James Tozzi

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

Jim Tozzi and his partner, and ex Republican politician/bureaucrat, Thorne G Auchter ran one of the more successful lobbying operations in Washington. They functioned behind a pair of companies, known as Federal Focus and Multinational Business Services, together with two so-called think-tanks, the Institute for Regulatory Policy and the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness. The main client of these partners was the tobacco industry, in particular Philip Morris.

One of the more successful of their ploys, was to use the non-profit Federal Focus as a service company to support other lobbyists and public relations operations in exchange for access to their favourite politicians. If the lobbyist was mounting a major social function with inviting Congressmen, Senators, or political party leaders or influence peddlers, Federal Focus would provide free entertainment (inevitably a trad. jazz band). Federal Focus made a tax-loss, while the quid pro quo was that Tozzi and Auchter were able to use these function to lobby on behalf of their own clients.


James J. Tozzi  was born in ±1938 and earned a PhD in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Florida. After spending some time in New Orleans he realized he would never make his fortune playing jazz (trumpet) and moved to Washington DC.  In 1964 he joined  the Office of the Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense, working on budget and strategic response issues.

In 1972 he transfered to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and quickly he rose to the position of Deputy Administrator during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. After restructuring or the OMB, Tozzi came to direct the OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where he became the gatekeeper for virtually all proposed regulations dealing with public health and safety. He was still Deputy Administrator of OMB when he resigned in 1983 at age 45 to begin working as a lobbyist.

According to the Washington Post, Tozzi was effectively in charge of OMB in the 1980s when evidence emerged that giving aspirin to children with flu symptoms increased the risk of Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal complication. A federal health agency recommended legislation to enforce warnings on aspirin containers, but Tozzi took the position that the evidence was not adequate. Almost 200 children died of Reye's disease in the following years before activists could persuade Congress to enforce labelling. {Note: the syndrome is now extremely rare.] [1](See Tozzi response below)

In these early years of the 1980s (1981-85), his future partner, Thorne G Auchter, was the Assistant Secretary for Labor at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The OSHA also regulated smoking in workplaces, along with threats arising from other workplace pollutants. After leaving the OSHA he and Auchter established Federal Focus, which received funding from Philip Morris.[1]

In 1986 Thorne Auchter and Tozzi founded Federal Focus, as a 501(c)(3)}non-profit organization. At the end of 1991 Thorne Auchter founded the Institute for Regulatory Policy (IRP) as a subsidiary of Federal Focus, and James Tozzi changed his own focus to Multinational Business Services (MBS) which they founded around 1992. [2] The "EPA Watch" of May 15, 1992 mentioned Jim Tozzi as the "director of the Washington-based Multinational Business Services Inc. (MBS)". [3] By then, Tozzi and Auchter were fully involved in tobacco-support activities for Philip Morris.

Where are they now

1992 Tozzi has been a member of the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) since 1992 and currently serves as chairman of the International/Energy Workgroup. The EFAB provides advice to the Administrator and Program Offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on "how to pay" questions for environmental protection.

1996 In 1996 Jim Tozzi, James MacRea and possibly also Thorne Auchter founded the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) [4] [5] of which Tozzi and MacRea are still a "Member of the Advisory Board". [6]

2001 Tozzi was a major behind-the-scenes architect of the Data Quality Act (DQA) which he helped to become law in 2001.

2002 Thw 990 tax form this year for the non-profit Federal Focus (the last available on GuideStar) has four people listed as managers: Jim J. Tozzi (director), Barbara Tozzi (treasurer), William Kelly (secretary), and James Tang (vice president). [7] Federal Focus still uses the same address in Washington that was also used for MBS.[8] Tozzi, who played the cornet since age 7, still seems to use the Federal Focus Jazz Band as the distinguishing feature of his lobby operations. He plays for disadvantage children.

Tozzi Responds to Reye charge

Tozzi disputes the Post Article on Reye's Syndrome (Source pgs. 305 & 309, Courting Change, a book published by the Public Citizen Litigation Group) He maintains:

The Reyes Syndrome Rule (on labelling) was withdrawn from the OMB's review by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), so the assertion that Jim Tozzi rejected the proposed Reyes Syndrome labeling is completely inaccurate. The facts are, as demonstrated in the record, as follows:

  1. Sept 20 1982 The Secretary of HHS sent a proposed labeling regulation to OMB.
  2. Nov 8 1982 The American Academy of Pediatrics announces "Labeling aspirin-containing preparations as contraindicted in the treatment of influenza or chicken pox should be delayed until more conclusive evidence of the association of aspirin administration and Reye's Syndrome is shown by further investigation."
  3. Nov 18 1982 The Secretary of HHS withdrew the rule from OMB review.

The record clearly demonstrates that Tozzi did not delay the implementation of the review for years.

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