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.
Robert J Staaf
— A very minor cash-for-comments economist from Clemson University which was a center for academics willing to lobby for the tobacco industry. —
Some key documents
• Clemson University and the Center for the Study of Public Choice.
1985–86: The Center for Policy Studies at Clemson University appeared to be publishing studies by the cash-for-comments economists, McKenzie, Shughart, Tollison, Kimenyi, Yandle, Matt Lindsay, Maloney, McChesney, Staaf. Laband — and others not apparently in the network.
1988 Oct: 6-7 Dwight Lee sends the Tobacco Institute a formal report on Atlantic Economic Association meeting in Philadelphia which has tobacco industry economists as speakers:
- Dwight Lee, Uni of Georgia
- Richard Wagner, George Mason University
- Bruce Yandle, Clemson University
- Henry N Butler, George Mason Uni Law School
- Robert Staaf, Clemson University
1988 Nov 28: Debbie Schoonmaker at the Tobacco Institute writes to Savarese about Social Cost Research Papers.
Enclosed are drafts of the Wagner and Ekelund social cost papers.
She also attaches three lists of cash-for-comments speakers who have been selected to talk at various meetings of local economic associations they wish to influence [See earlier list]:
Each has been reviewed and will not need further clearance provided the recommended changes are incorporated into the final versions of the papers.
The legal comments are fairly straight-forward. If you or the authors need an explanation or wish to discuss further, please call.
You'll also see that I've enclosed a copy of the California Health Department's "social cost" study. We can discuss this example in our "SWAT team" meeting.
- Atlantic Economic Assn., Philadelphia, Oct 6-9 , meeting on User Charges: has
- Dwight LeeChairman + paper, "Some Bureacratic Implications
- Richard Wagner"User Charges: Principles and Practice"
- Bruce Yandle, "User Charges: Evaluation and Critique.
- Discussant: Robert Staaf.
- Western Economic Association, Los Angeles, June 30 — July 3 meeting on Tax Earmarking and User Charges.
- Dwight R. Lee, "The Political Economy of Tax Earmarking"
- Richard Wagner, "The Fiscal Politics of Tax Earmarking"
- Paul Wilson,"User Charges and the Problem of Externalities"
- Discussants: Thomas Borcherding and Benjamin Zycher, Rand Corporation [unknown relationship]
- Southern Economic Association, San Antonio, Nov 20-22 on Excise Taxation
- Robert Ekelund, Chairman:
- Dwight R. Lee, "Political Economy of Corrective Taxation"
- Randall Holcombe, Auburn University. "Excise Taxes in Theory and Practice"
- Richard E. Wagner, "The Fiscal Politics of Excise Taxation"
- Discussants: Joseph Jadlow, and Henry Butler,
1988 Dec 25: Staaf gives the Tobacco Institue a Xmas present with publication of his article "Controls on Tobacco Industry Ill-omened." in a South Carolina newspaper ('Columbia ?') He promote his independence and credibility through the byline
Dr Staaf, a non-smoker, is a professor of law and economics at Clemson University.
[Apparently smokers always lie — while non-smokers always tell the truth about tobacco control measures. No where have I heard that idea before in the Deep South ?]
1989 Jan: The TI Communications division report dealt with
- Media and "Truth-squad" tours by consultants - Gray Robertson, David Weeks, Jack Peterson, Tollison and Wagner
- Legal Briefings by John Fox
- Third Party and Allied Activities - Bestype, HBI, John Fox
- Freedom to Advertise Coalition (FAC) - tobacco and ad agencies
- "Enough is Enough" campaign (attack on Surgeon General's report)
- Counter to AMA "Tobacco Use in America" conference (and JAMA article)
- Labor Management Committee and bribed unions
- Economists op-eds - Allen Parkman, Todd Sandler, David Gay, Lloyd Cohen, Robert Staaf, Michael Kurth
1989 Mar 17-19: The Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society together with the Economic Science Assocition. These are Hayek-oriented neo-con economists of the kind which gave us the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-9. The speakers list mentions many active members of the economists network: — some of whom spoke more than once. (William Hunter in particular.) It is clear that this society was a profitable recruiting ground for Tollison and Savarese.
The large group of speakers connected with Tollison's Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University completely dominated the conference session on Public Health.
- Robert Tollison
- Richard Wagner
- David ER Gay
- Dwight Lee
- William C Mitchell
- Burton Abrams
- Cecil E Bohanon
- Charles Breeden
- William J Hunter
- Bruce Benson
- Burton Weisbrod
- Bruce Yandle
- Roger L Faith
- Roger Congleton
- James Buchanan
- Gary Anderson
- Peter J Boettke
- Jeffrey R Clark
- Robert J Staaf
This document also contains a list of the Public Choice Society's participants, many of whom were also members of the economist's network.
1989 Aug 1: Jim Savarese's July Status Report to the Tobacco Institute. His operation is working on
- Women's Coalition Building (National Women's Political Caucus)
- Veterans - smoking policy for VA hospitals
- Smoker Discrimination Issues — with O&M and Mike Forscey for Massachusetts
- Labor Management Committee — AFL-CIO Convention
- Federal Excise Taxes
— Citizens for Tax Justice, Deficit Reduction Conference, Advertising Campaign, Economic Policy Institute
- Public Smoking
— Airline Cabin Air Quality, Safe Workplace Air Coalition, Boston Building Audit, National Energy Management Institute (NEMI), Texas AFL-CIO Convention
- Ad Bans — op-ed projects done by cash-for-comment economists and lawyers in the two networks, etc. Ten op-eds had been published:
Robert Staaf, Clemson University
1989 Dec 25: Clemson University now had a third professor of law and economics who was writing op-ed "Controls on tobacco industry ill-omened" in "The State" newspaper for the tobacco industry. Professor Robert J Staaf is quoted as writing:
"The fundamental difference between these proposals and existing regulations of tobacco advertising is that they are not based on consumer protection principles. If enacted, these bills would establish a precedent to restrict or eliminate the right of sellers to advertise a legal product. Censorship is not in consumers' interest and is a violation of a fundamental constitutional right, regardless of one's views on smoking."Staaf used the old lobbyist's ploy of trying to establish himself as a disinterested independent commentator by mentioning that he is a 'non-smoker'... implying that he serves no special interest.
Should these same "ignorant" citizens who cannot be trusted to listen and view advertisements also be denied the franchise to vote? If competition of information is to be preserved in the political sector, it must also be preserved in the private sector. If these legislative proposals are enacted, it will be a key step on the road to censorship.
In the same document Ryan Amacher from the same university is quoted as having written in a June 2 1989 article in The Greenville News.
Dr Staaf, a non-smoker, is a professor of law and economics at Clemson University
In a free society, we must listen to a political speech that offends us, allow movies to be produced that we don't like, and permit the sale of books that are distasteful to some members of society. In the defense of freedom, we must also be vigilant in protecting commercial speech that some may find distasteful. [Presumably 'free speech' includes the right to lie to your constituency about your 'independent academic status.']