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.
Randall W Eberts
(aka Randal and Ebert)
— A minor cash-for-comments academic economist from the University of Oregon. He appears to have only written a couple of op-eds for Oregon newspapers. He remained as a tobacco industry network lackey for only a few years and was eclipsed by Prof. Wm Mitchell. —
Eberts appears to have been a totally unsatisfactory lobbyist from the tobacco industry's point of view. He was clearly not one of the normal run of Public
Choice uber-libertarian academics who were most favoured by the industry.
Tobacco lobbyist James Savarese and Professor Robert Tollison of George Mason University collaborated in the 1980s to provide the tobacco industry, through the Tobacco Institute, with networks of academics in various disciplines who would be willing to write and sprout propaganda material ... always provided the payments for these services were not directly tracealble back to the Institute or to any of the cigarette companies.
The idea was simply that these academic 'sleepers' would be available on a cash-for-services basis when needed to counter attempts to increase excise taxes or to ban public smoking ... or just to appear as 'independent experts' at Congressional hearings and promote the industry causes.
Economist were by far the most useful of the acolyte academics because the distinction between economics and politics was never clear: so support of the cigarette companies could always be portrayed as support for free-market economics including the rights of individuals to make public choices ... small government ... or even the first Amendment to the Constitution.
The economist working for Savarese, always claim to be 'independent' 'professionals' and ' academics', and they exploited the fact that they came from some credible university. They never revealed the source of their funding in their op-eds or letters-to-the-editor.
If ever put under cross-examination, they must be able to claim (with weasel-word imprecision) that they had "never received a penny from the tobacco industry". Therefore all payments were laundered, either through tobacco industry lawyers ( usually Covington & Burling),) the principle organisers James Savarese & Associates, or through Bob Tollison's Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University.
The aim was to have, in each State, at least
willing to jump into action and write op-ed articles for their local newspaper or to appear at local ordinance or legislative hearings. Copies were always sent to any local Congressman who sat on some important (to the tobacco industry) committee.
- one academic economist,
- one academic lawyer, and
- one academic from a business management, business law, marketing or advertising discipline
The academics were always expected to wave their own and their university's credentials vigorously, and loudly proclaim their "independence' from any crass-commercial motives. And those who could boast of being 'non-smokers' were especially prized — since without this addiction, their non-dependent-on-tobacco status was thought to be proved beyond any doubt!
Unfortunately, it worked.
Some key documents
• Professor of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene.
• Chairperson of the Bronson Healthcare Group, inc.
1977–83: Assistant Professor Department of Economics, University of Oregon.
1978: PhD in Economics from Northwestern University
1981: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Texas A&M University [under network member Prof S Charles Maurice]
Randall Eberts appears to have been recruited by James Savarese in late 1984.
However the University of Oregon also housed Professor William Mitchell (Political Science) who proved to be a far more productive network operative. After 1986, Eberts remained on the Tobacco Institute's list of available economic witnesses and lobbyists, but most of the work went to Mitchell.
1985 Jan 31: Hurst Marshall has distributed this Tobacco Institute list of economists from the cash-for-comments network. It has been organise by State, and includes the names of Congressmen they wish to influence.
Attached for your information are the names of economists who have been identified by PR to assist TI on the federal cigarette excise tax issue. This economist will be detailed to make the contact with Congressmen [by sending him/them the published op-ed]:
These people are also available to testify at the state level.
If you feel that this type of witness can be of assistance to you on state cigarette tax issues, please contact Fred Panzer for details and arrangements.
Please notify your lobbyists as to the availability of these people. At the same time, you may wish to ask them for their ideas or suggestions for other economists within their states.
OREGON (Sen. Packwood)
• Professor Randall Eberts
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
1985 Feb 7: Judy Wiedemeier of the Tobacco Institute is writing to the regional lobbyists.
Attached for your information, are the names of economists who have been identified by our Public Relation department to assist T.I. on the federal cigarette excise tax issue. These people are also available to testify at the state level.
The attached list includes the contact details of this economist and also the Congressmen that are their targets.
If you feel this type of witness can be of assistance to you, please contact me for details and arrangements. If you have any ideas or suggestions for other economists within your state, please let me know, as we are always expanding our resources.
Professor Randall Eberts
University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon
1985 Feb 21: Roger Mozingo of the Tobacco Institute is sending his state directors a list of resources available to fight against excise taxes in their states. Randall Eberts heads their state list of available economic witnesses for Oregon
1985 Mar: Tobacco Institute document "Federal Markets" on the likely allies the industry has acquired to oppose the earmarking of cigarette excises for healthcare. It also includes a record of their successful activities in each state
Positive Actions by Local Allies:
Academics: Professor Randall Eberts (University of Oregon) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform and submitted to the Salem Statesman-Journal. Editor is considering for publication. A copy of the article was sent to Senate Finance Chairman Packwood.
See page 4
See Success List
1985 Dec 12: Annual Report of the Tobacco Institute's Public Relations division lists him as having:
We believe that the active and creative use of experts — our scientists in particular — gives us an edge. But without question, public smoking is our toughest challenge.
A close second is taxation. In 1985, most of our resources in this area were focused on the federal situation.
That being the case, we concentrated almost exclusively on the home districts and offices of the 56 members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees.
We identified and utilized economists from universities in 48 of those districts. Some testified at the four federal tax hearings in which had interest. Others participated in academic symposia attended by Congressional staffers. Others communicated directly with their Congressmen.
And 34 of them wrote op-ed articles on the need to consider excises as part of tax reform. Many of these articles appeared in the principal newspaper in the targeted districts which have, by our estimation, a total circulation of nearly 4 million.
The economists were of great help. [SNIP]
Professor Randall Eberts (University of Oregon) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform and submitted to the Salem Statesman-Journal. Editor is considering for publication.
A copy of the article was sent to Senate Finance Chairman Packwood.
1986–93: Assistant Vice President and Economist, Head, Regional and Applied Micro Group, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
1986 Jan: The Tobacco Institute's Public Relations Resource Catalogue for their Regional Directors, lists documents, booklets, article, posters and people who can help them fight local public smoking ordinances and threats to raise the excise taxes on cigarettes.
It provides a long list of economists who are willing to speak at hearings, write letters to the editor, or create op-eds for the newspapers to counter any threat to public smoking or possible increase in excise taxes.
The Tobacco Institute offered their Regional Directors the C/Vs of all of these economists, and said
"Requests for economists should be made ASAP. Allow at least one week. PR approval needed." He is listed [along with 50 other economists] as a contact in:
He is available on two weeks notice as a witness for hire.
- Professor Randall Eberts
Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Public Smoking/Witness: Local economists are available on two-weeks notice to provide economic testimony on the public smoking issue. Those economists who have testified or prepared op-ed pieces on the economic effects of public smoking are marked accordingly. The others may be briefed on the potential cost to government of implementing smoking restrictions.
Tax witness: [He will] "explain why excise taxes are regressive and unfair to consumers and unsuitable and unreliable as a means to increase the federal revenue."
Those economists who have testified or prepared op-ed pieces on the economic effects of public smoking are marked accordingly. The others may be briefed on the potential cost to government of implementing smoking restrictions.
1986 May: A bundle of 72 pages of information is being circulated by the Tobacco Institute to its Regional Directors. The data is predominantly on the tobacco-industry beat-up known as Sick Building Syndrome and on the general problems of Indoor Air Quality [all down-playing the effects of smoking in confined spaces]
Section 1 is headed
List of sources. Local and national experts you can call for quotes or background information. It promotes the services of three specialist lobbyists
They have also provided a list of the 52 Professors of Economics from various State Universities who can be called on to provide services for roughly $1000 a time: This economists name and address are included under "Tobacco & Taxation (listed by state, alphabetically)".
- Lewis Solmon - an academic who discounts problems of workplace smoking
- Al Vogel - who claims to be an expert in public attitudes to smoking
- Mike Forscey, a labor lawyer/lobbyist who helped the tobacco industry keep the union movement on-side.
1986 May 30: Fred Panzer of the Tobacco Institute was contacting British-American Tobacco's PR executive, Tom Humber [also Burson-Marsteller and National Smoking Alliance] sending him some of the examples of the network economists.
Enclosed are: (1) The first wave of 27 op-ed reprints, (2) A second wave of 32 op-ed articles (21 published and 11 unpublished), sent out on Packwood's first tax reform proposal.
He also lists 21 of the economist and provides copies of many of their recent articles.
I've also included one on the Chase [Economtrics] study. There are a few others being rounded up, as well as a syndicated excise tax feature series we developed. Out of all this should come something useful for your people.
Eleven of the network economists have submitted their articles but had them rejected:
- Florida — Wagner — Tampa Tribune and Washington Times
- Indiana — Bohanon — Muncie Star
- Maine — McMahon — Portland Press Herald
- Minnesota — Raab — Minneapolis Star & Tribune
- Missouri — Denzau — St Louis Post Dispatch
- Montana — Anderson — Billings Gazette
- New Jersey — Crew — Wall Street Journal
- New York — Greene — New York Times and Newsday
- North Dakota — Doblitz — Forum
- Oregon — Eberts — Oregonian, Statesman-Journal, and Washington Times
- Tennessee — Anderson — Knoxville Journal, Memphis Commercial Appeal, and Chattanooga Times.
1986 Oct 3: The State Directors for the Tobacco Institute have been reviewing all economics network witnesses in their territories, and culling those who are not actively participating. The Washington DC office is now circulating to its State Directors a list of the economists available who...
"...have been identified in several states by J. Savarese as available and hopefully capable to testify in our behalf, or aid in our defense against proposed state of local legislation, from an economic aspect. This list differs from others in providing a list of the economic specialities of each network economist, along with the Congresmen they were designated to influence. He is listed as specializing in:
OREGON (Sen. Packwood)
Professor Randall Eberts
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 503-686-4661
[Specializing in] Regional economics; fiscal policy; public finance.
1986 Dec 11: James Savarese sends Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute a summary of the activities of his network of economists. This is effectively the beginning of the main cash-for-comments economists network.
Dear Fred, There are now 62 names on the list (Some states have 4 or 5) not counting himself and Bob Tollison. The details given for each consist of State, Regional Division [of the TI], Name, Address and Telephone number. Added to this is a list of the 'Projects' they have completed (in later lists, also the names of Congressmen they have contacted.)
I have attached a list of all the economists we have used along with the projects they have worked on in behalf of the Tobacco Institute.
Virtually all of these cash-for-comment academics have been generating op-ed articles for newspapers, or have, in some unspecified way, opposed the Packwood Excise Tax plan — or perhaps helped fake up one of the 'Chase' [Econometrics studies]. A few participants have attended Congressional or government inquiries ['Treasury I') or local ordinance hearings as 'independent witnesses' while secretly acting for the tobacco industry. Two of the 64 members (Ann Harper-Fender and Gary Anderson) were acting termporarily as advisors to Ronald Reagan's Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations— which sought to bring pressure on the FDA, EPA and OSHA and stop them being pro-active with smoking bans.
Other participants have been promoting the industry line at various academic conferences and fora [mainly as keynote speakers at economic society meetings] , and a few of the core-team were involved in brianstorming sessions with members of the tobacco industry looking for new angles for their PR, and for possible research project which might generate some economic propaganda for the industry.
Many of them have joined in with the industry's orchestrated letter-writing campaigns opposing workplace smoking bans.
The references for this state was:
- "Packwood" = a letter-writing and op-ed campaign about the Reagan/Packwood tax plan.
- GSA = Government Services Administration.
- 'Ways & Means' = Congressional committee on finances
- ALEC = American Legislative Exchange Council (a formal organiation designed for big business to directly influence (bribe!) Congressional and State politicians)
- Chase Econometrics = A company that did economic impact studies for the tobacco industry in various locations to 'prove' that smoking bans would destroy local economies.
OREGON [ Region V ]
Professor Randall Eberts
Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403, 503-686-4672 Professor William Mitchell
- original excise tax op-ed
Department of Political Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403,
- GSA letter writing campaign
1987 March: The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CED), Mt Auburn Associates, and Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) produced a booklet "Making the Grade: The Development Report Card for the States." which referenced Eberts.
- The Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) had, as staff in 1986
James Savarese, who ran the network economists, was also the Tobacco Institute's liason with the CTJ. They were also part-funded by the tobacco industry and expected to lobby against cigarette excise taxes.
- David C Wilhelm, Executive Director, (who worked for the Tobacco Institute)
- Robert S McIntyre, Director Federal Tax Policy, (who worked for the Tobacco Institute).
- Fritz Wiecking, Organizing Director
- Edward R Myers, Program Director
- Jeff Spinner, Policy Analyst
- John Anzalone, Legislative Assistant
- Veronica Gibson, Office Manager
- The CED, run by Robert Friedman, was associated with the Citizens for Tax Justice.
- The ITEP received a grant of between $50,000 and $100,000 pa from Philip Morris as an "Affiliate of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) — specifically to fight the Clinton Health plan in the 1990s.
While many studies of infrastructure have been published in the past five years, the most recent, and in many ways most illuminating, is Randall Eberts's "Estimating the Contribution of Urban Infrastructure to Regional Growth," Working paper 8610 for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, December 1986.
1988: Randall W. Eberts & Timothy J. Gronberg, "Can competition among local governments constrain government spending?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 2-9
1991–92: Senior Staff Economist, President's Council of Economic Advisors
1992 /E: Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Researve Bank of Cleveland
1993: Eberts became Executive Director of the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.