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.
Michael A Crew
— One of the more enthusiastic cash-for-comments economist from Rutgers University (New Jersey) who worked for the tobacco industry. —
Michael Crew became part of a network put together by tobacco lobbyist James Savarese and Professor Robert Tollison of George Mason University who collaborated in the 1980s to provide the tobacco industry [through the Tobacco Institute] with a number of academics who would be willing to write propaganda material ... always provided their names were not linked to the industry or to any of the cigarette companies.
The idea was simply that the 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 academics to the tobacco industry because the distinction between economics and politics was never clear: so support of the cigarette companies could always be claimed as support for free-market economics ... the rights of individuals to make public choices ... small government ... or even the first Amendment to the Constitution.
The economist always claimed to be 'independent', 'professionals' and they wre recognised 'academics' 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 precision, 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 one academic economist, one academic lawyer, and one academic from a business management, business law, marketing or advertising discipline willing to jump into action and write op-ed articles for their local newspaper, or to appear at local ordinance or legislative hearings. Copies of these articles were always to be sent to a local Congressman who sat on some important (to the tobacco industry) committee.
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!
|What were they selling?|
|It is a mistake to think that these economists were selling lies. Public relations and persuasive propaganda doesn't work that way; it is too easy to get caught out.|
What they wrote were simplistic and selective versions of a disputed economic doctrine resting on esoteric assumptions not understood by readers. The tobacco industry did the selecting and often doctored up the words.
Most of these second-rate ivory-tower economists had little personal credibility as political commentators: they were unknown outside the range of their university campus. So the tobacco industry wasn't buying their reputations or expertise. It was buying the university's reputation for integrity and independent scholarship built up over decades by honest academics acting for the public good.
It was this reputational plagerism that made such articles appear convincing to local newspaper readers. And this is why the Tobacco Institute paid $1,000 — $3,000 for a slanted Economics 101 essay planted in a local paper with a 'Professor' by-line.
If, in their papers the 'Professors' could also claim to be 'non-smokers', then their reputation as disinterested independent expert commentators was even further enhanced.
Consultancies: AT&T, BellSouth, Independent Power Producers of New York, Jersey Central Power and Light, New York Telephone, Sithe Energies, Royal Mail, and the United States Postal Service
There is also a Mike Crew who works in television news. He appears to have become the Communications Product Manager for Philip Morris.
Some key documents
• Economist at the Graduate School of Management, Rutgers University. Newark.
He is listed by the Tobacco Institute as one of their "Resources" in New Jersey, alongside their lobbyists and public relations consultants.
• Founding editor of Applied Economics.
1972: PhD University of Bradford
1977: Joined Rutger Business School, Rutger University.
1984–88: Board of Directors of Energy Initiatives, Inc.
1984 Jul: The Tobacco Institute's Cigarette Excise Tax Plan.
The plan augments our basic lobbying efforts by relying on groups outside the industry — some not regularly associated with the industry — to argue against excise taxes for us.
It is an ambitious program, based on the notion that many of the most effective protests against tobacco taxes will come from groups philosophically distant from The Institute. Many such groups agree with us on the excise issue, even though they disagree with us on other matters.
At the federal level, supporting Congressional members from the tobacco states is essential to our lobbyists. The tobacco members consistently vote as a unified group — something that is rarely seen in Congress today. They are our lobbyists' most important resource.
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.
- Stimulate reputable public finance economists at key state universities to determine the validity of state revenue forecasts, perhaps on behalf of state business organizations and present arguments against excise taxes in various forums; e.g., meetings with potential coalition members or budget officials.
- 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.
- Presenting specific members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees with arguments prepared by economists with whom they share some common interest; e.g college affiliation, service on the same commission.
- Gaining the support of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the most influential labor/liberal tax reform group in the country, in opposition to excise taxes.
- Relying on the AFL-CIO — via The Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco Workers Union — to ensure that the labor/liberal tax package that emerges in the next session of Congress does not include tobacco.
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.
|California|| Thomas Borsherding, Claremont College|
|Connecticut|| William McEachern, University of Washington |
|Florida|| Richard Wagner, Florida State University |
|Georgia|| Fred McChesney, Emory University Law School |
|Illinois|| James Heins, University of Illinois |
|Mass.|| Harlan Platt , Northeastern University |
|Minnesota|| Thomas Stimson, University of Minnesota (St.P)|
|New York|| Harold Hockman, City University of New York |
|Ohio|| David Klingaman, Ohio University|
|Penn.|| Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania|
|Texas|| Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University|
|Wash.DC.|| Robert D Tollison, George Mason University.|
|Wisconsin|| Burton Weisbord, University of Wisconsin |
|[This was the core group which established the cash-for-contents network. Over the years the numbers reached over 100.]|
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.
1984 Dec: /E A draft article as sent to the Tobacco Institute by Michael Crew "Indirect Taxation should be included in reforms" The Reagan Administration has just won its second term, and Crew is offering them advice: His ideas may not have gone down too well with the Tobacco Institute:
"..such taxes (excise taxes) will be increasingly relied on as an alternative to income tax increases."
"Since a relatively small number of commodities aie subject to excise taxes, the effect of these levies is to discourage consumption of the taxed products and to discriminate against their consumers and producers."
"Excise taxes offer great opportunities for government to discriminate against products and, hence, the consumers and producers of those product."
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.
NEW JERSEY (Rep. Guarini, Sen. Bradley)
• Professor Michael Crew
Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey
Another list gives his Speciality Areas as:
Industrial studies, public policy,
public utility economics,
regulation and bureacracy;
business & labor; environment.
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. Michael Crew heads their state list of available economic witnesses for New Jersey.
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
Market: NEW JERSEY
Positive Actions by Local Allies:
Academics: Professor Michael Crew (Rutgers University) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform that appeared in the Jersey Journal (newspaper in home district of Ways & Means Member Guarini and Senate Finance member Bradley). Copies were sent to Guarini and Bradley.
See page 4
See Success List
1985 May 20: He has written an editorial "Indirect taxes need reform" for The Jersey Journal opposing the use of excise taxes. Like most of this round of Tobacco Institute-funded opinion pieces and editorials, it makes only passing reference to tobacco excises.
|Content vs. Purpose?|
|The question is not what was said in these articles, but rather the reasons why they were said.
If your vision of economics is merely that it is a form of commercial bookkeeping (a view that prevailed until the global financial crisis), then clearly the early deaths of other people — those who have passed their social usefulness and are a burden on the tax system — is of benefit to the survivors. Smokers who are taxed during their smoking lives and then die young are therefore a net benefit to their communities.
Of course the same can apply to euthenasia of the disabled and the elderly, and perhaps the hanging of all academic economists who propound this sort of simplistic nonsense.
1985 June 30 to Sep 6: The Tobacco Institute have arranged the weekly syndication of a series of Opinion pieces, comparing statements of four economists (varied weekly) on various subjects. These have been picked up and run by newspapers; presumably in the belief that they are worthy articles of economic opinion. The economists quoted are:
[It's great to see newspapers publishing such a diversity of economic opinion!]
- 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
There's also published articles on tax reform by Todd Sandler (Uni of Wyoming); Michael Crew (Rutgers Uni); Robert Ekelund (Ashburn Uni); Joseph Jadlow (Oklahoma State Uni); Ann Harper-Fender (Gettysburg College); Thomas Pogue (Uni of Iowa); Lee Alston (Williams College), Paul Menchik (Michigan State Uni); Henry Butler (Texas A&M Uni); Burton Abrams (Uni of Delaware)
1985 Sep 6: Acey at the Tobacco Institute has sent a bundle of newspaper clippings along to their printer/copier.
Enclosed are 15 original newspaper clipings (don't lose them!) some in better shape than others.
We'd like these articles on seperate sheets so the lobbiests (sp) can make up their own individual packets. They will also be including some publications too.
This brings us back to the infamous Tax Folder... To hold all these clippings, publicatiosn and information on tax articles.
Size should be a 9 x 12 folder to fit in a 9x 12 envelope. You know what I mean. Good looking folder, not too slick. Articles should be in black & white.
[This economist's editorial is to be circulated.]
1985 Nov 6: Ken Arnold of Ogilvy & Mather PR writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute.
Fred, here is a summary of the Economist Op-ed and Economic News Service projects.
This chart list all the important Congressmen they want their economists to influence, including:
With regard to the Economist Op-ed Project, we have submitted a total of 34 op-ed articles, and 18 of them have been published. Recent articles appeared in the Huntsville Times on September 11, by Robert Ekelund and in the Providence Journal on October 25, by Arthur Mead (see attachments).
Enclosed is a revised op-ed chart, indicating House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committee Members impacted to date. and the circulation of each newspaper publishing the articles. In most cases, the papers are the largest in the targeted district.
Congressman: Frank Guarini
Senator Bill Bradley
[For publication in] Jersey Journal (c. 73,800) May 20 Professor Michael Crew, Rutgers University
Economic News Service:
Ogilvy & Mather appear to have organised a separate syndication system for economic articles which did not carry the names of the cash-for-comments academics, but which were simply distributed to these newspapers as if they were news. However, the titles show that they were carefully crafted to suit the local prejudices and interests — so they were probably written anonymously by the same academics..
1985 Dec: President Ronald Reagan
asked Senator Bob Packwood
, chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee to design a proposal for comprehensive tax reform
which would reduce the highest individual income tax rate down to 35% from its current 50% level, but retain adequate incentives for business investment, and avoid inclusion of any new taxes.
[This greatly upset the cigarette industry which would find the cost of their cigarettes rising. So they set about attacking the plan, while trying not to get off-side with the Reagan Administration.]
In an attempt to do this without reducing the total amount of tax revenue that is currently collected, the Packwood Plan proposed to offset the reduced revenues from income taxes by what the Wall Street Journal has referred to as a "backdoor increase in excise taxes."
The Packwood plan proposes to eliminate the income tax deductibility of excise taxes and import tariffs paid by businesses [and it] would increase federal excise tax receipts by an estimated $75 billion over five years. Approximately $13 billion of this would be a result of a direct increase in excise taxes on motor fuel, wine, distilled spirits, and tobacco.
See also this document — James Savarese
's report to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute on the progress of his Packwood Excise Tax/Op-Ed project.
This economist and 18 others are writing opinion pieces for their local newspapers, and sending letters to their congressmen.
[The Packwood Plan triggered a substantial increase in the activities of the cash-for-comments economists already employed by the tobacco industry and led to the creation of the very substantial network of academic economists in every state who could be called upon to help fight tax increases on cigarettes — and later public smoking bans.]
1985 Dec 12: Annual Report of the Tobacco Institute's Public Relations Division:
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 Michael Crew (Rutgers University) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform that appeared in the Jersey Journal (newspaper in home district of Ways & Means Member Guarini and Senate Finance member Bradley). Copies were sent to Guarini and Bradley.
|The Reagan Administration had gone on a spending spree while promising to rein in the bureaucracy and cut taxes. Under Reagan the national debt was skyrocketing, so Oregon Republican Bob Packwood was given the job of designing a new tax plan. However President Reagan insisted that it must: |
This left Packwood with only one alternative — to use a "back-door increase in excise tax." His scheme was estimated to raise $75 billion over five years from increasing excise taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco — and eliminating tax-deducibility for businesses of both excises and import tariffs.
- avoid inclusion of any new taxes.
- retain adequate incentives for business investment
- reduce the top individual income tax rate from the current 50% to 35%.
So while actively supporting the Reagan Administration's anti-agency (FDA, EPA, OSHA) activities and the Republican attempts to limit product-liability, class actions, etc. the tobacco companies (who also owned beer, wine and spirit businesses) took a prominent stand against Packwood — but kept themselves in the background through hiring academic economists to promote their propaganda.
1986 Jan: Public Relations Resources Commitee of the Tobacco Institute lists him in their Resource Catalog as a witness for hire.
Professor Michael Crew, School of Administrative Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ He is avilable either as a "Public Smoking" or as a "Taxes" witness. As such 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 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 Michael Crew
School af Administrative Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
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 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.]
[Inclued] 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.]
|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 March: Copies of the letters that the cash-for-comments economists wrote to various newspapers editors, and also the ones they wrote to their Senators — none of which mentioned that they'd been paid by the Tobacco Institute to write both the op-eds and the Congressional letters. These were sent to the Tobacco Institute as proof of their activities:
Michael A Crew, of Rutgers University in Newark wrote to the editor of The Jersey Journal (with his op-ed "Tax Reform Hides Massive Tax Increases: Senator Packwood is too Clever by Half" ), and also to Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bill Bradley saying
I would like to bring to your attention the enclosed article which I have submitted to The Jersey. Journal.- It is critical of the proposal before the Senate Finance Committee to make excise taxes and tariffs non deductible. I hope that you will find it of interest and take it into account in formulating your views on tax re-form.
See Pages 10 to 12
Newspaper clippings of some of the network members' published articles for this project are grouped here:
- Joseph Jadlow, Tax reform Hidden excise boost hurt consumers...
- Allen Dalton, Hidden taxes gut Reagan reform plan.
- Charles Maurice, Packwood proposal picks our pockets.
- Scott Atkinson, Packwood Tax Reform Bill Threatens Wyoming Economy.
[Typewritten draft versions]
- Allen Dalton, Tax Revision: Reform or Fraud.
- Thomas F Pogue, Senator Packwood's Proposal is Not Tax Reform.
- Richard B McKenzie, Excise Taxation: A Misguided Soultion to the Federal Governments Fiscal Woes.
- Terry Anderson, Tax Reform We Don't Need.
- Michael Crew, Tax Reform Hides Massive Excise Tax Increases: Senator Packwood Is Too Clever by Half.
- JJ Bodewyn, Taxwise, We are going to be had.
- Anne Harper-Fender, The Packwood Tax Plan: Reform or Expediency.
- Scot Atkinson, Packwood Tax Reform Bill Threatens Wyoming Economy.
These draft articles have all been freshly retyped on two different typewriters. This confirms that they are the final output after they've passed the Tobacco Institute's vetting, clearance, and 'improvement' stages.
1986 Mar 13: Savarese writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute about the "Chase Study/Op-eds".
[These are promoting faux-economic impact studies on the effects of smoking bans, done in specific cities for the Tobacco Institute by Chase Econometrics]
- 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
- 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 Mar 20: Tobacco Institute document: Background Update Of the Estimated Effect of the Packwood Tax Plan On the Price Increase Necessary For Cigarettes
If the deductibility of the excise taxes is eliminated, then most, if not all, of this tax increase will be passed on to tobacco consumers as price increases to cover the additional corporate taxes they will be required to pay, plus the indexed excise tax requirement.
On the basis of 1985 sales, and the level of federal excise taxes paid on cigarettes, the level of taxable sales would be: $4.5 billion / $0.16 = 28.125 billion packs — the remainder are either sent overseas as exports or to armed services, or to government institutions.
If the Packwood plan is adopted, and if the effective tax rate on tobacco corporations is 35 percent as in 1983, the increase in corporate income taxes would be about $1.83 billion.
It must be assumed that this tax increase will be passed on to consumers in order to maintain net income. This will cause a decline in demand on the base level of 28.125 billion packs.
1986 Apr: /E James Savarese has circulated these instructions to his stable of cash-for-comment economists. He is asking them to write to the House Ways and Means Committee members in their states, and include a copy of their op-ed articles.
He provides stamped and addressed envelopes, and strict instructions for what the letter should say:
Contents of your letter to the member Michael Crew was one on the list of "Economists asked to write letters to Congressmen."
- Opposition to consumption taxes, especially federal excise taxes, and in particular alcohol and cigarettes (you may list others if you wish).
- Opposition to any tax increase as part of the budget reconciliation process; i.e., the need to comply with Gramm-Rudman target of $145 billion deficit limit. This deficit target should be reached with spending reductions.
- However, if the tax reform package that ultimately emerges generates some windfall tax revenues during the first year, FY 1987, these should take the place of any other tax increase that might be considered. (For your information, most analysts believe that the Packwood version of the tax bill is revenue neutral over a five year period, but that it raises between $15-$20 billion during the first year.
- One tax bill per year is more than enough. Whatever tax bill (if any) passed will create enormous uncertainty among the taxpaying public. The last thing that taxpayers — as investors, consumers, etc. — need is another tax bill one month after the major reform bill is passed.
[This is lobbying in any sense of the word. The economists were exploiting their university credentials for personal and tobacco industry financial gain.]
1986 April: Professors Joseph M Jadlow (Oklahoma) and Charles Maurice (Texas A&M) have prepared draft articles attacking the Packwood Tax Plan. James Saverese has sent them, together with clippings of articles already published, along to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute for correction and clearance. (See page 10)
It lists many dozens of articles which the cash-for-comment economist on the network have now written, including one:
Prof Michael Crew
[He has been an obedient lackey of the tobacco industry and has lobbied two Congressmen on their behalf.]
- Submitted to Paper: 2/24/86, Jersey Journal
- Current Status: [N/A]
- Letter have been sent on 3/24/86 to Senators Bradley and Lautenberg
The Tobacco Institute also keeps a record of his submissions and letters to his State Senators, which is circulated to the tobacco companies (here Lorillard).
One of the network economists, William Mitchell, has also written an "Open Letter to Senator Packwood" attacking his plan, and this is being circulated along with a letter from "Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc."
1986 Apr: The Tobacco Institute was shopping for witnesses willing to appear before the Senate Finance Committee to testify against the Packwood tax plan. Along with industry people and a few professional lobbyists, they had managed to get
"some 17 economists in states with Members on the Senate Finance Committee are now in the process of requesting to be heard"
The Institute's list included the network economists
- Barry Poulson, Uni of Colorado
- Richard McKenzie, Washington Uni - St Louis
- Michael Crew, Rutgers Uni
- JJ Boddewyn, City Uni of NY
- Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State Uni
- William Mitchell, Uni of Oregon
- Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College
- Robert Tollison, George Mason Uni
1986 Apr 1: An Open Letter to Senator Robert Packwood (by Wm Mitchell) has been sent to the network economists to help them write their articles. This is a checklist of those in the 1) Writing Stage 2) Submitted to Newspapers 3) Letters Written to Senators.
This cash-for-comments participant has written both the article and the letters to Senators, and has attached copies sent back to the Tobacco Institute.
1986 April 1: On the same day as the Packwood Letter arrived, Michael Crew wrote a long and involved research report on the Packwood Tax Plan, complete with charts, tables and extensive research data.
He claims to have extracted the data from phone interviews of 1,018 adults in the continental US using a telephone research firm [directed by tobacco industry PR company, Burson Marsteller] to discover their attitude to the Packwood Proposal.
He then sent his report to various senators. It is mainly a political campaign guide, and it demonstrates that the majority of voters are opposed to the plan.
[Who would have guessed?]
Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey replied thanking him. And he sent the Senator's letter to the Tobacco Institute for payment.
[Michael Crew was the fastest gun in the west. Whenever he was asked to do something, he obliged immediately. He was usually the first to write an op-ed or a letter to a Congressman. He was always available.]
1986 Apr 11:
The Tobacco Institute confidential plans for State-by-State actions to generate further opposition to the Packwood Tax Plan. The are setting up meetings with senators and their staff during the Easter break.
It lists the various meetings being set up. President Reagan was trying to reduce his budget deficit by any means possible just before the mid-term elections.
Wyoming counsel Bill Thomson reports that his White House sources say Reagan is getting "bad advice" on tax reform...Thomson says Reagan has been persuaded to sign "anything" from the senate that has the tax reform label...idea is that White House can then sayReagan has made the most sweeping tax changes since JFK.
It then lists many activites being undertaken to lobby politicians in each state.
1986 Apr 15: Jim Savarese is reporting to Fred Panzer at the TI about the [anti] Packwood Tax Plan project. He includes numerous letters sent to Senators, copies of published op-eds, and a revised op-ed for Maine and one for Minnesota, He lists the successes of the network economists, including:
Also, we had op-eds published in Eugene, Oregon (The Eugene Register Guard, April 9, 1986) and Wilmington, Delaware (The Wilmington News Journal, April 6, 1986). I'll forward copies of these clips as soon as the authors send them to me.
The Idaho Daily Statesman will publish Professor Dalton's op-ed on April 18, 1986. He will send a copy as soon as it is published.
Prof. Michael Crew
[Submitted to] Jersey Journal 3/27/86
[Letters sent to Senators] 3/27/86 Bradley, Lautenberg.
1986 Apr 15: Jim Savarese is reporting to Fred Panzer at the TI about the [anti] Packwood Tax Plan project.
We have contacted the following people and have asked them to request to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on April 21, 1986. As of today, no one has been asked to testify, but here is the current status.
We will check back with these people daily to see if they have heard anything and I'll let you know as soon as we are successful.
- J.J. Boddewyn, New York - called and wrote [CUNY]
- B. Poulson, Colorado - called and wrote
- Michael Crew, New Jersey - called and wrote [Rutgers]
- William Mitchell, Oregon - called and wrote [Uni of Oregon]
- Richard McKenzie, Missouri - called and wrote [Washington Uni, St Louis]
- Ann Harper-Fender, Pennsylvania - called and wrote [Gettysburg College]
- Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma - called and wrote [Oklahoma State]
- Robert Tollison, Virginia and D.C. - called and wrote [George Mason]
- John Howe, Kansas - previous commitment
- Terry Anderson, Montana - previous commitment
- Lee Anderson, Delaware - previous commitment
1986 Apr 17: Citizens requesting to testify before the Senate Finance Committee in opposition to excise tax provisions of the Draft (Packwood) Tax Reform Bill.
This long list of tobacco lobbyists, unionists, and political think-tank players is divided by state and includes a number of economists from the cash-for-comments network.
- Barry Poulson, University of Colorado
- Richard McKenzie, Washington University at St Louis
- Michael Crew, Rutgers University
- JJ Boddewyn, City University of New York
- Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University
- William Mitchell, University of Oregon
- Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College
- Robert Tollison, George Mason University
1987 Apr 17: Savarese to Panzer re Senate Finance Committee Testimony:
I have enclosed a copy of the letter that Bob Tollison received from the Senate Finance Committee in regard to his request to testify before the committee on April 21.
Most of our economists have received the same letter. Here's the way it looks now
- B. Poulson, Colorado — no word as yet
- R. McKenzie, Missouri — rejected
- M. Crew, New Jersey — rejected
- J.J. Boddewyn, New York — no word as yet
- J. Jadlow, Oklahoma — no word as yet
- W. Mitchell, Oregon — rejected
- A. Harper-Fender, Pennsylvania — rejected
- R. Tollison, Virginia and D.C. — rejected
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: The cash-for-comments network has been busy writing to Senators and Representatives opposing the Packwood Tax Plan. Copies of these letters are then sent to Savarese, who bundles them up and sends them on to the Tobacco Institute. There are letters here from:
- Two from Jean J Boddewyn, (with op-ed and letter sent to the Senate Finance Commitee)
- One from Joseph Jadlow (with op-ed published in Tulsa Tribune)
- One from Michael Crew (with op-ed submitted to the Jersey Journal)
- Published op-ed by Charles Maurice.
1986 May 22: James Savarese has written to his cash-for-comments economists requesting that they now...
... produce a follow up letter to the members of the House Ways and Means Committee in your state. You will note that we are asking that you send this correspondence by Tuesday, May 27, to the home district offices of these members.
He also enclosed the target list of the Members of the House Ways and Means Committee, and (to the Tobacco Institute) the list of economists.
You should refer to your correspondence with the state's Senators and attach copies of your OP-EDs that were placed. In the event that your OP-ED has not yet been placed, please attach it and mention one newspaper to which it has been sent.
Contents of your letter to the member:
- Opposition to consumption taxes,
- Opposition to any tax increase as part of the budget reconciliation process;
- One tax bill per year is more than enough.
1986 May 23: The day after receiving Savarese's letter, Michael Crew writes to the Honorable Frank Guarini, of Jersey City.
I am pleased to enclose an article which I submitted to the Jersey Journal criticising the efforts at tax reform currently underway in both Houses. Both House and Senate Bills are bad attempts at reform. Both of these bills will be bad for business and are currently the cause of considerably (sic) uncertainty. He fails to mention that this letter was sent at the direct request of the tobacco industry. He is now acting as a paid lobbyist.
[This copy was obviously sent to the TI as proof of service. He wanted to be paid the extra $1000 for being such a good little lobbyist.]
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 (including this one) 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 [Crew had both successes and failures]:
- 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: A Tobacco Institute report on the economists network, lists the Congressmen they are expected to influence,and the economist's various academic specialities.
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.
NEW JERSEY, (Rep. Guarini, Sen Bradley)
[Economist:] Professor Michael Crew, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, 201-648-5049
[Speciality:] Industrial studies, public policy, public utility economics.regulation and bureacracy; business & labor; environment.
| Tax Witnesses: ||Materials available|
|Michael Crew|| [Nothing listed]|
| Public Smoking Witnesses: ||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: Atlantic City Fire Department — Raymond Osbeck|
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:
NEW JERSEY (Rep. Guarini, Sen Bradley)
Professor Michael Crew
Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, 201-648-5049
[Specializing in] Industrial studies, public policy, public utility economics, regulation and bureacracy; business & labor; environment.
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, (including one from this source.)
Crew's Jersey Journal op-ed May 20 1985 is on page 192.
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 expanded cash-for-comments economists network.
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 Michael Crew
School of Administrative Sciences , Rutgers University , Newark, New Jersey 08903, 201-648-5049
- original excise tax op-ed
- [Econometrics study]
- Ways and Means letter writing campaign
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
Crew appears to have been culled from the list at this time.
|Journal of Regulatory Economics|
|1988 /E Michael Crew was the founding (and on-going) Editor of Journal of Regulatory Economics.
[Note the Associate Editor of this Journal from 1988-92 in was Kip Viscusi. So the tobacco industry owned the journal for quite a few years.]
1994 May: The American Enterprise Institute's newsletter carries an article about privatising the US Postal Service which was presented to the AEI's May 6 conference
Michael A. Crew, professor of economics, Rutgers University, and Paul R. Kleindorfer, professor of decision sciences and economics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, studied the experiences of other nations in commercializing postal functions.
[It's amazing how often an economist can come to research conclusions which align perfectly with his ideology]
In their paper, "Pricing, Entry, Service Quality, and Innovation under a 'Commercialized' Postal Service," they concluded that promoting competition and decreasing regulatory transaction costs could be accomplished by a well-delineated price-cap regime.