Wilhelm/Lux (Doc Index)
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David Wilhelm, Mike Lux with Robert McIntyre and David Senter formed a coterie of Democratic aides and lobbyists who worked both behind the scenes and in front of the media for many decades. They were highly active in the campaigns of Bill Clinton, and were rewarded with top positions in the Democratic Party and Clinton WhiteHouse.
They progressively broke into the field of corporate lobbying as an adjunct to their political careers. Wilhelm and Lux established The Strategy Group which combined political campaign strategy with crass corporate lobbying. He became a major lobbyist for the tobacco industry. Lux specialised in creating think-tanks to satisfy every political or corporate need.
This coterie all developed close bonds with the tobacco industry and the became dependent on cigarette company funding to support many of their political and commercial operations. Since their operations were so closely intertwined we have combined these timelines.
|David Wilhelm and Mike Lux were lobbying partners who headed a relatively small coterie of Democrat associates:|
|Michael Lux - Robert S McIntyre|
Ed Meyers - Bruce L Fisher
Douglas P Kelly - Michael Ettlinger
David Senter of the American Agricultural Movement (AAM)
The Strategy Group
Citizens for Tax Justice
Labor Management Committee
Cash for Comments Economists Network
James Savarese - Susan Stuntz
Wilhelm, Lux and their associates are compulsive think-tank breeders and manipulators. They are either founders or funders and operators of these Democratic think-tanks which serve to hide the backdoor funding and control.
- Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) - McIntyre & Wilhelm (union founded?)
- Leadership for the New Century - Lux and Wilhelm
- Leadership 2000 - Lux and Wilhelm
- Consumer Tax Alliance - established by Lux and Wilhelm
- People for the American Way (PFAW) - Lux is Senior VP for political action
- PFAW Foundation - Lux
- Arca Foundation - Lux on Board
- Americans United for Change - Lux cofounder/Board
- Center or Progressive Leadership - Lux cofounder/Board
- Grassroots Democrats - Lux cofounder
- PoliticsTV - Lux cofounder
- Progressive Majority - Lux cofounder
- Progressive Donor Network - Lux
- Women's Voices/Women Vote - Lux cofounder
- American Family Voices - Lux founded in 2000 (Chair) attack ads on John McCain
- Ballot Initiative Strategy Center - Lux cofounder
- (blog) OpenLeft.com - Lux cofounded in July 2007 (Matt Stoller/Chris Bowers)
- (blog) BushRecall,org]] - Lux
- Center for American Progress - Lux
- Air America - Lux
- Netroots Nation - Lux on Board
- Progressive Congress Action Fund - Lux Chair
- Alliance of Workers Against Repression Everywhere (AWARE) - Lux Chair of Advisory Board
- Americans United for Change - Lux on Board
- Democratic Strategist - Lux on Board
- The Strategy Group - both Lux and Wilhelm
- Mike Lux Media - Lux consulting firm - 1999
- Progressive Strategies - Lux cofounded - 1999
- Democratic Partners - Lux cofounder - 2011
Documents & Timeline
1978 Robert McIntyre says he was working with the Public Citizen's Tax Reform Research Group in California when Citizens for Tax Justice was created to fight for lower property tax laws in California and against the income tax cuts proposed by Howard Jarvis. CTJ was then being run by Dean Tipps 
1978-80 Wilhelm gets his Master of Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He then interned with Senator Howard Metzenbaum.
1980The Democrats fell out with Ralph Nader, and McIntyre moved over to Citizens for Tax Justice to join Dean Tipps. They jointly changed the focus from purely Californian issues to Federal, to oppose Ronald Reagan's 1981 big tax cuts. The CTJ was funded by unions and small donations from individuals and some larger ones from foundations
1981 Oct/E Reagan's proposed tax cuts were expanded into the corporate area, and passed Congress. Corporations could now sell their excess tax credits to other companies.
1984 Lux was Executive Vice President, PAC director and chief lobbyist for the Iowa AFL-CIO.
1984 Sep /E The CTJ puts our its first major corporate tax study showing enormous rates of tax avoidance among the top companies.
1984-87 Lux was Executive Director of the Iowa Citizen Action Network.
1986 May The Tobacco Institute is celebrating their success in having Professors of Economics (the surreptitious members of their Cash for Comments Economists Network) and a few others, plant many articles attacking the Packwood excise tax plan on local newspapers (as op-eds) in many states. They have circulated this long memo with headlines and placement details in various State newspapers, together with quotes from the various articles:
David Wilhelm, in the Mesa (AZ) Tribune, and the Altoona (PA) Mirror.
"Loophole lobby breathes easy..." and "Packwood tax reform..."
"...Packwood hopes to raise $75 billion over the next five years by boosting these federal sales taxes. And what would this money be used for? Reducing the deficit, you say? No such luck. ...Instead, the money raised from higher taxes on consumers would be used to finance the retention of some of the biggest corporate loopholes on the books today." David Wilhelm, in the Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin, and the Levittown-Bristol PA Courier-Times. (April 6,1986)
'Packwood favors loophole lobby and Loophole lobby finds friends in the Senate 
1986 Dec Passage of the 1986 Tax Reform Act: Reagan administration moves to reform tax system. Republican moderates like Rostenkowski, Packwood and Dole now in favor of raising taxes to balance the budget. Opposed were Kemp, Archer and Gingrich.
1987 Sep 15 The Tobacco Institute has recruited Robert S McIntye from Citizens for Tax Justice as a consultant. He is attending their "college of Tobacco Knowledge" so he can speak with some authority about cigarettes. The agenda for the Tobacco Institute's "College of Tobacco Knowledge" (which trains industry disinformation staff in how to counter industry attacks) lists him as Exec Director of the Citizens for Tax Justice 
- Note that both David Wilhelm and Robert McIntyre used the title "Executive Director" of the CTJ -- virtually indiscriminately in this period.]
1988 Jan-Nov During the 1988 election cycle both Wilhelm and Lux worked in Democratic politics.
Lux was a senior staffer on the presidential campaigns of Joe Biden.
1988 Apr 28 Sam Chilcote of the Tobacco Institute praises the work of David Wilhelm and Robert S McIntyre's Citizens for Tax Justice and the Labor Management Committee (LMC). He encloses news clippings of stories they have generated. 
1988 Aug 9 Mike Lux is faxing David Wilhelm (via the Tobacco Institute) on details of "The Upcoming Iowa Cigarette Tax Fight" He wants to enlist the "Iowa Citizen Action Network" and form a coalition of unions around this core (It has a full-time staff of 40 - so it must have been funded from other sources also). David Wilhelm scrawls an enthusiastic note on the return fax saying he knows these guys and also the TI's local lobbyist Bill Winners. They are linked to the Citizens for Tax Justice. 
1988 ?? Wilhelm resigned as Executive Director at Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), a labor-based anti-excise-tax operation run by six labor unions with membership associated with the tobacco industry, and funded mainly by the Tobacco Institute. It was handed over to their associate Robert McIntyre.
1988 Mike Lux and David Wilhelm established The Strategy Group, a PR and lobby firm, which serviced the tobacco industry. it's main client was as the public relations organisation for the Tobacco Institute's Labor Management Committee. They also set up for tobacco interests another 'grassroots' anti-excise tax operation, the Consumer Tax Alliance. They also ran two think-tanks, Leadership 2000 and Leadership for the New Century which occasionally acted as fronts for the tobacco industry.  
1988-90 Mike Lux and David Wilhelm, were sending their lobbying earnings through WLK Associates. Wilhelm became a member of the tobacco industry's Labor Management Committee, which acted as a channel to fund tobacco money to a number of liberal/Democrat organizations willing to front excise tax operations for the industry.   
1989 Jan 20 President Reagan was now replaced by President HW Bush. VP Dan Quayle is promoting a Competitiveness Council report which recommends excise tax increases as a way to reduce the deficit. This became the vehicle for the Bush administration's regulatory review activity - originally the role of the OIRA in the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) The Labor Management Committee was formed to fight this problem which the unions also saw as regressive in the extreme.
1989 Jan 4 James Savarese and his assistant Leslie Dawson are on a $10,000/month retainer (plus expenses) They are paying the expenses of the members of the Labor Management Committee which Savarese runs with union and labor consultants (paid directly). The core group are:
- Robert McIntyre, Michael Lux, and David Wilhelm (jointly running Citizens for Tax Justice and LMC)
- Robert McGlotten Legislative Director of the AFL-CIO
- William Combs of the Leadership for the New Century
- Joseph Masterson and Ray Scannell of the BC&T (Bakery, Confectionary & Tobacco union)
- Sam Dawson of USWA (steelworkers union) and husband of Leslie Dawson
- Miriam Shapiro David Schlein and Lyn Epperts of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
- Also on the LMC are lawyers and dozens of others not on Savarese's expenses list. See full list from this time 
Another note says that the:
- Citizens for Tax Justice receives $6,000 per month from the Tobacco Institute.
- Coalition on Human Needs gets $4,000 a month
- Labor Coalition for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) gets $2,000 a month
- A Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) gets $1000 a month
- Coalition of Labor Union Women get $1000 a month
- Leadership for the New Century (aka Leadership 2000) gets $2,500 a month
- Minnesota branch of the Citizens for Tax Justice gets $2,000 a month
- David Wilhelm gets $4,000 a month (now to go to WLK Associates)
- American Family Farm Foundation (David Senter) gets $5,000 mth direct, plus other for AAM via Ogilvy & Mather. 
1989 June 28 Lux and Wilhelm are offering to attend a special session of the Missouri Legislature and contact the labor 'allies' in the state. They are operating under the control of Jim Savarese then with his own company. They are planning to fight an earmarked state cigarette tax, and they believe that the two most important AFL-CIO leaders will not oppose the taxes strongly. Savarese wrote:
One potential new ally is a statewide consumer organization call the Missouri Citizen/Labor Coalition. Traditionally, they have worked on energy and health care issues, but are beginning to work on tax issues. Their director, Tom Bixby, is an old friend of mine and is open to the idea of working with us. Clearly, though, we would need to move very quickly to get their help in time for the special session. If the Tobacco Labor Management Committee and/or CTJ (Citizens for Tax Justice - controlled by the tobacco unions) decide to make any proposals for the special session, the focus would probably be on eliminating the state deduction for federal income taxes paid. 
1989 July 1 Susan Stuntz the TI's Issues Manager has sent Wilhelm to Springield to make connections with the key members of the AFL-CIO and Chicago Federation of Labor. Mike Lux and two female staff were sent on other information gathering trips. Wilhelm was charging $140 an hour at a time when that was more than a daily wage, and Lux charged $100/hr. (plus expenses) Their female staffers were changing $80-120 an hour. Total billing for June was $16,533.05. 
1990 They have now started a new Consumer Tax Alliance (CTA) supposedly "a coalition of about a dozen labor and public interest groups" which has so much money they sponsored "a series of four television advertisements to educate the public about those taxes and who pays them" (broadcast in 47 media markets in 15 states.) The labor unions supporting the CTA are suspiciously like those which support the CTJ and the Labor Management Committee, and David Wilhelm is Executive Director. 
1990 Mar 27The State of New York has passed (then vetoed) an "Act to amend the labor law, in relation to prohibiting employers from discriminating against the engagement in legal activities during non working hours." Also coupled with this was a new Indoor Air Pollution Control Act for Illinois. These are for discussion at the Fall 1990 LMC conference and golf weekend to be held in Naples, Florida. The LMC now also has Elizabeth Sears and Ann Mulholland from The Strategy Group. 
1991 Apr 22 Powell Adams & Rinehart (Jody Powell's PR company - which worked for both the Tobacco Institute and RJ Reynolds) has advised Robert McIntyre and Ed Meyers that they have scheduled a series of 5-10 minute telephone interviews (to be taped) on a CTR release about the intrinsic unfairness of excise taxes.
1992 Wilhelm was the Campaign Manager for the 1992 U.S. Presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. Lux was National Constituency Director on this Clinton campaign. Lux also served on the Clinton/Gore transition team.
1992 Feb 15A one-week series of political fund-raising dinners for Bill Clinton. This list illustrates how clever the group was in mixed its (political clients) Democratic politicians and aides with the (corporate client) Tobacco Institute staff. This allowed the tobacco executives to directly lobby those in power.
Given the length of US election period, the TI's Susan Stuntz and Martin Gleason (both top Issues Managers) must have been fed exclusively by the Democratic party for months -- along with all the core members of the TI's Labor Management Committee 
1992 Nov BILL CLINTON ELECTED PRESIDENT
Jan 1993- mid 95 Lux at WhiteHouse in charge of the 1993-94 health care reform battle
1993 Jan - Nov 1994 David Wilhelm was named Chairman of the 'Democratic National Committee. His partner Michael Lux served in the Clinton White House from January 1993 to mid-1995 as a Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison.  He was responsible for "outreach to constituencies around the major 1993-94 health care reform battle."
1993 Sept 9-12 Tobacco Institute's State Activities Division conference in Tuscon, Arizona. Bob McIntyre and Ed Meyers of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) are both now circulating a world made up of Tobacco Institute lobbying staff. 
1994 Nov MID TERM ELECTIONS (Clinton's first Mid-term elections)
1994 Aug 9 Catherine Yoe, James Savarese's assistant, has asked the Tobacco Institute for $30,970 to cover their $25,000 monthly retainer and some expenses for July. These were payments for labor leaders and think-tanks staff, mostly associated with the Labor Management Committee (LMC). They have been picking up the meal tickets at dinners in Las Vegas for a BC&T union convention -- and also minor amounts for Ed Meyers and Bob McIntyre playing golf. etc. 
1995 Apr Michael Lux left the White House. He then set up as a fund-raiser for left wing candidates.
1996 Lux was Vice Chairman of the Clinton-Gore finance committee, and also Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Business Council.
1997 Mar 10 John Jarvis of McGlotten & Jarvis (with ex AL-CIO legislative director Robert McGlotten) is handling Tobacco Institute payments to the members of the Labor Management Committee]] He wants $14,085 for expenses and retainers ($25,000/mth to Jim Savarese) for the CTJ and key unionist. A whole contingent of lobbyists have travelled to the AFL-CIO executive council meetings in Los Angeles (Feb 15-21 1997). Bob McIntyre and Ed Meyers of the CTJ receive a special reimbursement ($2,892) which includes $843 for golf. 
1998 /E According to his Wikipedia puff, Wilhelm "worked in the venture capital space." He partnered with Chicago lawyer Kevin Conlon to start an organisation called [[Wilhelm & Conlon Public Strategies] (now Conlon Public Strategies)
1999 When Lux and Wilhelm split up, Lux went on to become "co-founder and president of Progessive Strategies LLC"
(CLAIM) "Wilhelm has received honorary doctorates from Ohio University, the University of Charleston, and Wheeling Jesuit University."
2008 Feb Wilhelm and Lux are both working for Barack Obama to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.
2008 Nov - 2009 Lux on Obama/Biden transition team.
2008 /E Wilhelm is a founder of the Ohio Appalachian Business Council. He served as Head of the Steering Committee for the City of Columbus' bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and is a life-time superdelegate to the Democratic National Committee.
2010 Wilhelm served as co-chair of a successful statewide campaign in support of the Ohio Third Frontier. He is co-chair of the advisory council for the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.
2010/E He now resides in Columbus, Ohio and is "a global renewable energy developer, currently working for Hecate Energy. Co-founder of the Center for Public and Social Innovation.