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.
David N Laband
— A minor cash-for-comments economist from the University of Maryland who worked for the tobacco industry and was associated with Tollison's Center for the Study of Public Choice and with Tollison himself. —
Professor David Laband was one of the first academics to join the Tobacco Institute's surrepticious network of academics available on a cash-for-comments basis to write op-eds for local newspapers, or appear as witnesses in local, State or Federal hearings to protest smoking bans or cigarette excise tax hikes.
The cash-for-comments economists network everntually had between 50 and 100 economists at various US State and private universities, who were signed up to work behind the scenes for the tobacco industry by Professor Robert D (Bob) Tollison and his partner James Savarese. Most did so with the proviso that their links to the industry were protected from discovery, and that payments were laundered by being passed through one or more corporate bank-accounts.
It worked this way:
This was a clear attempt to influencing Congressmen and the public through the media, utilising the special privileges and respect given to university academics on the understanding that they will not harm the public by working on behalf of special interests.
- The economists were commissioned when needed.
- They passed drafted op-eds back to Savarese and Tollison for embellishment and checking,
- These were then cleared for legalities by tobacco industry lawyers.
- They were then returned to the economists with instructions to send them to newspapers designated by the Tobacco Institute,
- Copies were also to be sent on university letterhead to a list of Congressmen in their home State [usually those on key Congressional Committees].
The economists were paid between $1000 and $3000 for planting these articles on a major newspaper, then sending a letter and op=ed copy to Congresmen. If they did some faux-research for the tobacco industry, or took part in publishing a book, etc. they could earn $10 to $30,000. This was significan money for many of these second-rate academics.
A few of the more money-hungry of these economists were willing to provide witness statements for the Tobacco Institute at Congressional or local ordinance hearings, and some would go on two- or three-day media tours, if some excuse would be found for them to be interviewed by regional print journalists, or on various radio and TV shows.
To expand and develop these 'media tours', the Tobacco Institute retained a national PR company, Fleishman-Hillard.
In order to manage such a group, Anna Tollison, the wife of Professor Robert Tollison, and two staffers from the Center for the Study of Popular Choice (George Mason University), began to work part-time with James Savarese whose company James Savarese & Associates acted as the front and cut-out between the economists and the Tobacco Institute.
Note that, in his C/V, David Laband gives as referees James M Buchanan and Robert Tollison, both of George Mason's Center for the Study of Public Choice, and Alan S Sorkin, Chair of the Economics Department, University of Maryland.
Some key documents
• Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore MD
Laband's References came from James Buchanan, Robert Tollison, and Alan Sorkin
1956 July 13: Born, Newport News, Virginia
1956 July 31: Born Newport News, Virginia
1973 /E: Attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and then the State University, Blacksburg Virginia
1978: BA in Economics
1980: MA in Economics
1981 Aug: PhD in Economics, Virginia Polytechnic.
1981 Nov: to July 1982 Visiting Fellow, Center for Study of Public Choice at Virginia Polytechnic [Before it shifted to George Mason Uni]
1982 Sep: became Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1984 March: He has written a paper presented at the Public Choice Society.
Cigarette Excise Tax Plan 1984 July
The Tobacco Institute's plan involving the recruitment of academic economists in each US State:
The program recommends that economic and other consultants assist us in developing, "packaging," and presenting our anti-excise arguments in legislative testimony or meetings with coalition members.
Economic consultants with different areas of expertise will conduct research and act as spokespersons for The Institute and organizations supported by The Institute. Specific activities with economists are discussed throughout the tactics.
- Encourage economists to make the case against regressive taxation in meetings with potential coalition members and legislators.
- Retain public finance economists affiliated with non-profit organizations to research the subject and use their findings in forums such as:
- Private meetings with state legislators or staff ;
- formal testimony before government bodies ;
- targeted media appearances;
- speeches before business, civic, labor, and other groups ;
- tax symposia in key states where the proceedings could be published for use in other states ; and
- articles which raise the visibility of key arguments in the business, academic, and popular press.
Appendix: A list of economists in key states who may be willing to act as industry and third-party spokespersons on the tax issue.
Following is a list of economists in key states who might assist us as experts receiving honoraria. We have begun contacting them to ensure their willingness and expertise. We are asking each about past experience; work with similar issues; previous work with the industry; published articles or research; and availability.
Our intent is to have a group of individuals whom we can call upon as needed to testify, conduct special research and discuss their research projects and/or views on excise taxes with budget officials, potential coalition members, legislators and the media.
Laband's C/V was sent to the Tobacco Institute in October 1984.
At this time he was Assistant Professor, Department of Economics,
University of Maryland,
1985–86: The Center for Policy Studies at Clemson University appeared to be publishing many studies by the cash-for-comments economists, McKenzie, Shughart, Tollison, Kimenyi, Yandle, Matt Lindsay, Maloney, McChesney, Staaf, and Laband — and others not apparently in the network.
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.
• Professor David Laband
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Catonsville, Maryland
[No Congressman was given to Laband]
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. David Laband heads their state list of available economic witnesses for Maryland.
1985 June 30 to Sep 6: The Tobacco Institute has arranged the weekly syndication of a series of Opinion pieces, comparing statements of four economists (varied weekly) on various subjects. This system of PR distribution is known as a "matte", and is widely used by cheap give-away newspapers who can't afford to pay for writers or lay-out staff.
These give-away propaganda sheets have been picked up and run by newspapers; presumably in the belief that they are worthy articles of economic opinion. The economists quoted are:
[They were all from the same Austrian/Randian 'school' of unencumbered free-market politics.]
- K Celese Gaspari (Uni of Vermont) — a cash-for-comment economist
- David N Laband (Uni of Maryland) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Fred McChesney (Emory Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Dean Tipps — nominally a union official — actually Citizens for Tax Justice lobbyist
- Allen M Parkman (Uni of New Mexico) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Richard Vedder (Ohio Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Roger Faith (Arkansas State Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Lee Alston (Williams college) — a cash-for-comment economist
- William Hunter (Marquette Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Dennis Logue (Dartmouth College) — a cash-for-comment economist
- William Shughart (George Mason Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Harold Hochman (City Uni of New York) — a cash-for-comment economist
- David Wilhelm (Citizens for Tax Justice) — think-tank lobbyist
- Joseph Jadlow (Oklahoma State Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Robert Ekelund (Auburn Uni) — a cash-for-comment economist
- Thomas Borcherding (Claremont Grad. School) — a cash-for-comment economist
1985 Oct: Laband has written an article for the Southern Economic Journal: "Publishing Favoritism; A Critique of Departmental Rankings
Based on Quantitative Publishing Performance". He is not touting for the tobacco industry in this one.
1986 Jan: The Tobacco Institute's Public Relations Resource booklet for their Regional Directors and State lobbyists. It 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, or write letters to the editor, or op-eds for the newspapers to counter the public smoking or excise tax threat. It lists him as:
He is available on two weeks notice as a witness for hire.
- Professor David Laband, Department of Economics,
University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Gatonsville, MD
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.
|Chase Econometrics = BULLSHIT|
| 1986 Feb 26: Richard Wagner wrote a private note to his friend Robert Tollison. |
Here is a draft copy of my op-ed piece on the Chase bullshit.
[They were promoting a series of faux-economic impact studies on the effects of smoking bans which were done for the Tobacco Institute in specific cities, by Chase Econometrics.]
There is some really wacko stuff in that model: increased employment increases wages, but wages have nothing to do with employment; higher wages increase inflation, but inflation has nothing-to do with wages, and money has nothing to do with inflation. Inflation has nothing to do with interest rates. And....
At any rate, I can live with the enclosed essay or some modestly revised version of it, but there is no way I can get any deeper into multiplier effects, interindustry flows, and the like
1986 Feb 24: Craig Barnes (TI Media Relations department) memo to William Kloepfer at the Tobacco Institute about the use of various Chase Econometrics studies [See below] which have been done in a number of states to produce data which is guaranteed to support the industry lobbying.
The Media Relations department had been enlisted to support the Issues Management division which normally ran the economists network. They were to make direct contact and conduct briefings with journalists and editors of most of the major newspaper and broadcasting outlets and feed them information derived from the relevant Chase study done in their area.
These 'Chase' economic studies were customised to suit the tobacco industry's requirements and were conducted in the various states when legislation or local ordinances threatened. Sometimes one of the network economists would be included in the Chase team (certainly the following press briefing) to give it more credibility. Barnes advised Kloepfer that:
In an approved revision of the plan it was decided that including a state economist in the briefings created too large a briefing team and that we would counter subsequent anti's criticism more effectively by using the economists for op-ed pieces. The approved revision has been followed.
[They prefer to leave the economists underground so they can pretend to be 'independent commentators' and not raise suspicions that they are employed by the tobacco industry.]
[Included] A list of the economic consultants who have completed and submitted Chase op-ed articles.
ACTION: Such op-ed pieces have been completed and pitched in each market we've entered so far.
The following drafts have been recieved and, with minor revisions, are ready to go.
- St. Louis — Richard McKenzie, Washington University
- Baltimore — David Laband, University of Maryland
- Chicago — Henry Butler, University of Chicago
- Houston — same
- New York — Michael Crew, Rutgers University
- Atlanta — Dwight Lee, University of Georgia
- Philadelphia — Jack Militello, Wharton
[Note that they were running the 'Chase Econometrics' project in parallel with the Packwood Excise Tax/Op-ed Project.]
1986 Mar 13: Savarese writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute about the "Chase Study/Op-eds".
- The St Louis article has been approved and submitted to the St Louis Despatch.
- The Baltimore article has been approved, but not yet submitted.
- John Militello's Philadelphia article is awaiting approval
- Richard Wagner's Miami article is being discussed.
- Four new articles are enclosed
- Maryland (by David Laband)
- Chicago (by Henry Butler)
- (Another by Butler) for either Dallas or Houston
- New York (by Michael Crew)
- Atlanta (by Dwight Lee)
- In writing stages are articles for
- Los Angeles (by Thomas Borsherding)
- Cleveland (by Richard Vedder)
[Note how flexible they are between Dallas and Houston — the articles can quickly be modified to suit the city]
1986 Apr 3: James Savarese writes to his stable of economists on "New Research Opportunities."
I would like to thank you for all of your cooperation and diligence in handling the projects we have worked on together. I am taking this opportunity to alert you to some new research opportunities that may be available in the upcoming weeks.
He includes an OTA paper on the dangers of smoking and also
The Tobacco Institute is interested in considering research proposals which would establish a much more realistic examination of the social cost issue as it relates to the smoking issue.
rebuttals developed by Bob Tollison and Richard Wagner to the OTA report.
The scent of possible money must have generated substantial academic enthusiasm. David Laband is listed as one of the recipients for this letter on the "Brainstorming" project.
The Institute would like to examine proposals for research that test, in a quantitative way, a number of propositions on the relevant cost considerations that apply to the smoking issue.
If some aspect of this interests you, please provide me with a brief (1-2 page) description of any project you have in mind by April 30. Please include a cost approximation.
1986 Apr 3: This appears to be the approved copy of the letter on "New Research Proposals" that Jim Savarese sent to his long list of network economists.
[This letter leaves no doubt that these academic economist knew that they were being paid to protect the interests of the tobacco industry.]
The economist were also being given outline "rebuttals" developed by Tollison and Wagner to help them in writing their counter-attacks to an an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) anti-smoking report.
I would like to thank you for all of your cooperation and diligence in handling the projects we have worked on together. I am taking this opportunity to alert you to some new research opportunities that may be available in the upcoming weeks. This went out to the long list of cash-for-comments economist on the network.
As you know, the tobacco industry is exposed continuously to a barrage of attacks on economic issues. Many of these attacks involve a serious perversion of the concept of social cost. The Tobacco Institute is interested in considering research proposals which would establish a much more realistic examination of the social cost issue as it relates to the smoking issue.
I have attached a report prepared by the staff of the Office of Technology Assessment which is representative of the kind of "research" being put forth by anti-tobacco activists. I have also included the rebuttals developed by Bob Tollison and Richard Wagner to the OTA report.
The Institute would like to examine proposals for research that test, in a quantitative way, a number of propositions on the relevant cost considerations that apply to the smoking issue.
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.
|Chase Econometrics Studies|
| 1986 May 19: Scott Stapf at the Tobacco Institute sent to Peter Sparber a "Final report on the Chase Econometrics project." It detailed the successes of the 'Chase Campaign' |
(including slide show)
- Press promotion: City press tours of Sacramento, Columbus, Albany (failed in New York City) Florida still to come.
- Letters to the Editor being generated through field staff and TI media team members.
- Economists op-eds (using Chase data) through the Savarese network
- Smaller business publications
- Major industry trade releases (Doremus & Co)
- Labor publications (they have briefed Ms Jacobsen)
- Materials production - all printed and readied for distribution
1986 Oct 3: A Tobacco Institute report on the economists network, lists the Congressmen they are expected to influence and the economist's various (claimed) academic specialities and interests.
This early list is probably the most detailed of all. A later section of this 43 page document also runs through the 28 main states giving the names and details of witnesses willing to speak to legislators on Taxes (almost exclusively economists), and those available as witnesses for the tobacco industry on Public Smoking issues (economists and a range of others)
A major effort had also been made recently to enlist fire officers and brigades to counter demands for a 'fire-safe' cigarette which had low ignition propensity.
[Economist:] Professor David Laband, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland
[Speciality:] Industrial organization; public policy, public choice, political science.
| Tax Witnesses: ||Materials available|
|David Laband|| MD data card|
"Excise Taxes: The Fairness Issue"
"More Taxes on Tobacco...."
Earmarking topic sheet
Letter writing brochure.
| Public Smoking W/ss: ||Materials available|
|Al Vogel (productivity)|
Steve Schlossberg (labor implications)
Lew Solmon (economics)
Bob Klotz (enforcement)
Response Analysis summaries
Public Smoking topic sheet
"Some Considerations" workplace kits
"In Defense of Smokers" reprint
"The Other Side of the Smoking Controversy" reprint
Letter writing brochure
| Fire: |
|Fire Safety Education Grant to:||City of Baltimore Fire Dept.|
Peter J O'Connor
|New Tools for Volunteer Fire Fighters|
| Media Relations: |
|Contacts are in place in Baltimore. Contact Bill Toohey for assistance.|
1986 Oct 3: The State Directors for the Tobacco Institute have been evaluating 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. Laband is listed as:
Professor David Laband
University of Maryland,, Baltimore County, Catonsville, Maryland
[Specializing in] Industrial organization; public policy, public choice, political science.
1986 Nov: "The Demand for and Supply of Advertising as Information" by David Laband. This is part of the "Working Paper Series" (No 28) published through Clemson University's "Center for Policy Studies".
Also "The Durability of Informational Signals and the Content of Advertising," by David N. Laband. No. 30 (January 1987)
Another Working Paper (No 37) published at about the same time was "Finessing the Political System: The Cigarette Advertising Ban" by Mark L. Mitchell and J. Harold Mulherin, both professors at Clemson, with Mark Mitchell being on leave from the Office of the Chief Economist, Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Work Activities report of Ed Battison at the Tobacco Institute confirmed the TI funded and controled some publications through Clemson's Center for Policy Studies Working Papers. Battison reports that he:
- Commented on Lindley Clark editorial in WSJ on tobacco advertising with reference to the Clemson paper No. 37 for a) Laura P. and b) Fred. Panzer. [maybe Laura Petrou - Tom Daschle's CofS]
- Reviewed and wrote a commentary on the Clemson Working Paper No. 37 from Center For Policy Studies, "Finessing the Political System: The Cigarette Ad Ban (July, 1987), for Fred Panzer expanded it and formalized it into a short paper for Fred.
See paper in B&W files http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/edy15f00/pdf
1986 Dec 8: Sam Chilcote is summing up the Tobacco Institute's activities in fighting the Packwood Tax Plan which attempted to impose special excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol and fuel (in the oil crisis years) to reduce use. Packwood also wanted to make these taxes and tarffs non-deducatable for federal income tax purposes.
The document bundle (219 pages) includes:
- Pages 2 to 34: A major study done for the TI by Policy Economics Group
- Pages 35 to 50: Another major study commissioned from DeSeve Economics for the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART) [funded by tobacco to act as a front]
- Pages 51 to 57: A couple of papers done for Covington & Burling
- Pages 58 to 100: A long document which has deliberately NOT included the name of the organisation which produced it within the document itself. (But done by deSeve Economics Associates Inc).
- Pages 101 to 129 : A paper on the "Burden of Tobacco Taxes on Selected Demographic Groups"
- Pages 130 to 144: Some booklet trying to rabble-rouse the Hispanic and Black communities and make them believe Packwood is attacking them racially.
- Page 145 to 177: A Citizens for Tax Justice 'poll' on attitudes. and Coalition Against Regressive Taxation document
- From Page 178 on: many of the op-eds they have had published in newspapers by the cash-for-comment academic economists,
See pages 210 to 219 of the bundle which have multiple letters-to-editor/commentary from 17 cash-for-comments economists —
William Hunter, Dennis Logue, William Shugart, They had obviously managed to plant these multiple-author pieces on a number of newspapers.
Harold Hochman. David Wilhelm, Joseph Jadlow,
Robert Ekelund, Thomas Borcherding, K Celeste Gaspari,
David Laband, Fred McChesney, Dean Tipps,
Allen Parkman, Richard Vedder, Roger Faith,
Lee Alson, and William Hunter,
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 period with the core group of cash-for-comments economists.
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.
- GSA = Government Services Administration.
- 'Ways & Means' = Congressional committee on finances
- ALEC = American Legislative Exchange Council (a formalised way for big business to directly influence 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.
The references for this network member were:
Professor David Laband
Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 5401 Wiltens Avenue, Catonville, Maryland 21228
- original excise tax op-ed
- Chase [Econometrics study]
1987 Jan 6: A James Savarese memo to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute.
In-order to keep this project straight with respect to the economist list, we were specifically assigned to go back to all 42 names on the original list to check to see if the economists were still interested in working for us, still in the same state, and available to meet with representatives from state activities.
We have 34 who fit this criteria and have been contacted. The list is attached.
The states that we once had that are currently missing are Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The states listed in October 1986 as having representives, but not now are:
Not all of these professors ceased working for the tobacco industry entirely, however. Some provide later services.
- Arizona, Professor Roger D Faith of Arizona State Uni
- Maryland, Professor David Laband, University of Maryland
- Massachusetts, Professor Lee Alston, William College, Williamstown
- Nebraska, Professor Delores Martin, University of Nebraska
- New Jersey, Professor Michael Crew, Rutgers University
- Vermont, Professor Celeste Gaspari, Univesity of Vermont
- West Virginia, Professor Morris Coates, Marshall University
- Wyoming, Professor Todd Sandler, University of Wyoming.
October 1986 list
January 1987 list
Despite his agreement to remain on Savarese's list, Laband appears to have disappeared completely from the network at this time.
Unlike some of the others, it is apparent that he was not drawn back into the fold.
1987 Feb 6: Jim Savarese, Bob Tollison and Henry Butler write to "Participants in advertising op-ed project" [These are some new academic economists on the Tollison/Savarese list].
We are finally ready to get this first op-ed project off the ground. I am asking you to review the attached materials and write an editorial for a major newspaper in your state. This article should support the basic right to advertise legal products and oppose attempts to restrict advertising either by outright bans or by punitive use of the tax code.
Obviously, the point of this exercise is to support tobacco's right to advertise on basic constitutional grounds. Upon completion of a draft op-ed, please send it to me immediately via Federal Express. I will go over the article and return it to you for submission to a newspaper.
1987 Feb 6: [Same day as above] another letter to "Economists" [the more experienced group] says:
We have received our first op-ed project of 1987 and for many of you it is a familiar one. The issue once again is opposition from any and all reasonable angles to an increase in cigarette excise taxes.
We are attaching some materials which may be of help in formulating your argument and generating relevant data. Some of the more salient points are listed below:
It is important that we generate a generalized opposition to the principle of earmarking revenues.
Upon completion of a draft op-ed, please send it to me immediately via Federal Express. I will go over the article and return it to you for submission to a newspaper.
[Laband does not appear to have responded to these overtures.]
1987 May 18: Because of "possible improprieties noted during the examination of the initial two-month period." the Tobacco Institute had James Savarese & Associates's accounts audited. The auditor found that:
Those involved with Savarese in this scam were Robert and Anna Tollison, with help from William F Shughart, Dwight Lee, Henry Butler and a company named DRL Inc. [which was the front for Professor Dwight Lee's off-campus operations]
- It was a one-employee operation - Savarese billed at a rate of $150 per hour, or approximately $300,000 a year.
- He only keeps rough accounts and has no contract with the Tobacco Institute.
- He marks up the conveyed cost of all subcontracters by varying amounts up to 100%.
- Often the name of the subcontractor is not disclosed or [their existence] establishable... because of concerns that disclosure of their remuneration by the Tobacco Indsitute could harm the credibility of the work they produce."
Some of the clerical staff from George Mason University's Center for the Study of Public Choice [EA Masaitis and Carol Roberts], were also coopted to help run these operation for the tobacco industry.
1987 May 18: The same day as the auditor's report [above], James Savarese & Associates were placed under contract with the Tobacco Institute for two years — and with their hourly rates and markups defined. Tollison was then earning $100 per hour for his contributions.
1990 Nov: "Economists and the Economy" by William Shughart, David Laband and Robert Tollison), Review of Economics and Statistics
1993 Sept 9: Laband was on the conference program of the "Second International Congress on Peer Review" He was now at Perdue School of Business, Salisbury State University. He wwas speaking on Double Blind vs Single Blind reviewing.
1994 March 16: A group of academic economists including almost all the members of the Tobacco Institute's cash-for-comments network sent an "An Open Letter to President Clinton on Healthcare Reform." This had been organised by David J Theroux, the founder and operator of the Independent Institute apparently with the assistance of an academic network member, Simon Rottenberg. [The institute was well-funded by the tobacco industry]. They say:
In The Open Letter to President Clinton, 565 economists and 76 other scholars from all 50 states and the District of Columbia state their firm opposition to any form of direct and indirect price controls in any healthcare program.
Rationing Health Care: The New Threat of Price Controls, by Simon Rottenberg and David J. Theroux
They use the old straw-man scare techniques of the sky-falling.
In countries that have imposed these types of regulations, patients face delays of months and years for surgery, government bureaucrats decide treatment options instead of doctors or patients, and innovations in medical techniques and pharmaceuticals are dramatically reduced. Which, as anyone who has lived in England, Canada, Australia, etc. knows, is pure rubbish.
Along with Laband and his associates, also on this list of signatories were a number of think-tank lobbyists [including most of the Hoover Institute] and others who worked for the tobacco industry, and the Research Director of the Independent Institute, Robert Higgs, who was also a fill-in network economist.
2012 May: David Laband was given the chair of the School of Economics at the Georgia Tech, College of Liberal Arts.