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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.


Smoking-Gun docs.


Cash-for-comment economists' network
General TI networks
James E Long
George Berman
James Savarese
Ctr.Study Pub.Choice
James Buchanan
Robert Tollison
Anna Tollison
Richard Wagner
James C Miller III
Carol M Robert
Elizabeth A Masaitis
Committee on Tax & Economic Growth
Harold Hochman
Fred McChesney
Thomas Borcherding
Delores T Martin
Dennis Dyer
George Minshew
Fred Panzer
Susan Stuntz
Peter Sparber
Carol Hrycaj
Debra Schoonmaker
Jeff Ross
Cal George
William Prendergast
Bill Orzechowski

Dominick Armentano
Burton A Abrams
Lee Alston
Ryan C Amacher
Gary Anderson
Lee Anderson
William Anderson
Terry Anderson
Scott E Atkinson
Roger Arnold
Richard W Ault
Michael Babcock
Joe A Bell
Bruce L Benson
Jean J Boddewyn
Peter Boettke
Thomas Borcherding
William J Boyes
Charles Breeden
Lawrence Brunner
Henry N Butler
Bill Bryan
Cecil Bohanon
John H Bowman
Dennis L Chinn
Morris Coates
Roger Congleton
Jeffrey R Clark
Michael Crew
Allan Dalton
John David
Michael Davis
Arthur T Denzau
Clifford Dobitz
John Dobra
Robert Ebel
Randall Eberts
Robert B Ekelund
Roger L Faith
David Fand
Susan Feigenbaum
Clifford Fry
Lowell Gallaway
Celeste Gaspari
David ER Gay
Kenneth V Greene
Kevin B Grier
Brian Goff
James D Gwartney
Sherman Hanna
Anne Harper-Fender
Kathy Hayes
Dennis Hein
James Heins
Robert Higgs
Richard Higgins
F Steb Hipple
Harold M Hochman
George E Hoffer
John Howe
Randall G Holcombe
William Hunter
Stephen Huxley
John D Jackson
Joseph M Jadlow
Cecil Johnson
Samson Kimenyi
David Klingaman
Roger Kormendi
Michael Kurth
David Laband
Sumner La Croix
Dwight R Lee
Dennis Logue
James E Long
C. Matt Lindsay
Donald P Lyden
Craig MacPhee
Mike Maloney
Dolores Martin
Chuck Mason
Charles Maurice
Fred McChesney
James E McClure
Robert McCormick
William McEachern
Richard McKenzie
Robert McMahon
Arthur Mead
Paul L Menchik
John F Militello
William C Mitchell
Greg Neihaus
James A Papke
Allen Parkman
Mark Pauly
William Peterson
Harlan Platt
Michael D Pratt
Thomas Pogue
Barry W Poulson
Edward Price
Robert Pulsinelli
Raymond Raab
Roger Riefler
Terry Ridgeway
Mario Rizzo
Morgan Reynolds
Simon Rottenberg
Randy Rucker
Richard Saba
Todd Sandler
David Saurman
Mark Schmitz
Robert Sexton
Gordon O Shuford
William Shughart
Robert J Staaf
Thomas Stimson
Wendell Sweetser
Mark Thornton
Robert Tollison
Mark Toma
David G Tuerck
Gordon Tullock
Richard Vedder
Bruce Vermeullen
Richard Wagner
J Keith Watson
Burton Weisbrod
Walter E Williams
Daniel ('Dan') Williamson
Paul W Wilson
Thomas Wyrick
Bruce Yandle
Boon Yoon
Richard O Zerbe
Benjamin Zycher




Thomas L Wyrick     [ Prof PhD]    

— A cash-for-comments professor of economics who became actively involved in a number of tobacco industry scams. —  

Professors Joe A Bell and Thomas L Wyrick were both academic economists from the Economics Department of Southwest Missouri State University and they both acted as tobacco industry lobbyist in their State.

      There was some overlap, but essentially Wyrick appears to have joined the cash-for-comments economists network first about 1986 and then after many years of active service, handed over the role to Bell around 1991. Both Wryick and Bell ran it jointly in their state until the wider network was abandoned by the Tobacco Institute in 1996. However the Tobacco Institute obviously continued to use the core group of economists later until early 1999.

Professor Thomas Wyrick was one of the Tobacco Institute's more diligent cash-for-comments economists who managed to work on a number of different projects over many years. He was initially recruited in about 1986 by Robert Tollison (George Mason University) for the economists network which was being set up with the help of James Savarese and Ogilvy & Mather PR.

Wyrick became a key member of the Phase II - Excise Tax Op-Ed project, writing many articles [which only indirectly mentioned tobacco], and planting them on his local newspapers. He never mentioned that this was tobacco-funded commentary of course, and clearly he was unencumbered by feelings of guilt at helping promote an industry that caused the premature deaths of about four million people a year.

Phase II of the Tobacco Institute's article-writing campaign was directed by James Savarese Associates (by Savarese himself, or his associate Leslie Dawson), and it was under control of Jeff Rose at the Tobacco Institute in the mid-1987 period. Anna Tollison, the wife of Robert 'Bob' Tollison, was employed by James Savarese Associates to keep a record of these articles and organise payment.

By 9 June 1987 Anne Tollison reported that "In sum, 41 economists were solicited to write editorials. We have publications in 20 states, 14 articles have been written and submitted, and 7 articles are still outstanding." [Others were in the offing]
[She includes a list of the economists who wrote the articles, and the newspapers, together with their circulation figures.

This proved to be one of the more successful of the tobacco industry's propaganda operations and it went on for well over a decade.

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 people 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 bookkeeping benefit to their communities. In cost-benefit terms, their demise reduces the social deficit.

Of course the same argument can apply to euthanasia of the disabled and the elderly, and perhaps the hanging of all academic economists who propound this sort of simplistic nonsense.

For more background information on how Savarese, Tollison and the Tobacco Institute operated these networks, see:

Some key documents

• Professor of Economics, Southwest Missouri State Uni, Springfield MO
    Also listed at the Missouri State University and at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

    Wyrick was also involved in the tobacco industry's 'Freedom to Advertise' and 'Excise Tax' hearings. He is also one who uses the "non-smoker" line to deflect suspicion that he may be working for the tobacco industry.

    The tobacco archives seems to have 170 documents with variations of his name.
    [Email: twyrick@earthlink.net]

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.

    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.

Wyrich was probably recruited during an intensive effort in late 1985 to have at least one compliant academic Professor of Economics operating in each state.

    They were effectively given a franchise over that State, and allocated both newspapers to which their op-ed articles were to be submitted and Congressmen to influence through letters and meetings.

1986: This is the Tollison/Saverese network list for 1986. It has 64 names, but it still doesn't cover all 50 States. Some States have two or three network members, so newspapers [and sometimes Congressmen] need to be specified for each member to ensure there is no accidental duplication.

    Telephone numbers (office and home) are often included in case an urgent op-ed or ordinance hearing is needed. These are grouped by State:

Prof Thomas L. Wyrick
    Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, 65802, 417-836-5516

1986 June 3: James Savarese is billing the Tobacco Institute for the last payment of the last component of their Packwood Excise Tax project.

Completion of letter writing campaign concerning Packwood proposal to Congressmen on Ways and Means Committee $18,600.00

1987 June 9: The Tobacco Institute's Phase II - Excise Tax Op-Ed project involved an article-writing campaign by cash-for-comment economists was run by James Savarese Associates (either by Savarese himself, or his associate Leslie Dawson). Robert Tollison at George Mason University was the originator of this network, and he ran it secretly, with Savarese as the front — and later with the help of another GMU associate Richard Wagner.

    In the mid 1987 period, the project was under control of Jeff Rose at the Tobacco Institute and it focussed on defeating cigarette excise tax increases — and especially the threat of such taxes being 'earmarked' to bolster Clinton's health care moves.

Anna Tollison, the wife of Bob Tollison, was employed by James Savarese Associates to keep a record of the articles generated by the large contingent of academic economists, and to organise payment. She reported that

"In sum, 41 economists were solicited to write editorials. We have publications in 20 states, 14 articles have been written and submitted, and 7 articles are still outstanding." [Others were in the offing]
[She included a long list of the economists who wrote the articles, the newspapers, together with their circulation figures.]

Wyrick registers simply as:
Wyrick — Springfield Daily News — 34,400 (circ.)

1987 June 22: The Tobacco Institute has been sent by Savarese a "Schedule of Payments — Excise Tax Op-Ed Project." It details the name of the cash-for-comment economist, the State, the targetted newspaper, and both past and current payments — with a separate column labled "Total Earned to Date".

Wyrick for St Louis Post Dispatch —Owed $1250 — Total to date $1250
Also there were payments to George Mason production staff ( Bob Tollison, Bill Shughart and Gary Anderson) for rewrites ($27,500) and a $5,800 payment for replacement of five economists (presumably because they were unproductive or unsatisfactoy). Carol Roberts was also paid for the final production. ($5,000)

    Total here with expenses was $33,810 on top of the $40,525 paid to the network economists.

1987 June 23: Savarese writes to Jeff Ross at the Tobacco Institute sending along a list of Democrat members of the House Ways and Means Committee...

... along with the economists we use in those areas. Nine of these are good, solid hits which we should be able to count on to do the job and get a publication. I have *ed these on the attached list. The remaining 6 are all people we have used in the past, but who have not been consistently successful.

    Since I'm under a new financial arrangement with the Tobacco Institute and I need to get these costs cleared in advance, I'll make my best effort here to budget this proposed project.

    If all 15 would get published, which is highly unlikely, the cost of Phase II Excise Tax Op-ed Project would run $45,000.

    More than likely we'll get 8-10 placements and 3 to 4 others who won't get placed, but will still send letters to their members on the Ways and Means Committee. In that case, the cost will be $37,000.
[This proves, beyond doubt, that under their arrangement with the network economists, they were only paid if their op-eds were published in local newspapers, and if they actually sent letters to their Congressmen.]

    The attached list showed who was considered reliable or unreliable:

STATEDemocrat CongressmenEconomist Reliability
IllinoisDan Rosenkowski
Marty Russo
Fred McChesney Unreliable
FloridaSam Gibbons Richard Wagner Unreliable
Texas J. J. Pickle
Michael A. Andrews
Charles Maurice RELIABLE
California Fortney H. (Pete) Stark
Robert T. Matsui
Gary Anderson RELIABLE
IndianaAndrew Jacobs Cecil Bohanon RELIABLE
Tennessee Harold E. Ford Brian Goff
(in Kentuxky)
Georgia Ed Jenkins Dwight Lee RELIABLE
Missouri Richard A. Gephardt Tom Wyrick Unreliable
New Jersey Frank J. Guarini JR Clark RELIABLE
Arkansas Beryl Anthony, Jr David ER Gay Unreliable
Alabama Ronnie Flippo Robert Ekelund RELIABLE
North Dakota Byron Dorgan Cliff Dobitz RELIABLE
Connecticut Barbara Kennelly Dominick Amento Unreliable
Pennsylvania William J. Coyne Ann Harper-Fender Unreliable
Wisconsin Jim Moody William Hunter RELIABLE

1987 June 28: The Springfield News-Leader carried a guest column by Wyrick

"Excise taxes hurt the poor, won't solve budget problems." [He says that] "excise taxes fall most heavily on the least affluent [and that they increase] public spending, which only adds to the deficits that excises are supposed to help eliminate."

    In the final analysis the federal budget crisis cannot be solved with further tax increases. Current political incentives lead officials to increase public spending almost without limit, and those incentives are not altered by higher gasoline and cigarette taxes.
[His compassion for the less well off is quite touching for a free-market economic conservative. I hope he donated his fee from the tobacco industry to the local poverty program!]

The Tobacco Institute reproduced this among many other 'quotable-quotes' from other members of their economists' network:
"by taxing those most dependent on welfare and other forms of public aid, new excises could contribute to poverty and increase requests for public assistance."
    Thomas L. Wyrick, associate professor of economics, Southwest Missouri State University.
Of course, if Wyrick had taken his analysis of past this infantile stage, he might have discovered that the most favourable economic and health consequences for "those most dependent on welfare" would be to make an effort to break their addiction and give up cigarettes entirely — which higher excises often forced them to do.]

1987 July: A selected group of the economists have been commissioned to write op-eds about cutting the deficit — and to de-emphasise the value of excise taxes. Generally they follow the line of listing four possibilities approaches

  • a general consumption tax (efficient but regressive)
  • increased excise taxes (inefficient and regressive)
  • a national lottery (regressive and competitive with State lotteries)
  • increased income taxes (unpopular)
In this bundle are very similar articles planted on their local newspaper in the March-April period by
  • Dwight Lee (2 of),
  • Dominick Armentano (3 of),
  • John Howe,
  • Joseph Jadlow,
  • S Charles Maurice (2 of),
  • Thomas Pogue,
  • Cecil Bohanon (2 of),
  • Chuck Mason,
  • JR Clark (2 of),
  • Allen Parkman.
  • Robert Ekelund Jr. (2 of),
  • William Mitchell,
  • Cliff Dobitz (2 of),
  • Barry Poulson,
  • William Hunter,
  • Michael Kurth,
  • John David,
  • David Gay,
  • Lee Anderson,
  • Robert McMahon,
  • Craig McPhee,
  • Brian Goff (2 of),
  • Dennis Logue,
  • Thomas Wyrick,
  • Arthur Mead,
  • Richard Wagner.

[This was one of their most successful projects. Professor Dominick Armentano writes to Anna Tollison [wife of Robert] that "... the article went national"]

1987 Aug 14: Leslie Dawson who worked for economics recruiter James Savarese Associates reported to Jeff Ross at the Tobacco Institute:

Re: Status Report on Phase 11 — Excise Tax Op-ed Project.
Attached is a copy of an op-ed that was published in The Hartford Courant on August 5, 1987. To date, five op-eds have been published in five states. Also attached is a copy of a letter to Congressman Judd Gregg.

Our economist from Missouri, Thomas L. Wyrick, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal to comment on an article in their July 27 issue ("Public Investment, Not a Binge," by Alan Reynolds).

    His letter, a copy of which is enclosed, discusses the desirability of selling federal assets to help reduce the deficit, and rejects proposals for higher excise taxes. A copy of a letter addressed to Professor Wyrick from Senator Danforth is also enclosed.
[These letters appear to have been culled from the files]

1987 Aug 21: Jeff Ross at the Tobacco Institute has prepared a consolidated summary of "Field Staff Evaluation of Economists" for his superiors, William Kloepfer and Peter Sparber. They have been asked to look at 34 of these academics. This includes an outline of their recent achievements.

Professor Thomas L. Wyrick
Southwestern Missouri State University Springfield, MO

Excise Tax Op Eds: The News-Leader — 06/28/87
Economic Witness/Testimony:
Field Staff Contact: Phone contact with previous economist.No contact with Professor Wyrick.
Field Staff Evaluation: Recommend retaining an economic witness.

1987 Aug 31: Peter Sparber [Issues Manager] to Bill Kloepfer [PR head] at the Tobacco Institute:

Jeff [Rose] has done a good job of summarizing the economic consultant situation and I am attaching my copy of his report with some marginal notes.

    I think he should consider sending a collection of all of the published op-ed pieces to each of the consultants for the sake of inspiration.

    In the case of those who have not had an article accepted for publication I would like to know whether they submitted one.
[This memo leaves no room for doubt that these economists knew precisely who they were working for, and why they were being paid (about $1000 per article) by the tobacco industry.]

    The economists were visited by State [regional] tobacco staff, and subject to an evaluation of their work and their prospects. Not all measured up. Jeff Ross reported:
Two general comments from field staff warrant some consideration. Michael Brozak recommended a political orientation to prepare witnesses for potentially politicized hearings.

    We agree and recommend that State Activities consider advising field staff to conduct such briefings as appropriate. Richard Scanlan suggested that an economist from the state capital city is much more valuable. We have asked Savarese and Tollison to see if they can identify a candidate.
The "Economists Evaluation" on a state-by-state basis has this reference for Wyrick:
Professor Thomas L. Wyrick Southwestern Missouri State University Springfield, MO
  • Excise Tax Op Eds: The News-Leader — 06/28/87 IM
  • Economic Witness/Testimony: [hand note says "Enquire" ]
  • Field Staff Contact: Phone contact with previous economist. No contact with Professor Wyrick.
  • Field Staff Evaluation: Recommend retaining an economic witness.

1987 Oct 7: CART, the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation — a total tobacco front run by RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris, is promoting Wyrick's claim that excises "contribute to poverty and increase requests for public assistance."

1988 Jan 15: Jim Savarese and Associates, joint subcontracts with Ogilvy & Mather, is outlining the arragements for handling the economists and the labor unions to the Tobacco Institute

Nineteen eighty-seven was a banner year for the Tobacco Institute in its fight against excise tax increases at the federal level.

    Through careful coalition building and effective message dissemination, the Institute was able to fight the battle on its own terms and secure a substantial victory.

    In reviewing your 1988 plans, we found many areas where Ogilvy & Mather and Savarese and Associates can continue to provide services. There are also new areas where we have expertise which have not been fully explored.
He then outlines a couple of problem areas before dealing with the "Economists Program." [No full list for these 42 network economists appears to exist]
Our work with the network of forty-two economists should continue into 1988. In 1987, the network was effective in producing op-eds and submitting and presenting testimony. These activities should continue in 1988. In addition, the economists network can be used for editorial board briefings, presentations at conferences and the placement of articles on this issue with major media outlets.

    In order to make the most of the new opportunities for the economist network, several factors must be taken into consideration:
  • only 7 or 8 of the economists within the network have the potential to make presentations to editorial boards and conferences.

  • those economists selected to make presentations to editorial boards and conferences need a training program. This program may include media training through Michael Sheehan and briefings by Jim Savarese and Bob Tollison.

  • the editorial board program is a limited strategy with applicability mainly at the federal level with some use at the state level.

  • when implementing the editorial board program, Ogilvy & Mather can assist with pitch materials, press kits, and a placement program.
The opportunity exists to place economists on key economic programs, panels, and at national and regional tax policy conferences. As an addendum to this effort, it is possible to have their comments reprinted and distributed.

    They also want to commission studies. They suggest:
  • Effects of an excise tax increase on the federal budget (and its fairness)
  • on bootlegging "and come up with some strong conclusions" [the results of which will be predetermined!]
  • In addition, Savarese and Associates can locate a conservative economist to make the argument that there is an acceleration of government spending when taxes are increased. The program will include placement in an economic journal.
They also propose to work with a number of right-wing tax groups, some left-wing labor groups, minority groups, senior citizens, agricultural groups, and advertising companies. They propose to sponsor conferences, and make a video on excise taxes.

    A national Excise Tax Op-ed Program will target various important members of the Congress and big businessmen (e.g. Lee Iaococca) on the National Economic Commission (NEC). The network economists will be required to target specific newspapers, and a few key political figures. The target for this member of the network is:
Targeted paper: Springfield Daily News
Economist: Thomas Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State

[Why selected:] Dean Kleckner of the American Farm Bureau can be reached through agricultural states such as Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Idaho. Senate Leader, Bob Dole, is from Kansas.

1988 Feb 8: The Tobacco Institute to its Regional VPs and Directors.

Attached is an updated list of The Institute's cadre of excise tax economists. These economists are available for testimony, one-on-one meetings with legislators, writing letters and op-ed pieces in the states in which they teach, as well as in any state you deem appropriate.
This economist is listed.

1988 Mar 31: Jim Savarese is writing to Jeff Ross at the Tobacco Institute re the National Economic Commission (NEC) and their Excise Tax Op-Ed Project using selected members of the cash-for-comments economists network.

I have listed below areas that we should target that would be beneficial in reaching members of the NEC. Also attached are the materials that we will send out to the authors.
[The National Economic Commission (NEC) has become the target for a new project, attacking excise tax increases.]

    Dean Kleckner of the American Farm Bureau can be reached through agricultural states such as Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Idaho. Senate Leader, Bob Dole, is from Kansas.

Targeted paper: Springfield Daily News
Economist: Thomas Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State

1988 May: Savarese has sent the Tobacco Institute a bundle of clippings of the articles planted by Wyrick and other economists in their newpapers. This is proof of service, required for payment.

    Wyrick has managed to plant "Higher Taxes can't solve budget crisis" on The News-Leader.

1988 June: /E Excise Tax Letter-Writing Fact Sheet. This is a list of points that the Tobacco Institute wanted the economists to include in their op-ed articles.

  • Excise taxes are regressive
  • Excise taxes are fundamentally inequitable
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on minorities
  • Government data demonstrates the unfairness of excise taxes.
  • Excise taxes are arbitrary
  • Excise taxes are hidden taxes
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on businesses
  • Excise taxes are bad economic policy
  • Excise taxes are historically controversial.
This was followed by
  • pages of data so that the economists got their facts right,
  • a series of quotes that could be incorporated into the article.
  • pages of State-by-State data including the number of jobs that the Tobacco Institute estimated would be lost by higher cigarette excises
  • lost revenues for each State, due, it was claimed, to cross-state bootlegging and smuggling.
  • a list of Congressmen to be contacted in every region.
  • Tollison's C/V

1988 June 2: James Savarese has advised the Tobacco Institute on the current status of the "NEC Excise Tax" project. The cash-for-comments economists involved were Abrams, Armentano, Clark, Dalton, David, Davis, Howe, Logue, Maurice, Mitchell, Parkman, Sandler, Tuerck, Wyrick, and Miletello

As it now stands, 5 articles have been published, 2 articles (New Mexico and Missouri) are forthcoming, 6 articles have been submitted for publication, and 5 articles are in the revision stage. We have contacted the authors of the articles which are in the revision stage and those articles should be submitted by the end of next week.

1988 June 23: Debbie Schoonmaker at the Tobacco Institute receives a memo from contract organiser James Savarese with "an update status on the NEC Op-Ed Project: [NEC = National Economic Commission, the President's advisory group they were trying to influence.]

As it now stands, 9 articles have been published, 4 articles (New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and Idaho) are forthcoming, 4 articles have been submitted for publication, and 2 articles are in the revision stage.
The memo also lists the network economists by the state in which they operate, together with the academics's successes in planting articles on their principle state capital newspapers.

1988 June 30: The status report for the NEC Op-Ed project shows that Wyrick has been successful in planting his op-ed on the Springfield Leader-Press and that publication was "forthcoming".

1988 June 26: The Wyrick propaganda piece was published in the News-Leader


1988 July 5: A Savarese update on the NEC Op-Ed project shows that three more articles have been published by:

  • Professor Thomas Wyrick in Springfield Leader-Press on Sunday June 26 1988

  • Professor Allan Dalton in the Idaho Press-Tribune on Tuesday June 21 1988

  • Professor John David in the Charleston Gazette, Wednesday June 26 1988

    Clipped copies of a number of articles are included.

1988 July 6: /E Jim Savarese has sent the newspaper clippings of the National Economic Commission (NEC) Excise Tax Op-ed Program along to the Tobacco Institute. Following the second term of the Reagan Administration, the budget deficit had blown out to such an extent that it was obvious that the next President would need to find new revenue streams — and cigarettes were the obvious target. NEC was charged with making recommendations for deficit reduction.

    The Tobacco Institute instructed their tame network economists to write op-eds for their designated local newspapers attacking the idea of increased excise taxes. These are newspaper clippings:

  • Dom Armentano, Uni of Hartford (New Haven Register) "Reagan's successor must resist temptation to raise taxes."
  • Burton Abrams, Uni of Delaware (Sunday News Journal) "Equitable and efficient ways to raise taxes."
  • Dwight Lee, Uni of Georgia (The Atlanta Journal) "Tax increase won't cut budget deficit."
  • Allen Dalton, Uni of Idaho (Idaho Press-Tribune) "Federal tax hike destined in 1989."
  • Todd Sandler, Iowa State Uni (Cedar Rapids Gazette) "The Shape of Taxes to Come"
  • John Howe, Uni of Kansas (The Capital-Journal) "Less spending, not more taxes, is the only real budget solution."
  • David Tuerck, Suffolk University (The Boston Globe) "A sinful proposal".
  • Thomas Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State (The News-Leader) "Higher taxes can't solve budget crisis."
  • JR Clark, Fairleigh Dickinson Uni (Daily Record NJ) "Excise tax: Bitter medicine for economy."
  • William Mitchell, Uni of Oregon (Register-Guard) "Tax increases not solution to reducing deficit."
  • Michael Davis, Southern Methodist Uni (Dallas Times Herald) "Excise taxes are far from painless remedy."
  • Charles Maurice, Texas A&M Uni (Houston Post) "Economic panel lets officials dodge the deficit bullet."
  • John David, West Virginia Tech (Charleston Gazette) "Taxes will target the poor."

1988 Aug 11: Walter Woodson of the Tobacco Institute is circulating a number of the economists NEC Excise Tax op-ed clipping among his Regional Vice Presidents and Directors. One is: "Higher Taxes Can't Solve a Budget Crisis" by Thomas Wyrick.

1989 Jan 11: The Tobacco Institute's Scientific Consultancy Activity 1988-89
This is an 80 page mixed bag of files dumped together [Well worth perusing]. The first document is from 1990 [ordered in reverse]

  • Pages 3 to 23 begin with Witness Appearances in 1988 and 1989 involving both "Indoor Air Quality experts" who work for the Tobacco Institute, and three economists [Bob Tollison, Richard Wagner and Dwight Lee]
  • Pages 24 to 31 Labor IAQ Presentations in 1988 and 1989 which involves key figures in the labor movement and a few "IAQ experts."
  • Pages 32 to 39 IAQ/ETS conferences attended by tobacco industry disinformation experts in 1988 and 1989
  • Pages 40 to 41 Academic and Unaffiliated Scientfic Witnesses
  • Pages 43 to 53 Smokers Rights Legislation in various states.
  • See page 54: Tobacco Institute "Confidential" memo on "Tax Hearing Readiness" which is their battle plan to counter earmaking of cigarette excise taxes to fund health programs. It lists a large number of organizations and a few congressmen who can be relied on to help. It also has both primary and secondary lists of economists from Tollison's "cash-for-comments" network willing to give testimony.
    Economists: [Primary]
    • Bill Orzechowski, Tobacco Institute
    • Robert Tollison, George Mason University
    • Richard Wagner, George Mason University
    • Dwight Lee, University of Georgia, Athens
    • Michael Davis, Southern Methodist University
    • Gary Anderson, California State at Northridge
    • William Prendergast (resource: Prendergast/Solmon papers)
    • Other Network economists [see Secondary attached list below]

          "Due by mid-year is a book examining earmarking and "user fees" from a public choice perspective. The treatise will contain 8-10 chapters written by respected economists, including, Henri LePage and Nobel laureate James Buchanan."
    The Tobacco Institute's list of cash-for-comments professors and senior academics who were available to write op-eds and give evidence at Congressional hearings, etc. had grown extensively, but it still includes those from earlier years.
    Prof Thomas L Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University
    Springfield, Missouri

[Tobacco Institute budget papers show that each op-ed now earned the economists $3,000. Presentations to conferences earned them $5,000. Savarese was paid $70,000 to $100,000 pa for this project, and Ogilvy & Mather received $250,000.]

See page 5

1989 Jan 11: Another Tobacco Institute lists of available economists ordered by State, This still has him listed as:

Professor Thomas L Wyrick, South West Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri 65802 417-836-5515
The Savarese/Tobacco Institute's list of cash-for-comments economists has now blown out to 64 — not including Robert Tollison, the principle organizer of the network.

1989 April 18: Susan Stuntz (Issues Manager) at the Tobacco Institute memoes her boss Sam Chilcote. She is sending him material previously used for a two-day "Gerry Long" presentation. He wants to use it in a shorter one-day (unspecified) briefing session.

[Gerald H Long was the CEO of RJ Reynolds who in 1988 had just taken over as Chairman of the Tobacco Institute's Executive Committee and wanted to make changes.]

This document has the speaker's powerpoints, including a list of network economists divided on a State-by-State basis.       Note the document is 117 pages

The outline for the Powerpoint slides is here in full, together with the names of the politicians they were required to influence. It boasts that the..
Economists' Network 64 Strong [is] Targeted to Congressional Tax Writing Committees [and utilizing the] Production of Op-Eds on Federal Tax Policy.
[List of economists]

1989 Dec 14: Jim Savarese is listing the economists taking part in their new Excise Tax Op-Ed project.

I have also listed the newspapers we plan to target and a package of the materials we are sending to the economists.

    We should start getting drafts of the op-eds around the first of the year.
Thomas Wyrick is on the list for
News-Leader (Springfield)

    The article is published May 27 under the heading "Report inflates yearly cost of smoking."

1990: The RJ Reynolds files contain a list of academics who have been helpful in various projects including Thomas Wyrick. This comes from the Tobacco Institute.
[This document was extensively used by plaintiff lawyers in tobacco litigation — see the index]

1990 Mar 12: Wyrick has sent a draft op-ed "HHS Report Overstates Smoking Costs, Need for Tax" along to Savarese, who has sent it on to the Tobacco Institute for improvements and correction. They, in turn, send copies of the revised article to the two main tobacco industry lawfirms, Covington & Burling and Shook Hardy & Bacon, for a legal check.

    The article is then returned through Savarese to the author with instructions to submit it to a specific local newspaper, and then send copies and a personal note to their local congressmen. This was the standard procedure.

    Due to the timeliness of the subject matter, Wyrick is eager to attempt placement of the piece. Therefore, we would like comments on the article as soon as possible. Let me know if this is a problem or if you have questions.

1990 May 7: The Tobacco Institute's "1991 Tax and Social Cost Plans" have sections on

  • "Social Costs" Hearings Readiness (preparation for fielding witnesses at Congressional hearings.) They list here the arguments
    What TI and Its Allies Must Cover
    1. "Social cost" arguments used to justify excise tax increases, smoking restrictions and ad bans are not valid.
    2. Independent economists state that "social cost" calculations used by anti-smokers do not withstand credible economic scrutiny.
    3. There is no convincing economic evidence that smokers impose costs on society. Any supposed costs are "private costs" and are borne by the smoker.
    4. Other industries are vulnerable to social cost attacks. A "slippery slope" may exist as anti-smokers, using "social costs" arguments, seek legislation restricting smoking or increasing taxes. These efforts may signal lawmakers to regulate other products as well.
  • "Tax" Hearing Readiness (as above, but for excise tax increases, State and Federal)
    What TI and Its Allies Must Cover
    1. Excise taxes are regressive and take away tax reform for low- and middle-income Americans. As a percentage of income, low income families pay as much as 27 times more in federal excises than high-income families.
    2. Cigarette excise taxes are discriminatory. They fall disproportionately on Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.
    3. Excise taxes are unfair. Tobacco consumers are forced to pay more than others for government services benefitting everyone. Why should smokers pay more for national defense than nonsmokers?
  • List of cash-for-comment network economists in each State.
This is an updated list with the current locations of each, with phone numbers and addresses.
Prof Thomas L. Wyrick
Southwest Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri 65802 417-836-5516

1990 May 13: /E Wyrick has had an Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in the Springfield MO News-Leader.

1990 May 27: Clipping of an op-ed by Wyrick for the Tobacco Institute which appeared in The News Leader (Springfield) "Report inflates yearly cost of smoking." (attacking the anti-smoking Secretary for Health, Louis Sullivan)
class="note"> [He has forgotten to mention that the article was funded, revised, and controlled by the tobacco industry]

1990 May 27: the News Leader publishes his article under the heading "Report inflates yearly cost of smoking" And once again he forgets to tell the editor or the readers that this article had been commissioned by the Tobacco Institute.

1990 May 29: Wyrick then sends a copy of his article and a letter to his local Congressmen. A copy of his letters (and any correspondence returned from the Congressmen) passes through the network to the Tobacco Institute as proof of service in order to get payment. He writes to Senator Danforth:

The thrust of my remarks is that taxes on tobacco are not really user charges, because most of the costs of smoking are private rather than public and have already been paid by smokers.

    Additional taxes now would only double the burden on these individuals —many among the least well-off in society.

    More broadly, the campaign for tobacco taxes illustrates how official Washington will distort research and resort to other high-handed tactics to justify higher taxes. I hope you will oppose this trend and vote against tax increases.

Senator Danford replies disagrees with him and suggests that cigarette excises are justified.http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/qem33b00/pdf

    The same letter goes to Rep. Richard Gephardt.
replies that he is opposed to increasing excise taxes for deficit reduction.

    And another of Wyrick's letters goes to Senator Christopher Bond...

... who agrees that people already pay high enough excise taxes.

[The replies are copied and circulated within their Tobacco Institute for the benefit of their Washington political lobbyists.]

1990 June: /E Excise Tax Letter-Writing Fact Sheet. This is a list of points that the Tobacco Institute wanted the economists to include in their op-ed articles.

  • Excise taxes are regressive
  • Excise taxes are fundamentally inequitable
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on minorities
  • Government data demonstrates the unfairness of excise taxes.
  • Excise taxes are arbitrary
  • Excise taxes are hidden taxes
  • Excise taxes are an unfair burden on businesses
  • Excise taxes are bad economic policy
  • Excise taxes are historically controversial.
This was followed by
  • pages of data so that the economists got their facts right,
  • a series of quotes that could be incorporated into the article.
  • pages of State-by-State data including the number of jobs that the Tobacco Institute estimated would be lost by higher cigarette excises
  • lost revenues for each State, due, it was claimed, to cross-state bootlegging and smuggling.
  • a list of Congressmen to be contacted in every region.
  • Tollison's C/V

1990 Jun 6: Another of Wyrick's articles for the tobacco industry "Meddling won't control health-care costs" was also published in the Springfield News-Leader. This piece attacked earmarking of tobacco excises for health care without mentioning that the article had been commissioned by the tobacco industry. He summarises his anti-taxing position, saying:

Tax policies that discourage economic growth and reduce the ability of the poor to provide for their own upkeep work against, rather than for, the nation's health.
This article, along with a half-dozen other commissioned articles were collected by media monitoring firms for the Tobacco Institute.

See page 5

1990 Aug: This long document has Media tTour records [being conducted by Fleishman-Hillard] using some of the...

  • cash-for-comments economists network
  • ventilation network members (mainly HBI)
  • cash-for-comments biological scientists network,
  • cash-for-comments academic lawyers nework
  • union — labor network and
  • advertising academics network
The economist's media tours are to promote the Wagner and Tollison book on the Social Cost of smoking which had been written for the Tobacco Institute. and reviewed by many of the cash-for-comment economist network members.

    Also included is an attached list of Savarese's network economist triumphs which has the intriquing heading "Consulting Economists — Not on Philip Morris List" which confirms that PM was running a parallel operation to that of the Tobacco Institute.

    This list promotes their recent successes in planting op-eds on local newspapers, and a few appearances of economists at State hearings, conferences, etc. Wyrick only has one credit to his name.
Thomas Wyrick
Professor of Economics, Southwest Missouri State University

5/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in News-Leader

1990 Aug 3: Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute has advised the Members of the Executive Committee of plans to develop a celebrity speakers program using academics and other expert consultants. There are offer the speakers both money and personal promotion:

[W]hile it is clear that there are a number of individuals who can and are speaking out on our issues independent of The Institute, there also is much more that could be done. There are, for example, opportunities to develop higher profiles for those individuals with whom we enjoy an existing relationship, and to increase within the media an awareness of their availability.

    There also are a number of individuals who have been identified who do not currently have a relationship with the industry, but whose views appear to be compatible with our own. Should the Executive Committee decide that it wants to proceed with an expansion of our speakers' program, these individuals would be contacted to determine their interest in our issues.

    The addition of new speakers to our program will be expensive. Most of these individuals command substantial consulting fees; media and other activity will require a new commitment of funds, although an exact amount cannot be determined until candidates have been approached.
He then lists:
  • Authors, newscasters and newspaper columnists
  • Well-known politicians, political aides, White House staffers, State authorities, agency administrators, etc
  • Heads of various coalition groups (American Advertising Federation. etc)
  • Cash-for-comments legal and business academics from Savarese's network list.
  • Cash-for-comments 'risk assessment' academics and promoter.
  • Cash-for-comment experts in indoor air pollution and ventilation systems.
  • Cash-for-comment academic economists + some likely allies:
    • BRUCE L. BENSON, professor of economics, Florida State University and board member, James Madison Institute, a Tallahassee think tank.
    • DWIGHT R. LEE, professor of economics, holder of the Ramsey Chair of Private Enterprise, University of Georgia
    • JAMES C. MILLER, Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, Washington; former director of OMB
    • WALTER E. WILLIAMS, professor of economics, George Mason
          University, Fairfax, Va.
    • BOB TOLLISON, George Mason University, Center for the Study of Public Choice
  • Some more minor network academics, together with their recent achievements.
Wyrick (along with dozens of others) is thought to be a potential speaker and he is credited with:
Thomas Wyrick
Professor of Economics
Southwest Missouri State University

5/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in News-Leader

1990 Oct: /E Tobacco Institute document. It lists the services that academics and secret consultants have provided to the tobacco industry during 1989 and 1990 — both as witnesses and as authors of articles and letters. [It is actully the same recycled list from above]

  • Pages 2 - 9     Advertising: lawyers and advertising administrators
  • Pages 10 - 30 Science and Public Policy on ETS/IAQ
  • Pages 31 - 39  Taxation
    This gives the dates of each of the services, and any 'Current Projects' they may be working on. Wyrick is not being very productive at this time:
Thomas Wyrick
    Professor of Economics, Southwest Missouri State University
  • 5/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in News-Leader

See page 32-5

[TI budget papers show that each op-ed still earned the economists $3,000. Presentations to conferences earned them $5,000. Savarese was paid $70,000 to $100,000 pa for this project, and Ogilvy & Mather $250,000.]

See page 5

1990 Oct: /E Tobacco institute document. It lists services that academics and secret consultants have rendered to the tobacco industry during 1989 and 1990.

    This gives the dates of each of the services, and any 'Current Projects' they may be working on:

Thomas Wyrick, Professor of Economcs, Southwest Missouri State University.
5/90 — Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in News-Leader [Springfield MO]

See page 34

1991: A list of useful consultants and witnesses held in the B&W files, carried many entries which show lists of past activities for the Tobacco Institute, which were effectively credentials showing that they could be trusted.

Thomas Wyriok
Professor of Economics, Southwest Missouri State University
  •   5/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in News-Leader

1991 Jan: /E Tobacco Institute draft plan for 1991 with emphasis on "Taxes." These are the economist-related paragraphs:

To discourage reliance on consumer excise taxes on cigarettes to meet social and economic objectives by demonstrating that excise taxes are regressive and inconsistent with fair taxation.

Goals and Tactics:
  • Commission two op-ed articles in 1991 from consulting economists. As articles are published, provide to other Institute decisions for promotion and submission to appropriate policy makers.
  • Conduct at least 10 presentations by consulting economists on the excise tax issue before national, regional and state tax policy conferences.
  • Continue to utilize consulting economists for testimony and briefings. Expand appearances to include presentations to business clubs and the business press. Conduct media refresher courses for public speaking appearance and delivery of testimony.
  • Utilize the consulting economists for an op-ed program that addresses the national earmarking issue and state specific earmarking issues. As articles are published, provide to other Institute divisions and promote to appropriate public policymakers. Use field staff network to support distribution efforts.

1991 Jan 8: Jim Savarese has sent the current list of network economists to Carol Hyrcaj at the Tobacco Institute. It contains three new names, but otherwise is essentially the same as the old lists. New network participants include a second economist in Missouri:

  • Joe A Bell, Southwest Missouri State University
  • Thomas L Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University.
[It appears as if Wyrick is gradually being replaced by Joe Bell — possibly because he wasn't being very productive.]

1991 Jan 8: Savarese has sent the current list of network economists to Carol Hyrcaj at the Tobacco Institute. It contains three new names, but otherwise is essentially the same as the old lists.

    ALABAMA, Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Auburn University
    ARIZONA, William J. Boyes, Arizona State University
    ARKANSAS, David E. R. Gay, University of Arkansas
    CALIFORNIA, Gary Anderson, California State at Northridge
                Roger Arnold, California State Univ. - San Marcos
    COLORADO, Barry Poulson, University of Colorado
    CONNECTICUT, Dominick Armentano, University of Hartford
    DELAWARE, Burton Abrams, University of Delaware
    FLORIDA, Bruce Benson, Florida State University
    GEORGIA, Dwight R. Lee, University of Georgia
    IDAHO, Allan Dalton, Boise State University
    ILLINOIS, James Heins, University of Illinois
    INDIANA, Cecil Bohanon, Ball state University
    IOWA, Todd Sandler, Iowa State University
    KANSAS, Michael Babcock, Kansas State University
    KENTUCKY, Brian Goff, Western Kentucky University
    LOUISIANA, Michael Kurth, McNeese State University
    MAINE, Robert McMahon, University of Southern Maine
    MASSACHUSETTS, David Tuerck, Suffolk University
    MISSISSIPPI, Bill Shughart, University of Mississippi
    MISSOURI, Joe A Bell, Southwest Missouri State University
                Thomas I. Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University
    MONTANA, Terry L. Anderson, Montana State University
    NEBRASKA, Dee Martin, University of Nebraska
    NEVADA, John Dobra, University of Nevada Reno
    NEW HAMPSHIRE, Dennis Logue, Dartmouth College
    NEW MEXICO, Allen Parkman, University of New Mexico
    NORTH DAKOTA, Cliff Dobitz, North Dakota State University
    OHIO, Richard Vedder, Ohio University
    OKLAHOMA, Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University
    OREGON, William Mitchell, University of Oregon
    PENNSYLVANIA, Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College
    RHODE ISLAHD, Arthur Mead, Universityof Rhode Island
    SOUTH CAROLINA, Ryan Aiaacher, Clemson University
    SOUTH BikEOTA, Dennis lain, Augustana College
    TENNESSEE, JR Clark, The University of Tennessee at Martin
    TEXAS, S Charles Maurice, Texas ASM University
                Michael Davis, Southern Methodist University
    VIRGINIA, Richard B Wagner, George Mason University
    WASHINGTON, Richard D. Zerbe, Jr., University of Washington

1992: The Heartland Institute published a study by Southwest Missouri State University professor Dr Thomas Wyrick. In this study Wyrick developed an econometric model of the Missouri economy to estimate the economic effects of the Hancock Amendment on economic growth in Missouri. (Heartland Policy Study No. 49) The Hancock Amendment requires voters' approval of any new or increased tax.

Wyrick concluded the Hancock Amendment has had a significant positive effect on Missouri's economy from I981 to 199 I. He wrote: "This estimate suggests that between I98 I ond I99 I, Missourians earned in excess of $I 1.0 billion more than they would have had the Hancock Amendment not been in place."

The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC)
APCO & Associates, a PR company part-owned by Philip Morris, created for the tobacco industry a fake science organisation known as The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). The nominal head of this organisation was ex-New Mexico Governor Garrey Curruthers, but the actual work was done by Steve Milloy, who took the operations over and became "Executive Director" not long after.

    TASSC had an advisory board made up of insiders in the science-corruption business and general science lobbyists (some from industries other than tobacco). The intention of Philip Morris was always to open it up to coalition partners for greater funding and to counter science being used in product liability cases and health regulations. It also had a Junk Science web site.

    It was highly successful and became the arbiter of what was, and was not, "junk science" for a couple of years. It led many of the early climate science denial projects of the energy and oil companies. For a while it was run by Powell-Tate PR, and RJ Reynolds Tobacco — but later Milloy took it over as an independent operation.

    The general membership of TASSC (which had no elections, and therefore no need for membership — except to look 'scientific') was made up from gullible outsiders and some general 'friends of the tobacco industry'. They had no more function than allow their names to be used — and give the appearance of political strength when lobbying Congress.

    TASSC was modelled on Elizabeth Whelan's highly successful American Council on Science & Health which was a creature of the chemical industry.

1993 Feb: /E A very early membership list of TASSC which has been circulated to give the appearance of substance to the project. It carries the name Thomas Wyrick, which may just prove how gullible he is.

    There are probably dozens of lobbyists from other industries on this list, but the most obvious offering scienctific/academic services to the tobacco industry are Bruce Ames, Joseph Bast, George Carlo, Bernard Cohen, Geraldine Cox, James Enstrom, James Fyock, Harvey Gold, Ronald Gots, Paul Grant, Alan Hedge, Gary Huber, Peter Huber, Thomas Jukes, Manfred Kroger, Patrick Michaels, Henry Miller, Alan Moghissi, Donald Stedman, Richard Stroup, Thomas Wyrick.

1993 Apr 8: The economist's network is still functioning, but Savarese and Tollison have negotiated a different deal for the participants. Savarese now bills the Tobacco Institute for economist network op-ed commissions, half-down and half on delivery. They are being paid for preparing the articles rather than only when they succeeded in getting their articles published. This bill is for $37,000.

  • Op-ed article by Robert Tollison to be submitted to Wall Street Journal — $4,000.00

  • Rebuttal article by Bob Ekelund, Auburn Univeristy, to be submitted to the Birmingham News — $3,000.00

  • "Monster" tax op-ed project using twenty economists to submit articles in opposition to using excise taxes on cigarettes to finance health care reform — to be submitted to twenty newspapers in twenty different states. FIRST HALF = $30,000.00

[They now get $3,000 each per article — half on commission and half on delivery — while Tollison gets $4,000]

1993 Apr 13: Calvin George writes to his Tobacco Industry boss Susan Stuntz asking for permission to spend the $67,000 for the 22 op-eds listed by Savarese.

As previously discussed, the 20 economists proposed for the comprehensive op-ed program in opposition to excise taxes for health care reform have been selected with two primary criteria in mind:
  • first, capacity to reach major media markets in states and Congressional Districts represented by key members of the Senate and House Leadership, as well as the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees; and

  • second, the previous track record of the economists in being able to place successfully op-eds in the major dailies identified.
The cost of this project would be $67,000, which is consistent with previous experience for similar efforts. I am recommending approval of this proposal. Funds are available for this purpose in #1305-7301 under the line items for "Economists to deliver briefings, testimony, and write articles..." ($45,000) and "Op-eds on...health care costs" ($25,000).

    Wyrick is included in the list of these 20 network participants.

1993 May 2: He has been requested to write a major op-ed attacking the Clinton Health Care Plan. The first draft was received on May 3 (by the Tobacco Institute) and sent to the two tobacco lawfirms on the 4th May. At this time it carried the heading "Taxing Problems May Stall Clinton Health Proposals. This became known as the "Monster Tax Op-Ed Project"

    The draft requires fairly substantial 'improvements' by the Tobacco Institute. They don't seem to like him talking about:

  • insurance companies rewarding clients who maintain themselves in good health [All struck out]
  • the extra cost which smokers and drinkers impose on the health care system [They have inserted "supposedly" ]
  • the "harm associated with passive smoke" becomes "costs attibuted to exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke.

1993 June 6: Wyrick's Monster Tax Op-ed "Meddling won't control health-care costs" is published in the Springield MO News-Leader. It claims that he is a Guest Columnist for "Ozarks Voices" — rather than admit that he was a paid columnist for the Tobacco Institute. It is a predictable attack on the Clinton task force on health care reform.

    The Tobacco Institute lists their successes in this project.

1993 Aug 3: This is a series of lists dated from March to August 1993. Savarese's staff have sent these to the Tobacco Institute to progressively report successes and failures with the economists writing op-ed pieces and having them published.

    Collectively they give us a good idea as to how the network worked and how litte they managed to plant on the major newspapers (the smaller local papers were obviously easy.) It's also interesting to observe the mechanical processes and the tight control the tobacco industry and its lawyers exerted over these academic lackies.

  • The articles were either rejected, revised or passed by Jim Savarese and his staff
  • They were then sent for checking and alteration by Calvin George [Cal] at the Tobacco Institute.
  • The lawyer David Reemes who worked for the industry's main Washington lawfirm Covington & Burling then cleared them for publication.
  • The economist then received the revised copies back for onward transmission to the selected newspapers.
  • They would then send a copy to their local Congressmen without mentioning the tobacco industry's contractual arrangement.
Clearly, by 1993, many of the original network members were dropping out. The Tobacco Institute also appears to have been having problems getting even those academics who stayed loyal to write articles that justified their $2000 to $3000 payments. [Perhaps some of them developed a conscience!]

    Despite the protestations, these are not 'independent' opinion articles. They are industry-shaped, manipulated propaganda pieces designed as advocacy vehicles to promote tobacco interests in political, media and public circles — even when they don't directly mention or promote cigarettes or smoking.

    These lists are all headed 'MONSTER' Tax Op-Ed Project:
    Prof Joe Bell [later transfered to] Professor Thomas L Wyrick, Economics Dept., Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
    • Mar 23 — [TI designated newspaper/s] Springfield News Leader
    • Apr 9 — [No details]
    • May 12 — Submitted to the The News-Leader
    • May 18 — (as above)
    • June 2 — Published by The News Leader
    • June 14— Published by The News-Leader on 6/6/93
    • Aug 3 — (as above)

1993 Nov: A later TASSC list sent to the Tobacco Institute along with press clippings showing the success of Carruthers in his media tours.

1993 Nov: The Clinton Administration was planning to raise the EPA to cabinet-level status. TASSC gets underway with Garrey Curruthers conducting a major media tour promoting the sound-science/junk-science message.

  • Nov 28 1993 Denver Post "Here's how science might be used to keep science honest.
    The stated mission of the nonprofit corporation is to use its own scientific panel to "inform public officials, the media, and the general public about the consequences of inappropriate science," focusin on current examples of "unsound government research used to guide policy decisions. Compliance with environmental regulations cost the nation an incredible $115 billion in 1991 alone"

    Jan 2 1994 The Tampa Tribune Slogans no substitute for sound science.
    [Syndicted from LA Daily News] Among TASSC's goals: to Inform the general public about the consequences of inappropriate science by focusing attention of current examples of unsound government research used to guide policy decisions; to establish an educational out-reach program; and to offer resources to ensure that sound scientific principles are applied.

        Unfortunately, such skeptics as Bruce Ames, Lois Gold, Dixy Lee Ray and the late Aaron Wildavsky don't get attention with the same ease as star-studded environmental groups and enterprises like Greenpeace and the Walden Project.
    The writer, columnis Michelle Malkin, actually suggests that readers sign up for a free membership to TASSC.

    The attached supporters list (as of Jan 18 1995) names, Bruce Ames, Joseph Bast, George Carlo, Bernard Cohen, Geraldine Cox, James Enstrom, James Fyock, Harvey Gold, Ronald Gots, Paul Grant, Alan Hedge, Gary Huber, Peter Huber, Thomas Jukes, Patrick Michaels, Henry Miller, Alan Moghissi, Donald Stedman, Richard Stroup, Thomas Wyrick.

    These are just the most obvious among the 520 or so listed — many of them gullible academics; some small-business managers with a chip on their shoulder, many more corporate inhouse and external lobbyists for polluting organisations.

    While APCO actually ran the organisation through Steve Milloy and Garrey Curruthers, there was also an Advisory Board made up of scientific lobbyists who could link TASSC to political organisations and possible future corporate funders. Also mentioned as a supporter was:
Thomas L Wyrick, PhD, Prof, Southwest Missouri State Univ, Springrield MO

1994: The Philip Morris/RJ Reynolds controlled front group, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) [Run by Steve Milloy] has provided PM with a "Partial List of Key Scientists and Academics" who offer support.

    Many of these names are simply gullible academics who think TASSC is a genuine scientific organisation, however many on the list are professional or semi-professional scientific or academic lobbyists working for the industry.

    The only cash-for-comments economist on this list is

Dr Thomas Wyrick
    Professor of Economics, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri
Probably he is just the most gullible. His economic writings show a high level of credulity.

1994 March 16: A group of academic economists including almost all the members of the Tobacco Institute's cash-for-comments network sent an "An Open Letter to President Clinton on Healthcare Reform." This had been organised by David J Theroux, the founder and operator of the Independent Institute apparently with the assistance of an academic network member, Simon Rottenberg. [The institute was well-funded by the tobacco industry]. They say:

In The Open Letter to President Clinton, 565 economists and 76 other scholars from all 50 states and the District of Columbia state their firm opposition to any form of direct and indirect price controls in any healthcare program.

    Rationing Health Care: The New Threat of Price Controls, by Simon Rottenberg and David J. Theroux
They use the old straw-man scare techniques of the sky-falling. Claiming....
In countries that have imposed these types of regulations, patients face delays of months and years for surgery, government bureaucrats decide treatment options instead of doctors or patients, and innovations in medical techniques and pharmaceuticals are dramatically reduced.
Which, as anyone who has lived in England, Canada, Australia, etc. knows, is pure unadulterated rubbish.

    Along with Wyrick and his associates, this list of signatories also carries a number of think-tank lobbyists [including most of the Hoover Institute] and other consultants and coalition organisations who worked for the tobacco industry. This includes the Research Director of the Independent Institute, Robert Higgs, who was also a fill-in network economist. The Institute was virtually an arm of the economists network, providing publishing services for many of their members.

1994: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-political synergy for cross-corruption (mutual 'backscratching'), has published a monograph "Strategies for Balancing State Budgets".

    It quotes favourably from Wyrick's past report on TELs [Tax & Expenditure Limits] where today's politicians can restrict the activities of future governments.

Thomas L Wyrick ('Tax Limitation and Economic Performance," Southwest Missouri Economic Review, March 1991) on Missouri's Hancock Amendment.

    "Wyrick found that Missourians realized $8.5 billion more in personal income between 1981 and 1987 because of the amendment."

1995 /E: Philip Morris has had APCO & Associates put together a "Partial Listing of Key Scientists and Academicians Supporting TASSC." They have culled out all those names which carry little import in their lobbying efforts.

    Those on this list would be a mix of both scientific lackeys who work for poisoning and polluting industries, and some purely gullible academics who got caught up in supporting the utopian "need for better science."

    Among the first category we can identify: Bruce Ames, Joan Berkowitz, David Brenner, George Carlo, Kenneth Clilton, Bernard Cohen,Geraldine Cox, James Enstrom, Hugh Ellsaesser, Ronald Gots, Alan Gross, Alan Hedge, S Allen Heininger, Gary Huber, Peter Huber Thomas Jukes, Raphael Kazman, Leonard Kurland, Manfred Kroger, Russell Lewis, Floyd Lilley, Margare Maxey, Patrick Michaels, Henry Miller, Alan Moghissi, Jane Orient, Bruce Piasecki, Peter Samuel, Jane Shaw, Donald Stedman, Richard Stroup, Chris Wilkinson, Richard Wilson, Alfred Wehner, and Thomas Wyrick,

The purpose of TASSC
One purpose of TASSC, as described in a memo from APCO & Associate's Tom Hockaday and Neal Cohen, was to "link the tobacco issue with other more 'politically correct' products"

    In other words, TASSC was to make the case that efforts to regulate tobacco were based on the same "junk science" as efforts to regulate food additives, automobile emissions and other industrial products that had not yet achieved tobacco's pariah status.

    This would help them create a coalition of industries with product liability problems, while simultaneously providing themselves with a lobby of organized and funded science-denialists. With the power of publicity, this promoted the fear of a flood of "junk science" among genuine, but gullible scientists who lent their name to TASSC.

1996 June 24: Status Report on FDA Op-Ed Program lists the various network economists and the articles they have planted with their newspapers, together with the Congressmen who have been contacted. About the two Missouri network economists it says:

Professor Joe A Bell,
Economics Department, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
      The News-Leader, Published December 14 1995
      Contacted Senator Ashcroft and Representative Hancock, 1/26/96
[Thomas Wyrick from the same university is now not mentioned]

There is a two year gap in the archives between June 1996 and June 1998. We can't be certain what was happening to the network during this time but Wyrick appears to still be providing services.

1998 June 23: An article by Wyrick in the News Leader "Education better than bureaucracy to reduce smoking" in opposition to both the master settlement agreement and John McCain's tax bill. He stakes his credibilty on the byline explanation that

Thomas Wyrick, Springfield, is professor of economics at Southwest Missouri State University. He is a non-smoker and would pay no additional taxes if the McCain bill becomes law.

See Page 12

Note how he attempts to promote his probity and integrity by informing the reader that he is a 'non-smoker'.

This appears to be the last article that Wyrick wrote for the Tobacco Institute.

1998 Aug 15: The Florida "Press Journal" carried an article "Government assaults success" by cash-for-comments economist DT Armentano which attacks the McCain tobacco bill and the FDA.

    The list of activities of the other economists shows that the network continued to be operated by the Tobacco Institute itself (under Walter Woodson, and Lance Morgan - both Public Affairs division). [However Savarese is still in the picture.] The op-eds are now being rejected by many newspapers, who are no longer willing to publish tobacco industry propaganda.

And, since legally discovered tobacco documents had already begun to appear on-line, the Tobacco Institute has carefully deleted the names of the Professor of Economics who wrote each op-ed piece.

Wyrick's last article is listed here under the heading

MISSOURI Southwest Missouri State University
PUBLISHED - 6-23 The News-Leader

Off the radar.

2011: Wyrick is now Emeritus Professor, Missouri State University



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