Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ALEC Meetings - Where Democracy is Stolen

(my emphasis)
Tobacco Institute
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Tobacco Institute, Inc. was a United States tobacco industry trade group, founded in 1958 by the American tobacco industry.[1]:251[2] It was dissolved in 1998 as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.[3]:25

The Tobacco Institute was founded in 1958 as a trade association by cigarette manufacturers, who funded it proportionally to each company's sales. It was initially to supplement the work of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (which later became the Council for Tobacco Research). The TIRC work had been limited to attacking scientific studies that put tobacco in a bad light, and the Tobacco Institute had a broader mission to put out good news about tobacco, especially economic news. It also attacked scientific studies, although more by casting doubt on them rather than by rebutting them directly. It also lobbied Congress, although initially at a low level.[4]:211,466

The Tobacco Institute collected intelligence on attitudes toward smoking, developed strategies, and lobbied legislators. Allan M. Brandt wrote, "The Tobacco Institute, on behalf of the companies, assembled an impressive record of derailing attempts to bring tobacco under any regulatory mandates whatsoever".[1]:276 By 1978 the Tobacco Institute had 70 lobbyists, and Senator Ted Kennedy said in 1979, "Dollar for dollar they're probably the most effective lobby on Capitol Hill".[4]:466

From PR Watch

ALEC's relationship with the tobacco industry started after 1979, when ALEC Executive Director, Kathleen Teague, first wrote the Tobacco Institute seeking financial support. Shortly after, Institute members started participating in ALEC events. The industry's relationship with ALEC showed its worth quickly after ALEC provided Tobacco Institute members with face-to-face access to highest-level federal elected officials. In 1981, Tobacco Institute President Samuel Chilcote accepted an invitation to attend an ALEC "Exclusive White House and Cabinet Briefing" meeting with none other than the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan and his cabinet.

During the tobacco wars in the 1980’s and 1990’s which ALEC was a HUGE player in the "tobacco wars" drama.

And the Tobacco Institute was a HUGE player in the ALEC drama

     ALEC Franklin Club Members
     American Home Products • Amoco Foundation •
     EDS Corporation • Ryder System, inc. • The Tobacco Institute


     ALEC National Task Force on Tax &Fiscal Policy
     Mr. William P. Orzechowski.
     Tobacco Institute

     American Medical Security •> Anheuser-Busch
     Anschutz Foundation • GTECH Corporation
     Kraft Foods, Inc. Ryder System, Inc. •> Tobacco Institute

From a 1995 letter from
Ray Powers, Colorado
National Chairman (ALEC)

The Honorable William Clinton
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N .W.
Washington, D .C. 20050

ALE [sic] opposes unnecessary regulation from Washington and asks your support to stop this proposed intrusive FDA regulation of tobacco products. Where regulation is necessary, it can be handled best by the states .

And this,
this - is the result of what happens when YOU allow your legislators to go to secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange council to be wined/dined - by corporate lobbyist - behind closed doors.

If I can ever offer any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for the dinner. It was fabulous.

 ALEC Meetings - Where Democracy is Stolen, for the cost of "a fabulous" Dinner

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