Thorne G. Auchter

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

Thorne G. Auchter was a former Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety & Health at the U.S. Department of Labor circa 1982. After leaving he became director of a group called Federal Focus, which received funding from Philip Morris.[1]

He was also the Executive Director of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness in 1997.


Thorne Auchter was born on March 6, 1945 in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Jacksonville University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968, when he started as a job site construction supervisor at Auchter Company, a family-owned construction firm based in Jacksonville. Seven years later, in 1975, he became the Executive Vice President of that company. He served in President Ronald Reagan's 1980 election campaign as special events director for Florida. On February 11, 1981 President Reagan announced that he would nominate the then 35-year-old Thorne G. Auchter to become the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA regulates smoking in working environments. [2] One of the main goals of the Administration of President Ronald Reagan was to provide industry with relief from the burden of onerous government regulation. This became Auchter's goal at OSHA. Labor unions were publicly critical of almost every move Auchter made. In September 1983 a Philadelphia-area coalition of unions called on Auchter to resign from office because of the "systematic and insidious dismantling of OSHA." [3]

In March 1984 Auchter left OSHA to become president of president of the B.B. Andersen Companies, a construction and development group located in Kansas. Controversy developed when it turned out that in 1981 he had dropped a proposed $12,680 penalty against one of the Andersen companies for safety violations. Critics accused him of accepting the job as a "quid pro quo."

In 1986 Thorne G. Auchter and Jim Tozzi founded the non-profit organization Federal Focus, Inc. and later in 1991 he founded a subsidiary of Federal Focus called Institute for Regulatory Policy (IRP). As director of this Philip Morris-funded organization, Auchter and Jim Tozzi were involved in several pro-tobacco activities.

While still at IRP, Auchter wrote to Philip Morris officials on the letterhead of Wayne Valis' Coalition for Uniform Risk Evaluation (CURE) to discuss a White House meeting that he had attended regarding the 1991 draft of the executive order.

In 1996 Jim Tozzi, James MacRea and possibly also Thorne Auchter founded the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE)[4] as a subsidiary of Multinational Business Services (MBS) and Auchter became the Executive Director of CRE. [5]

Currently he is the CEO of 'Grace Digital Media' owned by Cheryl Reagan, who also runs Federal News Service.[6] [7]

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