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A top Republican dealmaker and full-time professional lobbyist on behalf of the tobacco industry and other industries with poisoning and polluting problems, who in 2003 became the Governor of Mississippi.
Haley ('Hale') Barbour is listed among the top 25 lobbyists in Washington for very good reasons. He is at the head of one of America's most successful lobbyshops, Barbour Griffin & Rogers, and he has long been a top deal-maker and king-maker in the Republican Party (as the chairman of the Republican National Committee).
He was the Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs for two years during the term of President Ronald Reagan.
His company now represents all of the major tobacco companies in some way, and many other large corporations besides. Barbour himself is widely acknowledged as a lead player in the successful effort to slip a $50 billion tobacco industry tax break into the 1997 budget bill. (After this sneak attack was discovered, the Senate voted 95-3 to repeal it).
And while Karl Rove is now well-known as the tobacco-industry lobbyist (the "governor's Svengali") behind Texas governor George W Bush's successful bid for the White House, it is less well-known that millions of dollars in tobacco industry soft-money funding for Bush was organised and conducted by Barbour, who managed to keep more out of the limelight. Arguably Barbour, as Republican king-maker and fund-raiser, was more important to Bush than Karl Rove.
Barbour was one of ten members of Governor Bush's National Presidential Exploratory Committee in 1999 and in the following year he chaired the 'Bush for President Campaign Advisory Committee' in Washington, DC.
Barbour is also involved in "tort-reform" which is a euphemism for emasculation of the product liability laws and a restriction on the citizen's right to claim compensation for damages from harmful products.
He wields power within the Oval Office of the White House. In 2003, Southern Co. (energy producer) was faced with a series of EPA prosecutions over power plants which were violating air-quality standards. The company retained Haley Barbour to lobby the administration to ignore Southern's violations, and the White House forced the Justice Department to drop the prosecution. Eric Schaeffer, the EPA's chief enforcement officer, then resigned over the interference.
At the same time, with the help of his business partners acting as campaign managers, Barbour was campaigning to be elected Governor of Mississippi. He was, in 2004.
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• Barbour Griffith & Rogers
• Karl Rove
• tort reform
• Pres. George Bush