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.
Clifford L Fry
— A hasty fill-in for a cash-for-comments project attacking the FDA's cigarette advertising ban. He doesn't appear to have contributed much. —
Clifford Fry was only a minor cog in the tobacco industry's wheel of deception. He ran "Clifford Fry Resources Inc, in Bryan Texas — and he was hastily recruited by James Savarese to fill a gap in their coverage of the main American states.
The idea of running a team of cash-for-comments academic economists was developed by Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations for the Tobacco Institute in 1983 and 1984. At that time the operation was run by one of O&M's contracted consultants, James Savarese, who had both economics and labor/union contacts.
Savarese knew Professor Robert Tollison, of the Economics Department of George Mason University. Tollison had excellent contacts with a large number of Hayek/neo-con economists at other universities, due mainly to his directorship of the Center for the Study of Public Choice, which was located at GMU, but run as a private think-tank.
Tobacco Industry money now found its way into the Center, and before long it was acting as a recruitment and money-laundry service to develop the cash-for-comments network among appropriate academic economists.
The first project began in June 1984, getting 13 economists on their network to write op-ed articles in support of the tobacco industry position on excise taxes, plant them on a local newspaper, then send copies to their Congressman.
Savarese and Bob Tollison (supported by Anne Tollison and staff from the Center) took over the operations from O&M, and branched out into a diverse range of cash-for-comments networks: academic professors in law , business, marketing, and advertising, indoor-air-quality testing experts, risk-assessment specialists, biomedical researchers.
These academics all had in common the desire to make money from the tobacco industry without revealing their connection to the 'Merchants of Death'. With Savarese and Tollison providing the shield, they produced supposedly "independent' opinion-editorials (op-eds); turned up at ordinance hearings on public smoking; attended and gave expert evidence to Congressional inquiries and the like. They constantly spouted the tobacco industry propaganda, and were well paid for selling-out ... averaging $1,500 a time for these services.
DeclineBy 1989 Tollison and Savarese seem to have had about 60 Professors of Economics on their books, and about the same number (combined) in the other academic disciplines.
The Savarese-Tollison partnership appears to have broken up around 1990, but Savarese continued to run the operation for most of the decade — often using Tollison just as one source (but better paid than the others).
Over time — and sometimes abruptly — some of these economists dropped out of the operation ... maybe they had developed a conscience?
A few new recruits were added regularly to the networks in the 1990 - 1994 period. But the tobacco companies themselves tended to take control of the biomedical research specialists, probably because of the legal necessity of dealing with them through lawyers, to avoid the risk of legal 'discovery'. The economists' network lasted the longest, and was the most productive from the industry viewpoint.
For more background information on how Savarese and Tollison operated these networks, see:
• Letter to op-ed writers.
• cash-for-comments networks (Overview)
• Robert D (Bob) Tollison
• James Michael (Jim) Savarese
Dr. Fry is Executive Vice President at RRC, Inc. A native Texan, Dr. Fry received his Ph.D. in Economics from Texas A&M University in 1972. He is also certified in business valuation.|
Regarded as an expert in economics and finance, Dr. Fry's strong combination of business and academic experience has proven vital in commercial damage determinations in disputes involving breach of contract, intellectual property theft, copyright and patent infringement, and other civil claims.
Dr. Fry has a variety of litigation experience, including antitrust market analysis, analysis of investment risks and management of investment funds, banking issues, business interference, trade secrets, monopsony, price fixing, and predatory pricing. Dr. Fry's extensive teaching experience enables him to be very effective in communicating with jurors.
Dr. Fry has testified in state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and in regulatory proceedings. He brings to a case useful research experience when financial complexities are in dispute.
Dr. Fry's experience in litigation and regulatory testimony distinguishes him from other accredited business valuation analysts. He is accustomed to providing a solid basis for all of his work. He is used to cross examination and is experienced in testifying. An attorney or other client must know that the business valuation analyst can testify, if need be, with work capable of holding up under scrutiny by adverse parties.
Dr. Fry is a former Chairman of the Department of Finance at the University of Houston. He has published a variety of peer reviewed research papers in leading finance and economics journals. In addition to his position at RRC, Dr. Fry has taught Antitrust Economics and Macroeconomics as a Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at Texas A&M University.
Dr. Fry's business experience includes service as Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Vice President and Director of the U.S. Economics Division at Crocker National Bank in San Francisco, and as a member of the Board of Directors of four financial institutions and a retail business.
Dr. Fry's litigation support capabilities have been augmented by a well-rounded variety of business and regulatory consulting engagements. He has directed the economic analysis for Environmental Impact Studies. He directed the socioeconomic analysis for the State of Texas' bid for the FutureGen Project with the U.S. Department of Energy. He has performed the required economic analysis for the extension of a lignite mine by Alcoa. His efforts have been instrumental in determining the economic impact of various industries on the economy of the state of Texas. He has prepared forecasts of national economic changes, forecasts of interest rates, forecasts of property taxes, and estimates of the future profitability to banks of making student loans. Dr. Fry's charity work is extensive. Dr. Fry has for years volunteered on high level committees and boards of the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.
Some key documents
• Clifford Fry Resources Inc, Bryan, Texas (other companies later)
1964: Graduated from Texas A&M University.
1989 Apr: Clifford Fry is obviously a man of many talents. "Dr Fry's Texas Medicine Band is an 8 piece Houston group and one of the finest country and old time Rock n Roll bands in town..."
Clifford Fry plays the acoustic guitar and provides the vocals. (Music News Houston )
1995 Nov 14: He was hastily recruited by James Savarese for a FDA op-ed writing project.
1995 Dec 21: Savarese & Associate's Status report to Carol Hyrcaj at the Tobacco Institute on the FDA op-editorial program [Dec 8th].
As reflected in the status report, we have replaced Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Houston congressional district with three new states (California, Massachusetts and West Virginia). As you know, we have already received Robert Sexton's (California) article, as well as confirmation that the economist in Massachusetts is able to participate.Clearly some of their draft articles were not entirely satisfactory and required rewrites by Savarese's staff. The notes include some additional revealing items such as:
At this time, we are asking those economists that have published, to forward a copy of their article to their congressman/congresswoman.
[These last two were obviously a fill in for a Texas and a Wisconsin economist who had dropped out of the network.]
- Professor Cecil Bohanon — "Revised op-ed returned to economist 11/10"
- " Professor Pogue has been contacted. We are waiting to hear whether he will be able to particpate."
- Professor Kurth — "Will have op-ed to us by next week" [for checking]
- Professor Ridgway — "Will have op-ed to us in a week"
- Professor Gallaway — "Returned revised op-ed to economist 11/2"
- Professor Davis — "Returned revised op-ed 11/3"
- Clifford Fry, Resources Inc, Bryan Texas — "Had to identify new economist. Sent materials 11/14"
- Prof Charles Breeden, Marquette University, — "Had to identify new economist. Sent materials 11/14"
1996 Jan 5: This Status Report on FDA Op-ed Program is revealing about the master-servant relationship between the tobacco industry and their network economists. It lists 20 attempted newpaper plants of their anti-FDA propaganda and details about the 20 economists who wrote these articles on commission:
[Clifford Fry of Resources Inc. Bryan Texas is not included in this list despite being recruited on the 14 November.]
2000 Nov 14: Deposition of Donald R House in "Scott v American Tobacco Co" [271 pages]
House co-owns with Fry an economics research firm, RRC Incorporated, and he is being queried about some work they have done on attacking a study by Rosen Harrison and Burns. The decription (see index) says:
The defendants' expert witness, an economist, was deposed by the plaintiffs. He indicated that he was asked to examine the expert reports of Drs. Rosen, Harrison and Burns. He described the consulting firm that he co-owns. He discussed the appropriateness of billing $30 an hour for research done by his son, a 26-year-old student at a junior college. He described the roles of other people who helped him compile his report. He elaborated on the critiques he made of the plaintiffs' expert reports.
[Donald House, Fry's partner, obviously did a lot of work for the tobacco industry in the area of international trade, and seems to have specialised in appearing as a witness for the defense in court cases [American Tobacco Company]
2001: Dr Fry's Texas Medicine Band is a Houston area band that has concentrated on recording original music in recent years. The band's music is guitar and keyboard based music - fun, poetic, original country rock with male and female vocals.
2009 Aug 21: "Dr Clifford Fry on Health Care Reform"
2010: Cliford L Fry is also an economic witness for hire operating through the firm RRC Inc, Market and Litigative Economics [Along with his associates Donald R House (Jr and Sr)]
See his article "How Can an Attorney Best Utilize a Damages Expert?"
His company offers this advice on
Economic Testimony http://www.rrc-inc.com/staff.php
There are times in which the economic expert is either unprepared or led into difficult positions. Likewise, there are times in which the cross examination opens the door for further damaging economic testimony. Over the years, we have compiled a list of pitfalls and successes among economic experts we have observed.
Fry does not appear to have become a formal part of the economists network. His entry is here for the sake of completeness since he was recruited. However he may have been involved through his company or partners. He is a professional economist-for-hire.