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.
James E McClure
— A co-writer of cash-for-comments op-eds with Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University in Indiana. He took over when Bohanon was involved in other things. —
Professor James McClure was a minor cog in an extensive wheel of conspiracy organised by lobbyist James Savarese and Professor Robert Tollison of George Mason Univeristy (GMU) on behalf of the tobacco industry.
It operated by using the facilities and staff of GMU's Center for the Study of Policy Choice [supposedly an independent study center within the university], and it extensively utilised the Center's membership list of extreme-libertarian professors of economics — most of who had tenured positions at State universities.
These professors were contracted on a pay-for-service basis to react to requests circulated by the tobacco industry for help in defeating either excise tax measures, or smoking ordinances.
They were especially required to expoit the public trust inherent in their academic status — almost always a Professor at their local university — and not to reveal that the tobacco industry paid them for services rendered. In fact, they were encouraged to say they were 'non-smokers' — and use this claim to enhanse their credibility.
They were paid ($300 to $1000 per time) to:
The propaganda they generated rarely had cigarettes or tobacco at its center — the messages were more obtuse and often cloaked in academic obfuscation. However it always had had a number of focusses important to promoting cigarettes:
- Write op-ed articles for their main local newspapers. [chosen by the tobacco industry]
- Write to their local Senators and Representatives. [designated by the tobacco industry]
- Appear at local ordinance hearings and object to potential passive smoking bans.
- Appear before local Assemblies or at Congressional hearings.
- Lecture at economic meetings or conferences
- Occasionally appear on broadcast or print media.
For each network project, an op-ed article or report would be sent by the Professor, through James Savarese to the Tobacco Institute for their lawyers and PR people to check, correct and "improve" it. The doctored article was then returned to the Professor for transmission to the designated newspaper. Clippings, and copies of letters to Congressmen, were then returned to the Tobacco Institute as "proof of service rendered."
- Excise taxes were harmful to all American workers and businesses.
- Excise taxes especially impacted the low-paid because of its 'regressive nature'. [They paid proportionally more disposable income to satisfy their nicotine addiction.]
- Smoking bans of any kind were an infringement on Constitutional liberties — and once the government banned smoking, they would move to ban other personal pleasures.
- Like any business, the tobacco industry had the Constitutional right to advertise its lethal products.
- Personal freedom of choice was paramount. Smokers — including those addicted — were free to choose whether to smoke or not to smoke cigarettes.
While the members of this network were ideologically aligned to ultra-free-market economics, they were also knowingly part of a conspiracy to promote corporate-funded ideas without acknowlegement of the funding source. This was a conspiratorial deception perpetrated by a trusted academic on the citizens who ultimately paid his/her salary.
The particpants were involved for no other reason than personal greed. And they were recruited despite knowing that the ultimate consequence of their actions was to promote an industry which resulted in the premature deaths and debilitation of millions of people around the world.
It is difficult to know how effective this operation was, but the Tobacco Institute supported this group of 50 to 100 Professors of Economics for a couple of decades, so they obviously felt they were getting value for money. Over the years new members joined and others left the group — but generally Savarese and Tollison recruited one or two economists for each State.
The Professors themselves, of course, justified and rationalised taking money from the tobacco institute on 'ideological grounds' — and never questioned the fact that they were exploiting and undermining the reputation of academics in general, or the indepenent standing of their own university by acting as secret lobbyists for the tobacco industry.
James McClure himself appears to have been bought into the cash-for-comments network by his associate at Ball State University, Professor Cecil Bohanon. He tended to fill in when Bohanon wasn't available, and later became a recognised member in his own right.
- Be aware of a Republican Senator from Idaho, James A ('Jim') McClure (who could be a relative) who worked closely with 'Mr Tobacco' (Jesse Helms) and who's son Ken McClure was also a tobacco lobbyist. He sat on a number of Committees: Appropriations; Energy and Natural Resources/Rank; Rules and Administration. and he was well liked by Philip Morris and the Tobacco Institute.
- There is also a James McClure Clarke (D-NC) who co-sponsored a Fire-safe cigarette bill.
- In 1999 there was a James E McClure (same initial) on a staff redundancy list of RJ Reynolds.(Feb 1999) in Knoxville Tennessee (Married to Bonnie Alice)
- An attorney, James J McClure Jr, was working on tobacco problems through Gardner Carton & Douglas.
- Also Judge F McClure Jr in Wyoming
- Indoor climate specialist James D McClure of McClure & Associates.
There are many James/Jim McClures
Some key documents
• Dept of Economics, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. He co-wrote op-eds and letters for the tobacco industry with Cecil E Bohanon. His C/V makes no mention of having worked for the tobacco industry.
• There are about a thousand documents with the name James McClure, but the majority are about Republican Senator James A McClure from Idaho and Democrat Representative James McClure Clarke of North Carolina.
1980: Cecil Bohanon joined Ball State. He was McClure's mentor.
1982–88: McClure joined Ball State University, Indiana, as Assistant Professor of Economics
1983: Doctorate from Purdue University
McClure was obviously recruited by Savarese and Tollison as a network lackey (secondary to Cecil Bohanon) in early 1986.
1986 June: Five economists at Ball State University, led by Cecil Bohannon and James E McClure, have drafted and signed a letter to the General Services Administration objecting to a proposal to regulate smoking in Federal Buildings.
Surely any conflict that might emerge in such circumstances is best handled by ordinary social custom and regular supervisory channels. To force a predetermined "solution" on all cases, whether a problem exists or not, is foolish and wasteful. Although the specifics of smoking and snacking may vary, the principle does not. Such regulation of the work environment is unnecessary. Bohanon and McClure's associates (none with professorial titles at the time) are Stephan F Gohmann, Clarence R Dietsch, and Lee C Spector.
[Bohanon was already a Professor at Ball State; McClure was Assistant Professor. The others all became free-enterprise Professors of Economics later.]
A draft copy of their letter finds its way into both Tobacco Institute and Lorillard files.. This draft is undated, but it is filed with a June 3 1986 similar letter from cash-for-comments Professor Barry Poulson at University of Colorado.
1986 Jul 21: Sam Chilcote of the Tobacco Institute writes to the members of his Executive Committee detailing the TI's successes in generating objections to the proposed GSA [Government Services Administration] anti-smoking bans.
They have persauded the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) to help them in having the rules amended, and they've turned out their staff, corporate friends and associated companies to generate a flood of letters of objection.
Included among the comments received by GSA thus far are thousands generated as a result of contact with TAN [Tobacco Action Network] activists, other tobacco family organizations, key coalitions, organized labor and economists.
The State Activities Division's alert of key contacts in the field, as well as TAN activists, has generated at least 3,100 letters of opposition. These are letters for which copies have been sent to division headquarters; there are no doubt many others.
Among member companies, all have asked their employees to write letters of opposition. In addition, RJ Reynolds reports its phone bank efforts to reach Washington, DC, residents, may have resulted in up to 3,700 opposition letters.
Reynolds also sought letters from respondents to an earlier mailing on the federal excise tax issue. Philip Morris initiated a program designed to generate up to 10,000 mailgrams to GSA by the comment deadline.
Letters of objection (all remarkably similar in content) from numerous academic economists were also attached. They all seemed to focus on one extraordinary aspect — the sinage cost of implementating the ban.
They all identified for a specific attack the GSA's claim that "the costs of NO-SMOKING signs in government buildings. would cost less than $100 million annually." Robert Tollison had circulated a much higher estimate of costs (which some of the letter-writers mentioned).
All of the economists' letters completely ignored the possibilities of any cost savings — such as lower cleaning and painting costs in government buildings; reduced sick days; higher productivity, etc. This is the economist as a one-eyed accountant who only keeps a deficit ledger, and doesn't recognise credits.
And like magic, these letters were all written within a few days of each other by university professors spread across the country:
- 8th July — Arthur T Denzau, Washington University, St Louis, Mo
- 3rd July — Barry W Poulson, University of Colorado, Boulder
- 10th July — Thomas E Borcherding, Claremont College/Graduate School, California
- 7th July — William F Shughart II, Center for the Study of Popular Choice, George Mason University, Washington DC
- Undated — (joint) Cecil E Bohanon, James E McClure, Stephan F Gohmann, Clarence R Deitsch, Lee C Spector — all PhDs in economics at Ball State University, Muscie, Ind.
- 7th July — John F Militello, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania,
- 7th July — Jean J Boddewyn, Baruch College, The City University of New York [Advertising lecturer]
- 5th July — Morgan Reynolds, Texas A&M University
- 8th July — Cliff P Dobitz, North Dakota State University
- 8th July — William C Mitchell, University of Oregon
- 11th July — Arthur C Mead, Economist, Newport RI
- 10th July — D Allen Dalton, Boise State University, Idaho
- 10th July — Henry N Butler, George Mason Univeristy
- 10th July — (joint) S Charles Maurice, Leonardo Auernheimer, Niccie L McKay, John R Hanson II, Lynn Gillette, Gregory Delemeester at Texas A&M University
- 9th July — (joint) Robert B Ekelund, Richard Ault, David Saurman, John Jackson, RG Hebert, JK Watson, Mark Thonton, at Auburn University, Alabama
- 9th July — (joint) Richard K Vedder, Lowell E Gallaway, Jan Palmer, David Klingaman at Ohio University
[Clearly Bohanon acted as a local recruiter at the Ball State University. All of the key figures listed here became cash-for-comment academic economists.]
Ball State Uni letter
Bohanon appears to have taken over the role of dealing with the tobacco industry himself until early 1993.
1988–04: James McClure was an Associate Professor of Economics, Ball State University
|The Societal/Social Cost of Smoking|
| 1988 June: The Issues Manager of the Tobacco Institute, Susan Stuntz, told her executive audience at the annual knees-up that they had recruited a group of Social Cost economists to assist them with countering claims that smoking was a burden on the economy. |
The overall objective of our program is to show there are no social costs of smoking. First, we've established a core group of social costs economists from respected academic institutions across the country. They will take the lead in arguing against social costs economics... testifying [and] dealing with the media [and] conducting briefings... and producing research.
[Despite the TI's labeling, these were Hayekian 'Public Choice' economists who had been hired to counter the liberal 'Social Cost' ones.]
A new wave of research will be ready by the end of August. We'll also be promoting these studies as well as other materials produced by our economists — such as the Tollison/Wagner book — that your probably all seen by now, which analyses Social Cost Economic and its application to tobacco.
- For instance, a report using Japan as evidence against the Social Cost argument.
- A study which shows how dangerous Social Cost methods could be to other industries, such as Sugar, Coffee and Beef. We can anticipate this research will help us generate support from other industries to oppose Social Cost Economics.
- A study on Absenteeism and smoking to demonstrate that absenteeism is related to job characteristics and income levels, not smoking behavior.
Our team of economics will be addressing their colleagues at the Atlantic, Southern and Western Economics Association meetings. We will promote the final reports from these meetings.Also, an academic symposium of the social cost issue will be held this fall at George Mason University.
1993 Mar 23: Jim Savarese is proposing to Calvin George at the Tobacco Institute a new Op-ed program.
Outlined below is our proposed op-ed program in opposition to the use of excise taxes to finance health care. This economist is listed as one of the proposed lucky recipients of $3,000 in largess from the Tobacco Institute for slashing out a quick op-ed. He was to submit the article to Indianapolis Star and Muncie Star
- Op-ed article by Robert Tollison to be submitted to Wall Street Journal $ 4,000.00
- Rebuttal article by Bob Ekelund, Auburn University, to be submitted to the Birmingham News $ 3,000.00
- "Monster" tax op-ed project using twenty economists (list attached) to submit articles in opposition to using excise taxes on cigarettes to finance health care reform - to be submitted to twenty newspapers in twenty different states $60,000.00
1993 Apr 8:
The economist's network is still functioning, but Savarese
have negotiated a different deal for the participants. Savarese now bills the Tobacco Institute for economist network op-ed commissions, half-down, and half on delivery. They are being paid for preparing the articles rather than only when they succeeded in getting their articles published. This bill is for $37,000.
- Op-ed article by Robert Tollison to be submitted to Wall Street Journal — $4,000.00
- Rebuttal article by Bob Ekelund, Auburn Univeristy, to be submitted to the Birmingham News — $3,000.00
- "Monster" tax op-ed project using twenty economists to submit articles in opposition to using excise taxes on cigarettes to finance health care reform - to be submitted to twenty newspapers in twenty different states. FIRST HALF = $30,000.00
[They now get $3,000 each per article — half on commission/half on delivery — while Tollison gets $4,000]
1993 Apr 13: Calvin George [who runs the network for TI] writes to his Tobacco Industry boss Susan Stuntz asking for permission to spend $67,000 for 22 op-eds listed by Savarese.
As previously discussed, the 20 economists proposed for the comprehensive op-ed program in opposition to excise taxes for health care reform have been selected with two primary criteria in mind:
The cost of this project would be $67,000, which is consistent with previous experience for similar efforts. I am recommending approval of this proposal. Funds are available for this purpose in #1305-7301 under the line items for "Economists to deliver briefings, testimony, and write articles..." ($45,000) and "Op-eds on...health care costs" ($25,000).
- first, capacity to reach major media markets in states and Congressional Districts represented by key members of the Senate and House Leadership, as well as the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees; and
- second, the previous track record of the economists in being able to place successfully op-eds in the major dailies identified.
The list of these 20 economic network participants, and the newspapers that published their articles, shows that McClure was co-writing op-eds now with Bohanon:
Prof. Cecil E. Bohanon and James E. McClure
Dept. of Economics Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 47306 — Indianapolis Star 6/30/93
1993 June 17: A drafted article "Prohibition Part Deux" on the Canadian cigarette taxes and how it created street-level crime like Prohibition, was being prepared for the Indianapolis Star. This article has been submitted by Cecil Bohanon and James McClure to the Tobacco Institute lawyers and PR staff for sub-editing and approval. It has also appears to have been cleared by the Philip Morris lawyers.
It compared Canadian cigarette taxes with the 1919 US alcohol Prohibition Act — suggesting that these moves would automatically result in gangsters like Al Capone flourishing, and taking over the cigarette trade — while creating a general community disrespect for the law. Smuggling becomes irresistible. They preach:
[T]he Canadian tobacco tax is not something America ought to emulate. Although cigarettes are not illegal in Canada the distinction between taxation and prohibition is only a matter of degree.
This corrected copy would have been returned to McClure and Bohanon for retyping and sending to the newspaper.
The obvious corollary is that the difference between the evil of prohibition and the evils of high taxation are also only a matter of degree. High taxes on products consumers desire only lead to illegal markets, and illegal markets erode the fabric of a civil society.
[The tobacco industry couldn't have expressed this idea better themselves. Smoking keeps the fabric of a civil society intact.]
The article is favorably quoted in a document circulated by the Tobacco Institute to their State Directors, giving them useful quotes (all from network economists) to use with the media.
1993 June 30: The Indianapolis Star carries an article co-written by Cecil Bohanon and James McClure from Ball State University. It says:
"Canada has recently embarked on a policy of prohibitive tobacco taxation...Just as in the case of the Merican Prohibition on alcohol, the Canadian tax increase is generating crime and violence...The lesson to be learned by those of us south of the Canadian border is clear. High taxes on products consumers desire only lead to illegal markets. and illegal markets erode the fabric of a civil society."
1993 July: The Tobacco Institute/Savarese listing of cash-for-comment economists now gives Indiana the dual listing of Cecil Bohanon & James E McClure.
1993 July 6: Susan Stuntz circulates more economist letters/op-eds for the file.
- Tollison has a letter that appeared in the New York Times in support of the Wagner/Greir view on cigarette tax excises against that of Professor Grossman (who both he an Wagner had challenged before)
- Dwight Lee had "Smokers already playing their fair share for health care" in the Altanta Journal.
- Cecil Bohanon and James McClure had planted "The prohibitive taxation of cigarettes" on the Indianpolis Star.
- Also included was a clipping of an old Ekelund/Thornton essay which had run on May 19 in the Altanta Journal and Constitution
1993 Aug 3: This is a series of lists dated from March to August 1993. Savarese's staff have sent these to the Tobacco Institute to progressively report successes and failures with the economists writing op-ed pieces and having them published.
Collectively they give us a good idea as to how the network worked and how litte they managed to plant on the major newspapers (the smaller local papers were obviously easy.) Clearly, by 1993, many of the original network members were dropping out. The Tobacco Institute also appears to have been having problems getting even those academics who stayed loyal to write articles that justified their $2000 to $3000 payments.
[Perhaps some of them developed a conscience!]
Note that the articles are often being revised by Jim Savarese's staff, then checked by Calvin George at the Tobacco Institute, then cleared by the tobacco lawyer David Reemes who worked for the industry's main Washington lawfirm Covington & Burling The economist then received the revised copies back for onward transmission to the selected newspapers and they would also send a copy to their local Congressmen without mentioning the tobacco industry's contractual arrangement. In no way are these 'independent' opinion articles. They are tobacco-industry shaped, manipulated propaganda for cigarette companies.
- Mar 23 INDIANA
Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University — Indianapolis Star [and]
Muncie Star [two articles planted]
- Apr 9 [address only]
- May 12 [address only]
- May 18 (Monster tax article project.) Prof. Cecil Bohanon (declined),
James McClure, Department of Economics, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 47306 — Sent material on 5-17-93
- June 2 Prof. Cecil Bohanon (declined),
James McClure, Department of Economics, Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 47306 — Will send op-ed on 6-15-93
- June 14 Prof. Cecil Bohanon (declined),
James McClure Department of Economics, Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 47306 — Will send op-ed on 6-15-93
- Aug 3 (Monster Tax op-ed)
Prof. Cecil Bohanon (declined),
James McClure, Department of Economics
Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 47306
PUBLISHED: 6-30-93 Indianapolis Star
[This suggests that Bohanon temporarily passed the job over to his associate entirely]
1994 Feb: "Health Care," Indiana Policy Review, James McClure and Cecil Bohanon.
1996 Oct: "Socially Responsible Risk Regulations," Indiana Policy Review, October-November 1996, James McClure and C.E. Bohanon.
2002 Dec 14: "Smokers Crossing Over", Muncie Star, Forum Section. Reprinted as: "Clearing the Air Around Indiana's Cigarette Tax," Indiana Policy Review, 2003, James McClure and T Norman Van Cott.
2003 Mar: "The Social Responsibility of Management: A Classical Critique" The Mid-American Journal of Business, by James McCure, Philip RP Coelho and John A Spry.
2003 Sep: "The Social Responsibility of Management: Reprise," (Dealing with the tobacco industry?) The Mid-American Journal of Business, by James McCure, Philip RP Coelho and John A Spry.
2004: He finally became a full Professor of Economics at Ball State University.
2005 /E: A subscription web site headed Philip Morris Essays: lists
The Debate over the Appropriateness of Corporate Social Responsibility — Based on articles by Philip RP Coelho, James E McClure, and John A Spry from Ball State University and Frederick R. Post from the University of Toledo. Articles published in the Mid-American Journal of Business, Vol. 18, No. 1. Also referenced the Sixth Edition of Business and Its Environment by David P. Baron.
In his response to Coelho, McClure & Spry's defense of the primacy of the Friedman paradigm (shareholder theory), Frederick Post condenses the debate down to a simple question of whether a corporation should place the interests of its shareholders first or include them in a much larger universe of stakeholders.
Coelho, McClure & Spry maintain that Friedman's definition of social responsibility is clear and concise compared to the ambiguous and varied definitions under the stakeholder theory. The shareholder theory embraces a true form of capitalism which in turn promotes an economic reality that serves the public interest through the pursuit of profits. Serving the public interest is an essential component of social responsibility. Therefore, corporate management is acting in a socially responsible manner by maximizing profits for the benefit of the shareholders.