The San Francisco Chronicles reports, "Big oil and energy firms are contributing heavily to political parties and pouring millions into expensive ads to boost their interests, hoping to swing support behind President Bush's embattled energy plan, a new study shows." The paper cites a study released by the Washington-based watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics, which shows how business and industry are bankrolling large ad campaigns to influence the political process.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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