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.
Charles Henri ('Charley') Powers
— Republican aide, Public Relations and the Tobacco Institute. —
A prefossional public relations operator who became the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at the Tobacco Institute, during 1989 and 1990. He also served in both the Reagan and GHW Bush Administrations in various press-media roles, ran his own PR company, and worked at various time for Ogilvy & Mather and Porter Novelli.
A search for "Charley Powers" in the tobacco archives generates 2,012 documents. While the addition of 'OR "Charles Powers"' adds another 586. However if you search for those documents which were 'authored' by Powers, you will find only a half-dozen innocuous memos and many Front-page fax forms, with all the information removed. So looking though the documents, there is nothing to suggest that he ever personally became involved in anything dubious.
Yet he ran a major division of the Tobacco Institute which housed some of the most serious and active disinformation, lobbying and bribery staff in Washington DC. Among the documents of substance left in the Tobacco Institute files, the majority with his stamp are those dealing with the tobacco-industry's "Youth Say No" program which was as close as they ever came to legitimate social activities.
He was clearly a very efficient and systematic culler of files — or he believed in the use of the telephone rather than the written word.
There is also a Charles W Powers, who became president of the Superfund Clean Sites operation (1985) and was PR for the Cummins Engine Company.. This CW Powers had ethical/religious academic inclinations. He was also a professional think-tanker having co-founded the Health Effects Institute (funded by EPA and auto makers); run Resources for Responsible Management; worked with John D Graham at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, and now runs Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP).
All his activities sit at the 'Risk' juncture between regulatory agencies dealing with hazardous waste/pollution and the companies being forced to clean up their act.
Some key documents
1948: Born in New York,
1965: graduated from the University of Miami
1967: master's degree in film in 1967 from New York University. Film School.
1974 Oct 9: A television reporter with WJLA-TV in Washington. He helped break the infamous Tidal Basin story by his knowledge of a congressman's cranium.
Early in the morning of Oct 9, 1974, US. Park Police stopped a Lincoln Continental, driven by an intoxicated Rep. Wilbur D Mills (D-Ark.). An exotic dancer named Fanne Foxe jumped out of the congressman's car and jumped into the Tidal Basin. Cameraman Larry Krebs, the only journalist on the scene with a camera, filmed officers fishing Foxe out of the water and covering her with a horse blanket.
The sole shot of Mills was of the back of his head, and Mr. Powers was called in by an anxious producer. Mr. Powers assured him it was Mills, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, because he recognized a distinctively oversize feature. "Wilbur Mills had unusual ears," he said.
1981 /E: Charles Powers, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Treasury, under President Reagan,
1984 May: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Treasury. He is now working under Donald T Regan.
1986 /E: ('mid 1980s') He held a senior position at the public affairs firm Ogilvy & Mather in Washington, which works for tobacco interests. [Source Public Citizen]
[He would have worked with James Savarese (who ran a couple of national networks of economists and union/labor tobacco lobbyists]
Joined the Tobacco Institute as Vice President of Public Relations
1988 Jan 3: Powers is being ccd about budgets for the Tobacco Industry's Labor Management Committee (LMC which oversees all union activities). Note the payments to James Savarese (Total $20,383) who ran both the LMC and the economists network. Savarese had previously been employed via Ogilvy & Mather who were still being paid $34,218 for some on-going work.
Also the National Energy Management Committee (actually NEMI) was receiving $28,281 for conducting air-quality tests which proved that workplace smoking bans wern't necessary.
Large donations were alao being made to libertarian think-tanks which took tobacco industry commissions: Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), Coalition on Human Needs, League of Rural Voters, Leadership New Century
Also a range of air-testing companies which rarely found tobacco smoke to be a problem in office air-conditioning: Consolidated Safety Services, NEMI.
1989 Jan 13: He is the Senior VP for Public Affairs, at the Tobacco Institute. He is ccd on a memo asking the Tobacco Institute staff to register their vacation requests. [First dated Tobacco Institute document with his name]
1989 Feb: /E Institute for Evaluating Healh Risks (IEHR) Foundation document.
The Institute for Evaluating Health Risk is a 501c3 non-profit corporation organized in California to "provide an independent mechanism to improve the evaluation of health risks, among which are those associated with substances addressed by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986 of the State of California" (from the Articles of Incorporation)
It was designed to counter Proposition 65 which voted in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Enforement Act of 1986.
The Institute for Evaluating Health Risk is a new institution, created and organized under the laws governing non-profit corporations in the State of California solely to test for public safety in the unusual context created for such testing by the new California law. It has been recognized as a non-profit, charitable institution by the federal Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Franchise Board in California. The Institute seeks to support the implementation of Proposition 65 in an effective, coherent way by establishing a credible information base and risk assessment methodology, based on excellent science, that would be available to all parties with a concern for the quality of risk assessments used in compliance with this law.
To implement the initial start-up and review of the Institute's feasibility, the Board named Charles W. Powers as Acting Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Powers is President of the Institute for Responsible Management, and is a nationally-known manager of initiatives of this type who conceived and then served as the founding CEO of the Health Effects Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Clean Sites, Incorporated (Alexandria, Virginia).
The Board of Directors has recently reached an agreement with John A Moore to become the permanent chief executive officer . Dr . Moore, who will assume his responsibilities in September, brings a distinguished record as both a scientist and a regulator who has unequaled experience in wrestling with the risk assessment issues which are at the heart of IEHR's mission . He served in
- academic posts at Western Reserve and Michigan State Universities before holding
- a variety of senior posts at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) between 1969-83. He was
- Deputy Director of the National Toxicology Program at NIEHS, before joining
- The Environmental Protection Agency as Assistant Administrator, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances in 1983. During his final year before leaving the Agency
- in July 1989, Dr. Moore was Acting Duputy Administrator - and for a short time Acting Administrator - of the Agency
1989 March 22: He asks Brennan Dawson, Marty Gleason, and Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute to keep him informed of planned press conferences by members of Congress and anti-smoking groups.
1989 May 23: Charles Power is temporarily on loan from the Tobacco Institute to the Institute for Evaluating Health Risk, an industry coalition created to oppose the Act which arose from the passage of Proposition 65 in California.
This think-tank pretended to be community-minded. It says that the Act
"effectively put the burden on businesses to warn the public if any activity, or product — from wine to dry-cleaning fluid, to the office water-cooler — poses a potentially significant health risk from exposure to chemicals that the state deems hazardous." The law associated with Prop 65 — the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act — had taken effect the year before this publication. It ordered the governor of California to create a list of chemicals "known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity" and for companies to provide "clear and reasonable" warnings of hazardous products in their factories.
It also prohibited discharges of dangerous chemicals into the drinking water supply in what the corporations believed was ridiculously stringent amounts, and provided for a penalty of up to $2,500 a day ... with a 'bounty-hunter' incentive of 25% of the damages. Environmental groups estimate that the potential tobacco penalties would be as high as $1.3 million ... but they were over-optomistic.
This industry report says that
"the dire consequences of this law that were predicted by industry advocates have not occurred. So far it has worked pretty well."
Opposed to the Act and seeking changes was a corporate coalition which was [overtly] led by
"Proposition 65 is a bold, largely misunderstood experiment to force technical decisions into policy. It's potentially dangerous or alternatively a golden opportunity, depending on how welt we bring science to bear on the decision-making process," said the institute's organizer, Charles Powers.
"It took everything we ever thought about regulation and turned it on its head. It is a complete Copernican revolution [in] ways we are just beginning to understand... We don't know where it is going to go."
The Californian governor was also opposed to the bill. He appointed a 12-person scientific advisory panel which included a number of scientists with some EPA experience ... including.
- Environmental Working Group — counselled by ex-EPA San Francisco lawyer Michele Corash.
- Grocery Manufacturers Association — VP Jeffrey Nedelman
- Ingredients Communications Council (an industry-backed umbrella group)
- Institute for Evaluating Health Risk, — [whose temporary CEO was Charles Powers,]
[Powers was on loan from the Tobacco Institute only until September when he was to be replaced by another professional lobbyist, John A Moore.].
The IEHR was backed locally by Hewlett Packard chairman David Packard and Donald Kennedy (ex FDA head) the Stanford University president.
- Bruce Ames biochemist (Chair) [Uni of Cal, Berkeley] who worked for the tobacco industry via both TASSC and SEPP.
- Warner North, from consulting firm Decision Focus Inc
The SAB held open meetings which were intensely scruitinized by lawyers from both sides.
1989 Sep: Charley Powers hands over the IEHR in California to John A ['Jack'] Moore, and returns to the Tobacco Institute. He appears to have still been running the organisation in July 1993 See 
1989 May 31: Charley Powers memo to Sam Chilcote, head of the Tobacco Institute. Powers is still Senior Vice President, Public Affirs, Tobacco Institute. He appears to have planted an article on the Legal Times, and also influence the Wall Street Journal to do a story on the TI's "Passport to Smokers' Rights" airline guide.
1989 July 18: [From a 1996 Report] Youth Smoking promotions
Consider the tobacco industry's running battle with cartoonist Garry Trudeau, over his satirical "Doonesbury" strips on smoking — and, in particular, his cartoon character, Mr. Butts, the ever-optimistic tobacco lobbyist.
In 1989, as "Doonesbury" readers might recall, Trudeau published an "order form" that instructed young readers to request free cigarettes from the industry's lobbying group, The Tobacco Institute [TI] in Washington.
Charles H. Powers, who was then senior vice president for public affairs at the Tobacco Institute [TI], wrote Trudeau objecting to the July 9, 1989, cartoon with the fake order form"
"For several months, the tobacco industry has been a frequent subject of Doonesbury," Powers wrote. " While we may have objected to the portrayal, the industry has not publicly sought to address the false premises nor the gross exaggerations you are using as the basis for your well-known social satire."
"It seems young people, taking your satire quite seriously, are filling out the form and sending in requests. Given the importance of free speech, whether it's political cartoons or advertising, we prefer a robust debate and free expression of views on the issues rather than censorship."
[But, he cautioned Trudueau,] "in the shared spirit of not encouraging youngsters to smoke, I hope you might keep in mind that the youth who may be occasional readers of Doonesbury may be unable to differentiate between fantasy in comic strips and reality."
The tobacco group sent a letter to children who sent in the comic coupons: "Many of the comics we enjoy are, of course, fantasies which often have little relationship to truth and real life."
1989 July 18: Powers letter to Garry Trudeau, cartoonist of Doonsbury, who created the "Mr Butts" character.
As a result of the "order form" printed in the July 9th comic strip, children are requesting cigarettes from The Tobacco Institute . It seems young people, taking your satire quite seriously, are filling out the form and sending in requests.
I hope you • might keep in mind that the youth who may be occasional readers of Doonesbury may be unable to differentiate between fantasy in comic strips and reality.
1989 Aug 4: Susan Stuntz [Issues Manager] has sent Powers a revision of Tobacco Institute budget allocations relevant to his Public Affairs division. The main points were that the new budget also calls for:
- expanded use of ETS and ventilation experts in responding to ETS science reports and on science fraud media activities;
- broadened support of the National Energy Management Institute to complement new labor counsel in the states;
[The NEMI was a union-workplace advisory body which had been taken over by executives friendly to tobacco.]
- expanded use of economist network on productivity and IAQ issues;
Among the tactics are an expanded use of economist network on advertising and trade issues,
[They had an organised network of academic economists in each state who would write newspaper op-eds and lobby for them]
- an expanded privacy/smoker discrimination program
- Military and veterans' activities have been shifted to the General Coalition cost center
- new programs to address smoking and young people and trade issues.
- more vigorously promoting the industry's position on youth smoking;
- Support of the National Assn. of State Boards of Education has been eliminated. [The NASBE and its president had been generously paid to promote the TI's "Let Youth Decide" program in schools]
- new, formal program of attacking anti-smoker claims about trade issues.
- increased professional fees to continue our vigorous outreach to state fire groups on federal fire-safe cigarette legislation.
[They bribed fire-chiefs and whole fire-departments]
- new program of outreach to veterans organizations.
- increase state labor counsel to 12 states, and provide support at the national level. [They had workplace smoking-rights promotions conducted via the AFL-CIO and some individual unions.]
- [Airline issues] Program calls for continued promotion of smokers' "passport" materials, including flight guides and letter writing materials.
A month later they cut his budget even more.
1990 Feb 10 - 22: /E In Europe for some reason.
1990 April 16: in Perth, Western Australia for the World Conference on Smoking Or Health.
1990 Aug 17: Letter to Tom Griscom, He is Senior VP of Public Affairs
See Bennan Dawson Deposition
1990 Sept 7: Contract between the Tobacco Institute and Larry Holcomb's Holcomb Environmental Services for "consulting services on scientific issues"
1990 Sep 18: Note to Martha [Rinker] an idea for Gray Robertson, on Indoor Aig Quality in the workplace. Martha passed it on.
1990 October 9: The time is right politically to launch the Helping Youth Decide project, but NASBE is no longer cosponsoring the booklets.
1990 Dec 17: Martin Ryan Haley has approached the TI with the suggesting that they have a 'unique window of opporutinity to take a fresh look at the advertising issue." Charley wants to use him instead on influencing Catholic Schools to get involved in their "Tobacco: Helping Youth Decide" program
1991 Jan 18: Speech to the Corporate Assistance Program, in La Quinta, California
This is an outreach program to ensure smokers can continue to smoke at work. It provides materials that " tell employers, first, that there is no increased liability to them if they allow smoking in the workplace, and second, demonstrate to them that there are no decreased costs to them if smoking is banned."
They are turning out John Fox, C&B, Robertson, NEMI etc, "All of these experts will form the core of a Swat Team to aggressively seek on-site meeting with key decision-makers in major companies and trade associations."
1991 Feb: Charles H Powers writes to the Members of the Tobacco Institute's Communications Committee.
As I am leaving The Institute effective February 11 to join the Bush Administration, I want to express my appreciation for your support and input over the past two years. It has been a pleasure working with all of you and I look forward to our paths crossing in the future.
Good luck and success.
Joins the Bush I Administration - Federal Housing Board
1991 Feb 27: Charlie Powers resigned as Senior VP of Public Affairs at the US Tobacco Institute, and Susan Stuntz moved up after 12 years in the VP position.
As of February 11, Charley is the director of public affairs at the Federal Housing Finance Board.
1991 Mar 4: Charley Powers is still being memoed by Sam Chilcote about Contract Proceedures.
[Note the late date in sending out the advice that he had resigned. This is probably just an administration error.]
1992: After the second-term defeat of GHW Bush Powers has returned to Capitol Hill as press secretary for the Senate Finance Committee under Sen. Robert Packwood (R-Ore.)
1996: He worked on Elizabeth Dole's press staff at the Republican National Convention.
1998 /E: He was senior vice president at Porter Novelli public relations firm.
2008: He was the registered lobbyist for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association
2009 June 26: "Conservative Group Runs Health Care Ads" [Re: Republican National Committee.]
Longtime Washington hand Charles Powers is hanging out his shingle. His communications firm, Powers Public Affairs, will focus on economic and trade issues. He has plenty of experience in such matters, having served as deputy assistant secretary of public affairs in the Reagan Treasury Department under Secretary James Baker.
2012 Jan 3: Died of cancer