 1992 as a staff vice president, and was responsible to Craig L. Fuller, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Before joining PM, Collamore held various positions in the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush administrations. He was Assistant to the Vice President for Operations and Staff Secretary for George H.W. Bush. [1] [2][3]

Collamore's relationship with powerful members of the Republican Party and the first Bush administration made him politically advantageous to PM, as it gave him easy access to the Bush family.

Tobacco industry documents about Collamore

In a 1994 PM-sponsored a talk by former President Bush (father of the current President Bush) to the Texas Restaurant Association in Houston, shortly after Bush Sr. was voted out of office. In an email, Collamore describes how he accompanied Former President Bush to Houston on PM corporate aircraft, how Bush promoted PM's "Accommodation Program" (a program the company developed to stave off legislated smoking restrictions) to the Restaurant Association, how Collamore served Bush Molson Ice (a Philip Morris-owned brand of beer) on the plane and arranged to have a case of the beer delivered to the President's home in Kennebunkport, Maine, as a gift.[4] According to an article from the July 11, 1994 issue of the Nation's Restaurant News about the meeting of the Texas Restaurant Association, Bush, when asked about legislated smoking restrictions, replied that he was skeptical about the government's role in mandating smoking regulations and said, "I'm basically not for more mandates...I think it can be worked out by the industry itself." [5]

A June 1995 internal Philip Morris email from Collamore shows how PM gave and received favors from the Republican Party. Collamore wrote,

"RNC Chairman Haley Barbour called today to check in. We had a good talk about several topics: 1. He thanked us for supplying the beer for their staff picnic this past weekend. A good time was had by all. 2. He also thanked me for providing tickets for his use at the U .S. Senior Golf Open in Washington next week. 3. The primary purpose of Haley's call was to invite me or another PM executive to join him on a trip to Asia the last two weeks of August. He is taking a small group (6-8 couples), representative of the RNC's largest donors, to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipai and Seoul. There will be numerous meetings with senior government officials and conservative government leaders and activists. The trip ends in Seoul, for a meeting of the International Democratic Union (IDU)-- a group that PM has supported in the past that supports younger up-and-coming conservative legislators and elected officials. Haley will be made vice-chairman of IDU at the meeting. He is sending me more information and I told him we appreciated the invitation and would give it close consideration."

Philip Morris made a $30,000 donation to the Texas Republican Party (the letter accompanying the first check was written by Thomas Collamore). [6]

This article may include information from Tobacco Documents Online.

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