The best-kept secret in the halls of Congress -- until today -- may have been the extent to which New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, helped cigarette maker Philip Morris during her former employment as an attorney with the global law firm Davis, Polk & Wardwell. Information about her relationship with the cigarette maker wasn't included in her official biography or her campaign materials, but on Friday, March 27, 2009, the New York Times published an article describing in detail how Gillibrand, under her maiden name Kirsten Rutnik, was involved at high levels in the legal affairs of Philip Morris.
In 1998, as an attorney at Davis Polk, Gillibrand served on Philip Morris' Privilege and Crime Fraud Committee, an elite group of attorneys from both inside and outside Philip Morris. Some of Gillibrand's colleagues on the Committee were full partners in their respective law firms, which reveals the respect she earned in her service to the company.
The New York Times notes that "the economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come. ...
"For decades prior to passage of clean-water laws in the 1970s, defense firms routinely dumped perchlorate, used in rocket fuel to generate an intense burn, into the ground and waterways. The substance has tainted water supplies in at least 26 states," and is linked to such health threats as "neurological impairments for infants." Military companies and U.S.