Gene Ainsworth

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Gene Ainsworth was the chief internal lobbyist for R.J.Reynolds Tobacco during the period of the 1980s. He was the company executive responsible for funding and directing the Tobacco Institute and its Labor Management Committee.

Documents and Timelines

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