William Kloepfer

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

William "Bill" Kloepfer Jr was with the Tobacco Institute from 1958 as head of their Public Relations division. He was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs/Relations for the Tobacco Institute from 1958 to about 1999.

There is also a research scientist in psychology, B Kloepfer, who is an expert on Rorschach tests, which was all the rage in the 1950s. He wrote a book on the Psychology of Smoking (maybe a relative) [1]

Biography

William Kloepfer, Jr. was born and educated in Illinois and received a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northwestern University in 1949, following four years of service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He started in the newspaper business as a reporter for a small daily newspaper in east Texas, and within a year was invited to join the editorial staff of the Washington Times-Herald, later absorbed by the Washington Post. His job was covering the U.S. Congress from a desk in the Senate press gallery.

During the 1952 Presidential campaign, Mr. Kloepfer joined the publicity staff of the Republican National Committee, and remained in that post until 1955. During the 1954 Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns, he served as press secretary for Vice President Richard Nixon throughout the latter's national campaign tour. This was followed by two years as administrative assistant to U.S. Representative Laurence Curtis of Boston, and in late 1956 Mr. Kloepfer was appointed director of public information and Congressional liaison for the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board.

In a speech at an INFOTAB workshop in 1989, William Kloepfer highlighted the industry's tactic of broadening tobacco issues to encompass many other issues. Kloepfer stated,

Over the years, since we saw the first workplace smoking restriction legislation in the United States in the early 1970's, the anti-smokers'arguments, and their tactics, have grown more and more sophisticated. But then, so have ours. Our strategy [on secondhand smoke] has been to broaden the issue, to involve as many other issues, interest groups and decision makers as possible...[2]


Documents and Timelines

1952-55During the Eisenhower/Nixon Presidential campaign, Bill Kloepfer joined the publicity staff of the Republican National Committee, and remained there until 1955.


1954 During the Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns, he served as press secretary for Vice President Richard Nixon throughout the latter's national campaign tour.


1954-56Two years as administrative assistant to U.S. Representative Laurence Curtis of Boston,


1956 late Kloepfer was appointed director of public information and congressional liaison for the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board.


1958 Jan He is now working in PR at the Tobacco Institute as 'Vice President - Public Relations. [3] [4]


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. Bill Kloepfer gets singled out with an especially caustic remark. 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.
[5]

1988 Mar 30 Dr W Allan Crawford (OBE, MB ChB, PhD, M(FOM), RCP, DPH, DIH, FRACMA, FACOM, FRSH) - [Mersey Holdings Pty Ltd] a Consultant in Occupational and Environmental Health has written from his Home/Clinic in Seaforth, NSW, Australia to 'Bill Kloepfer" at the Tobacco Institute, thanking him for his letter of March 11. Kloefer has given him the address of Phil. Kloepfer needs a new file on Crawford (or his project). [6]

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