Lobbying

Tobacco Lobby Powerful Presence in State Legislatures

The British Medical Association's journal "Tobacco Control" recently published Michael Givel and Stan Glantzs' article entitled: "Tobacco lobby political influence on US state legislatures in the 1990s." This article examines in great detail from previously secret tobacco cartel documents obtained through litigation, how the powerful tobacco cartel has exerted considerable political influence over tobacco control and public health legislation in all U.S. state legislatures in the 1990s.

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Lobbying Group Set Up To Back Bush's Faith-Based Initiatives Program

Conservative financiers Capital City Partners have created a lobbying organization to back President Bush's faith-based initiatives program, according to PR Week. Americans for Community and Faith-Centered Enterprises (ACFE) plans to spend "millions of dollars" to push for "faith-based" policies and encourage more private sector support for such initiatives. ACFE will be based in Washington DC. A companion research and education group, the Foundation for Community and Faith-Centered Enterprises will be based in Phoenix, AZ.

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Guest Choice & "The Food Police" Make Strange Bedfellows

Lobbyist Rick Berman runs the DC-based Guest Choice Network, a mean and nasty PR operation serving the tobacco, booze and food industries. (See PR Watch Volume 8 #1 for the inside scoop on Berman & Co.) His favorite target is often Michael Jacobson's "food police" at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

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Craig Shirley Does the Disabled

Conservative PR pro Craig Shirley has created a new front group called "Disabled Americans for Death Tax Relief," which recently ran full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times, urging Congress to abolish the federal estate tax. DADTR claims that millions of Americans would be adversely affected by the tax which the federal government places on estates over $650,000.

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Bush Policies Ease Transition For Aides Into Lobbyist Jobs

More than 150 Republicans who work as Washington lobbyists helped George Bush during his transition to power. "Coalition for Vehicle Choice lobbyist Diane Steed assisted the Department of Transportation; all-purpose lobbyist Peter Madigan helped set up the U.S. Trade Representative's office; and Jack Abramoff, who represents several Indian tribes, advised the Interior Department.

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Memo Enlists Lobbyists to Trade White Collars for Hard Hats at GOP Tax Cut Rally

A memo from the National Association of Manufacturers urged lobbyists to "dress down" when attending a rally and photo opportunity supporting George W. Bush's tax cut plan. "The Speaker's office was very clear in saying that they do not need people in suits," the memo stated. "If people want to participate -- AND WE DO NEED BODIES -- they must be DRESSED DOWN, appear to be REAL WORKER types, etc. We plan to have hard hats for people to wear. Other groups are providing waiters/waitresses, and other types of workers."

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Interior Department's Babbit and Hayes Join Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins, a top-rank law firm, has announced that the two highest-ranking former United States Department of the Interior officials are joining the firm. Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior, and David J. Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, are joining the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Secretary Babbitt joins the firm as counsel. Deputy Secretary Hayes is returning to Latham & Watkins as a partner. Hayes was previously a partner with Latham & Watkins from 1990 until he entered the Clinton Administration in March 1997.

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The Tobacco Industry's Successful Efforts to Control Tobacco Policy Making in Switzerland

This study shows how the tobacco industry manipulated opinions in Switzerland, nurturing "controversy" over the link between smoking and disease using regular media briefings and scientific meetings with carefully chosen scientists who would publicly support the industry

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Rain Dance: Mississippi's Choctaw Indians Find An Unlikely Ally In a GOP Stalwart

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff sets up and funds coalitions of conservative organizations that then work to push the agendas of his clients. Gambling, sweatshops, you name it and he represents them in Washington.

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Diplomacy for Hire

Bob Dole pulled no punches in his op-ed piece in the Boston Globe. Slobodan Milosevic, he wrote, should be indicted as a war criminal for his brutality in the Balkans. The tag line at the end of the piece identified Dole as a former Senate majority leader and past presidential candidate. What it didn't say, however, is that Dole works for the powerful Washington lobbying and law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand. The company represents -- in addition to numerous corporate clients -- the government of Slovenia, a former Yugoslavian republic and NATO ally.

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