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Californians Against Regulatory Excess
(CARE) This was a tobacco industry front group put together to to fight the anti-smoking Proposition 10 in 1980.
CARE was a direct descendent of the Californians for Common Sense (CCS) operation which the tobacco industry put together to fight Proposition 5 in California in 1978. However the anti-smoking activists didn't give up and in 1980 they renewed their determination to have smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants, etc. CARE was cobbled together to defend 'smokers rights' to pollute by enlisting other industry groups.
Jack Kelly, who had put the CCS (Californians for Common Sense) together for the Tobacco Institute in 1978, had become the head of the Tobacco Action Network (TAN) operations. These activites came under Roger Monzingo, the Tobacco Institute's Vice President for State Affairs.
TAN operations consisted mainly of collecting a mailing list from the cigarette manufacturers, distributors/retailers, and other associates (restaurant groups, property companies, etc.) of people who could be persuaded that their livelihood depended on repelling the anti-smoking activists. These TAN (US Tobacco Action Network) volunteers were then coopted by CARE as soldiers in their war. They were enjoined to send letters to newspapers and their local politican; distribute leaflets to homes; and man phone banks making blind calls on voters.
Although it was impossible for the tobacco industry not to be suspected of being behind CARE, they still needed to maintain that the industry involvement was mainly in the form of financial support for a pro-smoking Californian movement — not something run from Washington by the cigarette companies.
In order to provide this semi-cover, the nominal leaders of CARE needed to be people not from the tobacco industry. The Californian Association of Realtors, and a couple of small business associations provided this necessary camoflage, while the tobacco industry provided the funding. The Californian Chamber of Commerce was also an important ally with its control over the Pacific Legal Foundation which was the bully-boy threatening health and environmental activists with legal suits.
See the earlier Californians for Common Sense.
1980 Jan 4: A meeting was held at the Tobacco Institute to discuss the relevance of the Californian proposition/initiatives against public smoking, and the likelihood that this would be exported to other states. The Philip Morris's report on the meeting notes:
Faced with seemingly inevitable enactment of some sort of legislation, the fact that whatever is enacted in California will likely become a model for other jurisdictions and that professional campaign managers see political and financial advantages in pressing such campaigns nationally, it seems likely that whatever strategies and tactics are adopted in California will have much longer range implications for the industry.
They outline the different options - fighting a full-scale campaign, pre-emptive legislation, etc. From this the NCIR and CARE programs emerged.
1980: [Note: The company chosen to establish CARE was Nelson Padberg Communications which merged with Ralston and Associates, in 1987. Joanne Ralston, was the president of Ralston and Associates This company also worked for the tobacco industry, and from 1996 another merger made this into Ralston, Schowater and Associates, based in Arizona but operating across the West.]
1980 August: An article in the Orange Coast (Irving) newspaper "Cough Up your Vote on Proposition 10" by a litigation lawyer outlines the moves. It points out that Proposition 10 asks citizens to approve the creation of smoking and non-smoking sections in public places and places of employment (a repeat of the initiative Prop 5 of June 1978 which failed) in line with the Surgeon General's recommendations.
It also reveals that CARE has been established by the Tobacco Institute (with Jack Kelly in charge.)
"The activities of CARE will be largely funded by contributions from the American tobacco industry.
The services of the prestigious and highly successful political consulting firm of Robert Nelson and Associates have been retained by CARE to promote the antl-Proposition 10 efforts. It is rumored that Nelson's budget may exceed $1 million in what appears to be developing into a lively debate.
The President and Chairman of the Board of CARE is Libertarian Party candidate for the United States Senate, David Bergland . Bergland is a Costa Mesa attorney who has been active in Libertarian causes in the state for a number of years. Also opposing Proposition 10 are former Republican State Controller Houston Flournoy ; Peter Pitchess , sheriff of Los Angeles County; Democratic Assemblywoman Maxine Waters ; Karen Peters , state director of NOW; John Seymour , president of the California Association of Realtors ; and Marvin Wendt , director of Patient Services at UCI Medical Center.
1980 July 13: The Los Angeles Times reports on the operation in its "Orange County Political Notebook".
It says that Robert Nelson and Associates ( Robert Nelson and Eileen Padberg ) are handling CARE. The list of CARE Board/committee members:
• David Bergland (President) of Costa Mesa
He was a John Birch Society member, then a Reagan Republican, and later the Libertarian candidate for US Senate
• Houston Flournoy The 1974 Republican candidate for governor who was now Dean of the Center of Public Affairs at the University of Southern California. He had previously headed CCS for the tobacco industry.
• Karen Peters State Director of the National Organization for Women
• John Seymour , Anaheim mayor and state president of the Californian Association of Realtors.
• Marvin Wendt , Associate Director of Patient Services at UCI Medical Center. (an old friend/associate of Robert Nelson)
[Other documents add some key members who are not documented here.] See
- William Dohr , Sec of the California Republican Party
- Tom Bensen , Chairman of Cal. Assoc of Tobacco/Candy Distributors
- Maxine Waters and Richard Alatorre , both members of the State Assembly.
The LA Times estimated that the tobacco industry would spend at least as much as it did in 1978. [This article has a good coverage of the history of no smoking propositions in California]
1980 July: /E Bonnie Hulse, the TAN director who was resident in California, had the primary responsibility for the early CARE operations. She was mainly involved in recruiting other organisations to front the program to ensure that the tobacco industry was not seen as just defending its own interests. This draft form-letter gives exaggerated 'details' of the Prop 10 initiative.
It is a letter send under David Berland's name to TAN members trying to enlist financial support from small business operators, especially those likely to feel threatened by the requirements to have separate smoking and non-smoking areas.
1980 Aug 22: Californians Against Regulatory Excess (CARE) report to the tobacco companies. This is an early status report - they are getting delivery of office desks, and recruiting and enlisting new staff members.
Completed first draft of "Hugh Flournoy" letter to Public Utilities,
requesting insert to monthly billings.
1980 Oct 25: Tobacco Institute's report on 4th phase of literature distribution. They are using the company/associate members of the Tobacco Action Networks (TANs) and about a million pamphlets opposing Prop 10 have been printed. Bonnie Hulse, the Tobacco Institute's head of the TAN operation in California, is reporting to Roger Mozingo, VP State Affairs at the Tobacco Institute's Washington office; at this time CARE is seen as a TAN (US Tobacco Action Network) operation.
They are also setting up six phone bank operations for "Get Out The Vote" calls to be made each night using TAN volunteers.
"The first half hour of each phone bank will be set aside as an orientation training period. A CARE staff member will be in attendance each evening at each location. This staff person will conduct the training session and distribute precinct lists to be used for that evening.
It is the responsibility of the CARE staff to provide lists and telephone numbers of registered voters for each of the targeted precincts to be called each evening at each location. It is also the responsibility of the CARE staff to provide a copy of the script(s) to be used.
1980 Nov: Prop 10 was defeated by the tobacco industry on November 4th when California voters reaffirmed their 1978 position on the public smoking issue. The final tallies were 53.5% (4,284,057) against and 46.4% (3,715,199) for the measure. The 1978 Prop 5 was defeated by a 54% - 46% margin.
The report noted that:
Several "literature drops" were performed by industry salesmen and wholesalers during the last month of the campaign.Supporters were kept informed of the campaign's process through periodic newsletters which also included Prop 10 brochures.
The phone banks were operated by CARE in the following areas: Sacramento, San Francisco, San.Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego. The "get out the vote" operation was conducted on October 28-39 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Radio and television commercials were used extensively.CARE stressed the regulatory excess problem. Other attack themes included: "This time it's even sneakier," "What next," and "Read the fine print."
1981: Chip Neilsen reporting to the Tobacco Institute on the success of the Californian Outreach Program says:
Philip Morris has had an art show opening in San Francisco and scheduled a similar function in Los Angeles.
[Philip Morris had large Californian real estate interests]
Philip Morris has extended invitations to the Los Angeles function on-March 11, 1981, to the Southern California members of the CARE Board of Directors and the senior staff of the Californian Association of Realtors . [M]ost encouraging has been the high level of enthusiasm by the California Association of Realtors and John Seymour, their past president and a member of our CARE Board of Directors, to have both organizations work together on projects of mutual interest.
1981: Following this transient success, the tobacco industry set up a more concrete and longer-lasting anti-initiative think tank, supported by the same coalition and industry allies. See National Center for Intitiative Reviews (NCIR)