This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Kirk Blalock was clearly hired by Philip Morris to exploit his links to the Republican National Convention (RNC) where he had been assistant to the Chairman. He was shifted into Public Affairs with the vague title "Corporate Affairs Associate", and indications of him doing anything at all are sparce — suggesting that he was a person-to-person lobbyist who wasn't required to report on his activities, or that he was highly effective in purging the company files of any incriminating documents.
1995 Sept 1: Kirk Blalock turns up at the International Democrat Union conference in Seoul, Korea as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Republic National Committee . The IDU is a society put together by the staff of Margaret Thatcher and named on the Lewis Carrol's LookingGlass principle of calling an organisation "Democrat" while inviting only conservatives Republicans.
He may well have been working for Philip Morris at this time, since the company often paid the salaries of staff working for political parties.
1996 Jan: He must have been hired officially about this time, but there is no record of his arrival in the company.
1996 Feb: /E The Communications Plan for the Public Affairs unit of Philip Morris is preparing for an adverse finding in the Miami class action known as the Engle Case. Kirk is now working for PM in Public Affairs and he has been given responsibility for lobbying "Non-elected political and business organisations and individuals" along with his immediate superior, Tom Collamore . He is to lobby the "RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson, National Association of Manufacturers, and US Chambers of Commerce."
1997 July 9: Lunch meeting with [Republican] Governor Frank Keating from Oklahoma who has "graciously agreed to have lunch with us in his official capacity as Governor in an effort to 'get to know' the people at Philip Morris."
Governor Keating's term has been marked by a significant emphasis on shaping the state to fit the needs of business. In Oklahoma City, Keating has heavyhanded support from the Gaylord-owned newspaper The Daily Oklahoman for an aggressive and conservative pro-business agenda. In Oklahoma City, Keating has heavyhanded support from the Gaylord-owned newspaper The Daily Oklahoman for an aggressive and conservative pro-business agenda.
- Tom Cole, Oklahoma Secretary of State. who was a professional lobbyist and still has a lobbying company. He is President of Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates (CHS). CHS specializes in strategic planning, survey research, marketing, and public relations.
- Scott Reed who was a Philip Morris Washington DC 'consultant' (political lobbyist) who works for Chesapeake Associates. He was the former 1996 Dole for President Campaign Manager.
- Ed Beauchemin, Regional Director, Government Affairs
- Kirk Blalock, Corporate Affairs Associate
- Tom Collamore, VP Public Affairs
- Phil Davis, VP, Corporate Relations Programs
- George Knox, VP, Corporate Affairs Strategy & Communications
- Rosemary Ripley, VP, Corporate Business Development
- Ralph Rogers, Director, Financial and Political Analysis
- Tim Sompolski, Senior VP, Human Resources and Administration
- Andrew Whist, Senior VP, External Affairs
1997: There is a great gap in file documents with his name (they must have been culled) until he is ccd in a memo about the vaguely-termed '1997 Proposals.'
1997 Dec 8: lists him on a PM International conference call'
1998 /E: He is the Public Affairs representative on PM's own "Policy Advisory Committee" which is determining the organisations which will receive the annual Philip Morris grants/gifts. This is their grant review and approval process.
This is a PM Companies activity (it specifies PMUSA for Merlo and Comes)
1998 Aug 18: Weekly Report of the "Federal Tobacco Team" suggests he is mainly acting as a Congressional lobbyist.
1998 Sep 25: He is officially appointed:
Manager, Public Affairs, Philip Morris Management Corp . Kirk is responsible for managing the public policy organizations grantmaking process in Corporate Affairs. Kirk also works closely with the Washington Relations Office, State Government Affairs and the Corporate Contributions group on charitable and political contributions. Kirk will continue to report to Tom [Collamore]. This position puts him in charge of the grants-for-services project, and so provides the Republican party's "non-profit" supporting organizations with a direct pipeline into Philip Morris koffers.
The position also carries the responsibility for organizing PHILPAC, the company's main campaign funding/political bribery operation.
1999 Jan 26: A statement is made by Paul Weyrich of Coaltitions for America entitled "New Assault on Tobacco a Smokescreen for Attack Against Freedom" . It is listed in PM's report on Policy Organization activities.
Weyrich also writes letters to Hon Hudd Gregg and Hon Harold Rogers (both on March 10) and Licht writes to Hon Pete Dominici on March 16 and to Hon Trent Lott (June 18)
[Copies of some these letters ... and also those menioned below ... are sent to Philip Morris to confirm that the letters had been sent]
1999 Jan 29: Eric Licht , President of Coalition for America ( Paul Weyrich 's outfit) writes a one-line request for fifty grand in cash to Philip Morris ... apparently it doesn't need any further discussion.
Dear Mr. Blalock:
I am requesting $50,000 for Coalitions for America, a 501c (4) organization, for general support.
Eric Licht, President
See also the Philip Morris list
1999 Feb 3: Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform has written a letter to 'Radio Show Host' and [issued a] Press Release "Another Day, Another Tax" (These are all listed in PM's Policy Organizations documents.)
He also wrote a letter for PM to Hon Jim Jensen on March 12, and another to Hon Olympia Snowe (March 16), Hon Robert Aderhold (Apr 28), Hon Jennifer Dunn (May 4) and helped PM with a conference.
1999 Feb 5: John Berthoud , President of the National Taxpayers Union writes saying:
I would like to request a grant of $50,000 from Philip Morris. [He ccs his letter to Bob Reese, his handler]
They had put an advertisement in Roll Call Magazine on March 25, rather than writing letters.
1999 Feb 18: Blalock sends a memo to Frank Gomez (of Corporate Affairs) asking for PM to raise its grant to The Media Institute back to previous levels.[This was another Richard Mellon Scaife -funded operation]
Per the attached invoice, I request that the Public Policy Advisory Task Force consider and approve a grant for $25,000 for general operating support for The Media Institute . I met with President Patrick Maines last week and reviewed the full scope of our relationship and PM opportunities for 1999.
Notwithstanding the narrow focus of TMI, i.e., First Amendment Freedoms, the institution's convening power, its publications, its regular fora, its potential platform opportunities for PM, and its willingness to engage audiences on issues more than justify this level of funding.
As you will recall, our funding had been at $25,000 for several years, and we agreed to reduce it last year to $20,000. Thank you.
1999 Feb 22: Blalock is dealing with the links to Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Philip Morris has given this Republican lobby and strategy operation $200,000.
1999 March 9: Citizens for a Sound Economy lined up with their handout fairly late in the New Year — but were only a little less perfunctory in their requests.
Dear Mr Blalock,
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) requests that Philip Monis support our efforts to fight increased government spending. taxes, and regulation with a contribution of $100,000.
They had already proved their value with letter writing to Hon Trent Lott and Hon Dennis Hastert (Feb 16), then to Lott and Hastert again on March 25 along with Hon John Kasich and Hon Pete Domenici — then they really got into the swing of things by issuing three "Comments" (June 3, 7, 14) and an "Issues Analysis" (June 14) — followed by another letter to Trent Lott, and publishing a handout entitled "Who Profits Most from Smoking" (June 1999).
1999 March 10: Tom Borelli , the Director of Science & Policy Issues (the disinformation and manipulation division of PMUSA) passed off to Kirk a request from the American Spectator magazine (part funded and controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife ) for "a contribution of $50,000 for the general support of the magazine."
The magazine had been a good and faithful friend to the tobacco industry over the years, providing active support for its LIBERTAD scam — and it had pursued Bill and Hillary diligently over Whitewater, Troopergate, Gennifer Flowers, and various other highly confected scandals which were a useful at diverting the Adminstration's attention away from health care reform.
1999 Mar 22: Clare Barlow of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF) demonstrates her creativity by managing to combine junk-science, anti-femanist and Ghostbusters slants into her hand-out request.
["Counter the nonsense and stifle the litigation frenzy" was a nice touch. They probably sent her a carton of Virginia Slims for that line.]
The recent National Press Club televised IWF seminar called Scared Sick examined the unfounded health/science fears and litigation frenzy.
This year we all watched and helped radical feminism literally fall apart. Like Kate O'Beirne says, "American women betrayed by feminism need IWF like a fish needs water..." We know we have the platform, the message, and the moment.
Philip Morris has been a friend to IWF in the past for good reason. (Two years ago you gave us a $15,000 grant). After all, who 'ya gonna call when you need a sensible, intelligent woman's voice? Your yearly support can keep us competitive in the marketplace of ideas.
For this important junk science project, please help with a gift of $20,000 to underwrite our work in the press to counter the nonsense and stifle the litigation frenzy. You just might have a team member that can make the difference.
1999 April 6: Eric Licht of Coalitions for America sent another identical letter to their February request — either they hadn't sent the cheque for the first lot of letter-writing or maybe this was a second $50,000 for the year.
[Kirk was busy collecting contributions for the company's PAC, so maybe he forgot]
1999 May 19: Grover Norquist was back with another chummy request for an injection of more cash into his Americans for Tax Reform operation.
This is a formal request for $250,000 in general support for the work of Americans for Tax Reform .
Americans for Tax Reform opposes any and all tax increases and fights onerous regulations on both the federal and state level.
Grover G. Norquist, President
2000: From this point on the tobacco archives begin to get thin and nothing incriminating is put down on paper. The files are obviously culled at about this date.