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CREATED 7/19/2010

WARNING: 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.



Tom Donohue
Bill of Rights Project




National Chamber Foundation    

— This is the supposed 'educational' arm of the US Chambers of Commerce which had no qualms about working for the tobacco industry (and presumably other industries) which gave them generous grants. —  

The tobacco industry virtually ran the National Chamber Foundation during the 1980s as their virtual lobby firm. A number of tobacco executives and their lobbyists, also held key positions on the Board and Board-of-Review of their Journal.

The National Chamber Foundation (NCF) says that it "is an independent, nonprofit, public policy research and educational organization affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce. Since its inception in 1967, the National Chamber Foundation has studied emerging issues vital to the economy and to the business community, and has served as a catalyst for the implementation of new public and private sector policy initiatives. NCF's studies."

It had no research staff of its own, but acted for industry groups wanting to employ "nationally respected scholars from top universities and research groups" by assembling "a distinguished advisory committee" to work with the researchers. Such advisory committes were "chosen from the ranks of corporate executives, issue specialists, social scientists and professionals"

Despite the high-falluting ideals listed in its documents, the NCF was, in fact, a Big-Industry, Big Tobacco lobby group that wanted $25,000 a year from Philip Morris alone (approx $100k from the cigarette industry as a whole) to help it to maintain corporate profit levels against regulatory attacks.

When you decipher the subtext, they were willing to act as an intermediary between the tobacco industry and academics (who would sometimes not openly support cigarette companies) through advisory committees consisting of industry executives and carefully selected scientific lackeys.

In 1987, the NCF also provide Philip Morris with cover by running a Conference celebrating the Bicentennial of the US Constitution. This was a total scam. Philip Morris used occasions like this ('Bill of Rights') as lobbying opportunities.

[See Philip Morris's Bill of Rights Project]

Some key documents

• John Volpe and Stephen Utt were both Vice Presidents. Tom Donohue was Executive Vice President.

1977 Sep: A Chamber of Commerce newsletter article by John J Meehan, Vice President of Public Affairs and Federation Development (which became the NCF)

In recent months the business community has fought a number of legislative battles and won.

    Key to success is an organized business constituency that is mobilized behind
    common objectives and maintains a grass roots contact with legislators. This massive, coordinated grass roots effort is operating through the National
    Chamber's Congressional Action Committee (CAC) System.

    The National Chamber has undertaken an aggressive new emphasis on organizing and implementing Corporate Congressional Action Committees (CorpCACs) within the proven CAC System.

1980 Jan 21: The US Chamber of Commerce (under Richard Lesher's name) is lending its support to corporate opposition to OSHA rulemaking on cancer prevention.

OSHA's fundamental incompetence and failed performance have significantly contributed to our present status quo.

    How then, can we justify entrusting an agency which has already caused misallocation of $25 billion with a regulatory program five times as large? That is what OSHA's cancer program is estimated to cost — somewhere between $100-125 billion. How could American industry ever generate such colossal sums of capital? OSHA's proposals would trigger costs equal to more than one and a half times the total capital expenditures of all manufacturers in 1976. Ultimately,.of course, consumers bear these extra costs by paying sharply higher prices.

1980 Mar 12: Fred Panzer of the Tobacco Institute writes to Richard Orange at the US Chamber of Commerce. They have been discussion scripts for "The Voice of Business" attacking the OSHA/EPA Cancer Policies.

I think that it might be advisable for Horace Kornegay, President of The Tobacco Institute, to discuss this matter with Richard Lesher.[President of US Chamber of Commerce]

1983 May 18: Tobacco Institute internal memo — appears to be about the time that the NCF was recruited as an ally.

Five years ago, the National Chamber Foundation published a bad-news study in part having to do with workplace smoking. Recently, both Sam Chilcote and K.v. Dey have fussed with Dick Lesher [President of the NCF] about it at the National Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.

    In reply to Sam, Jack Marshall, vice president of the Foundation, said the study will be updated, and "I would be very interested in learning more about the Tobacco Institute's position on the tobacco use and absenteeism issue." In reply to K.v., Tom Donohue, Executive Vice President of the Foundation, said it "has specifically invited the American Tobacco Institute to supply some additional data, on the absenteeism issue."

    With that background, please tell me if any member of your staff has supplied any information to the Foundation. If not, it would appear that a visit by Katherine Becker would make a fine start

1983: Marh 31. Thomas Donohue is now writing concilliatory letters to KV Dey suggesting that they might get more initimately involved in funding and directing a revised study:

The Chamber, for example, has no position on smoking and absenteeism. This was an independent study that served its function well, but there are many controversial positions taken by InterStudy in the course of its discussion which can be debated, and are. You have alerted us to one.

    The study is now five years old, and in need of revision. The National Chamber Foundation, which sponsored the study, is considering a revision of the text, and has specifically invited the American Tobacco Institute to supply some additional data on the absenteeism issue. I am certain that future revisions of A National Health Care Strategy will take special care to give a balanced analysis of this issue, thanks to you and others who have brought it to our attention.

1984: Tobacco Institute file labled Workplace Smoking — US Chambers of Commerce. This Background Information document spells out the Tobacco Institute's standard line.

Lewis C. Solmon, Ph.D. (Economics, University of Chicago), a professor and assistant dean, Graduate School of Education, UCLA, reviewed the Weis assertions in the March 1983 issue of PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATOR.
  • Solmon's scrutiny of Weis' work revealed selective reporting of data, biased research, confusion of correlation and causation, and faulty logic.
  • The Weis research, which forms the basis of his argument, appears highly questionable;
  • Implementing a smoking prohibition, as advocated by Weis, would impose unnecessary costs on many businesses, could adversely affect employee morale, and could lead to a loss in productivity and profits;
  • Discriminatory hiring practices raise serious social implications;
It also contains a C/V of Solmon.

1985: The National Chamber Foundation has been a member of the Philip Morris Public Policy Project since 1985, with grants since then totalling $12,500 .

1986 (c): National Chamber Foundation — (predominantly) oil, automobile, gun, and aluminium lobbyist executives. They are lobbying for lower corporate taxes.
    Key members of the Board of NCF were:
    • J Paul Sticht, Chairman of RJ Reynolds Tobacco. is chairman;
    • John Volpe is Vice President,
    • William Genge of Ketchum Communications [PR company] is on the Board
    • Robert Krieble of Loctite Corp is on the Board [R/W zealot]

1988: Listing of 1986 - 87 Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART) Accomplishments. [A NCF political lobby operation]

  • 30 Honorarium breakfasts bringing together the members of CART with key Senators and Congressmen.
  • Convinced Senators Mitchell and Durenberger to write a joint letter to Senators Byrd and Dole expressing opposition to excise tax increases. The letter was signed by over 20 other senators.
  • This memo talks of "CART and CBO studies". CART commissioned a [Peat Marwick] study, to update CART's original 1986 regressivity study. The study quantified the regressive nature of excise tax increases in terms of the deficit reductions currently before the Congress.
  • Letters to the President, etc in the Administration
  • Tom Donohue [Exec VP at the National Chamber Foundation] testified as President of CART before the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee.
    [Note: Thomas Donohue is also listed as representing the American Trucking Association at a Tobacco Institute meeting on excises. Page 5]
  • The CART Vice President's [Dan Quayle] group [Council on Competitiveness], and the CART Public Relations Subcommittee, have devoted many, many hours developing and coordinating the grass roots advertising programs of CART members. The result has been a strong unified, proconsumer positive grass roots program against all excise tax increases.
  • CART helped the Consumers for Tax Justice Economic Study, which documented the strongly regressive effect of such tax increases on low income consumers. CART maintains cooperative relationships with the:
    • Consumers Alert Advocate Fund,
    • LULAC,
    • Congressional Black Caucus,
    • labor union groups which are working against excise tax increases.

        CART has also developed cooperative relationships with various associations representing government officials. Particularly helpful [were]...
    • National Governors Association,
    • American Legislative Exchange Council

1987: Philip Morris made a $5,000 general support grant to the NCF.

1987 Feb 27: NCF Conference for the BiCentennial of the Constitution This is actually being run for Philip Morris, who want to use it to lobbying politicians. The theme they are promoting here is "freedom to advertise" and the tactics they use are lectures by

  • Thomas McGrew of PM's boardroom law firm Arnold & Porters on "First Amendment Protection of Commercial Speech"
  • Richard Epstein (AEI and PM consultant) "Protection of Economic Liberties" from government intrusion.
  • Ernest Gellhorn (of tobacco law firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue - and another tobacco industry consultant)

1987 Nov 10: Guy Smith, PM's corporate PR, is recommending to the company's 'Contributions Committee' that they give the NCF $50,000 in support from Philip Morris over two years.

    It is proposing that PM underwrite a study on worker absenteeism (the tobacco industry was keen to counter the 'social cost' perception that smokers took more days off work through illness)

1990 Aug 21: "Comments critical of Draft EPA ETS Policy Guide" lists

  • Ronald Utt. Vice President, National Chamber Foundation
        Utt writes to express concern about the process by which EPA has conducted recent studies resulting in the Guide and other publications. He cites the risk assessment's "exclusive and selective reliance on research conducted outside the EPA's otherwise vigorous scientific control procedures" and publication of the report ptior to public or expert review. His chief concern is the report's "exclusive reliance on secondary studies, including several critical ones that were conducted outside the United States in cultures and environments substantially different from those that prevail domestically."

1990 May: - July working with the Tobacco Institute

  • 5/90 Testimony to Senate Finance Committee on tax policy
  • 7/90 Distributed one-pager based on Senate Finance testimony to Members of Congress, the media and other interests

1990 Aug 21: Ronald D Utt, Vice President of the NCF has made a "Public Comment" on the EPAs Draft ETS Policy Guide.

Utt writes to express concern about the process by which EPA has conducted recent studies resulting in the Guide and other publications. He cites the risk assessment's "exclusive and selective reliance on research conducted outside the EPA's otherwise vigorous scientific control procedures" and publication of the report prior to public or expert review.

    His chief concern is the report's "exclusive reliance on secondary studies, including several critical ones that were conducted outside the United States in cultures and environments substantially different from those that prevail domestically."

1991 Nov: The research and educational affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce
    has "The Journal of Regulation and Social Costs" Vol 1 No 4. Note the tobacco industry executives and friends on the Editorial Board, and more as writers.

  • J Paul Sticht, Chairman (RJ Reynolds)
  • Richard L Lesher, President
  • Ronald Utt, Editor and Vice President
  • Steve H Hanke, Consulting Editor [Economist, Cato & Independent Institute]
  • Ms Renee Nowland, Associate Editor
  • David F Unowes, Board of Review [Uni of Illinois]
  • James C Miller III, Board of Review [Citizens for a Sound Economy]
  • Thomas Gale Moore, Board of Review [Hoover Institution, Cato, A de Tocqueville, AEI]
  • Paul H Rubin "The FDA's Prescription for Consumer Ignorance" [Emory University economics professor who holds adjunct fellowships at AEl, Cato and the Manhattan Institute]
  • Bruce Yandle, "A Primer on Marketable Pollution Permits" [A neo-con anti-environmentalist from Clemson University who wanted to corporatise the EPA]
  • Thorne Auchter"The President's Next Step in Regulatory Reform" [ex OSHA director and tobacco industry lobbyist]
  • W Kip Viscusi "A Principled Basis for Product Liability Reform." [Yale economist and Risk Analysis promoter — tobacco industry lobbyist]


1992 Oct: The Tobacco Institute budget for 1993 has an allocation of $138,000 for a "Social Cost" project [to prove that smokers were not a burden on the national economy] in 1992 and 1993



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