Brian L Goff

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Professor Brian Goff was a Cash-for-Comments Economists Network member from George Mason Uni and Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green) who worked for the Tobacco Institute, the propaganda arm of the tobacco industry. Goff had graduated from the GMU Center for Study of Public Choice (and co-authored with Tollison & Wagner)

Professor Goff was recruited about 1986 in the Phase 3 development of the network when it was expanded, with the aim of having one professor of economics in each state who would provide services on-demand to the tobacco industry. These were all compliant academics, willing to write and say anything their cash-paying customer wished them to write or say.

At this time network members were being paid an annual retainer (roughly $1000 pa) and a fee for each service provided. This was in the region of $1000 for writing an op-ed article for a local newspaper on a theme developed by the Tobacco Institute, with an additional bonus if they contacted and lobbied their local Assemblyman or Congressman/woman. It rose to about $3000 a time over a decade or so.

During this phase they extended the network from about 30 active members to nearly double this size with one professor of economics available in each state (and two in some states). As members dropped out, the gap was filled by other members recruited from the Public Choice Society by Robert Tollison and James Savarese. His later franchise territory was Tennessee, because in 1987 Bowling Green also had Martha Rogers

 

HOW THE NETWORK WORKED

The Cash-for-Comments Economists' Network was run by Savarese through a partnership with Professor Robert D Tollison who used the staff and facilities of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University to prove cut-out and organisation services. They developed and maintained a network of Economics Professors with at least one on tap in virtually every US state. As one Professor transferred or dropped out (there was a regular turn-over) a new one would be recruited in that State. In all, about 130 university professors were involved in the period 1985-1995, and costs ran to $3 million/year at a time when professor's salaries were in the $30-40,000 pa range. An active network member at a State university could almost double his normal salary.

  The main focus of the group was to write commissioned op-ed articles on a subject determined by the Tobacco Institute. The draft article would then pass back through the network to TI staff, who were essentially public relations experts. Here they were 'improved' and refined; then sent to the Institute's outside lawyers for vetting. Modified articles then returned to the professor, who would then send them to a designated State newspaper as if they were his 'independent expert opinion'. The professors received a base amount for writing and bonuses for successfully planting the article on the newspaper. Some, but not all, received a small (eg.$1000) annual retainer.[2]]

  Published papers would also be copied by the professor and sent to his local Federal Representative and Senator (for a further bonus). Sometimes there were special commissions, but generally the work was writing op-eds and LTE's where they were paid just on results (varied from about $700 to $3000 over the years). Network members could also be called upon to provide witness services and promote the cigarette companies' political/economic line at local ordinance or State legislative hearings. An active professor of economics at a State University could almost double his salary with these activities and with some further appearances, for instance, speaking on the importance of cigarettes in economic terms at major economic conferences, etc.
      Cash for Comments Economists Network   &   Robert Tollison   &   James Savarese   &   Network Document Index

 

C4C Network Phases

The Cash for Comments Economists' Network developed in five clearly identifiable phases.

  • Phase 1. (c 1979) Professors Robert D Tollison and Richard Wagner were recruited by George R Berman (Philip Morris and Devon Management Resources) to provide propaganda writing services to the International Committee on Smoking Issues (ICOSI) which met in Brussels under the direction of Mary Covington.
  • Phase 2. (c late 1983) Tollison and Wagner were transferred to the control of Ogilvy & Mather PR (James Savarese) in the USA under the control of the Tobacco Institute. They were joined by economics professors Harold M Hochman, Fred McChesney, Thomas Borcherding and Dolores Martin to form the Committee on Tax & Economic Growth. The CTEG offered advice on the desirability of low excise taxes on cigarettes to the media and politicians as esteemed members of an 'independent' society or experts.
  • Phase 3. (May 1984) Tollison and Savarese now established the cash-for-comments network for the Tobacco Institute using the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University as a money laundry channel. They recruited 42 professors (they claimed) from the Public Choice Society (some didn't last long) before the end of 1985. Their task was mainly to write op-eds on specified subjects for their local newspapers, and they were paid a bonus for contacting their local Assemblymen and Congressmen. They were also to be available to the tobacco industry's State lobbyists as 'independent' witnesses at ordinance and Congressional hearings on workplace smoking, etc. (The promised 'secrecy' was not well preserved within the Tobacco Institute).
  • Phase 4. (c 1986) Savarese and Tollison now formed a formal partnership Savarese & Associates and expanded the network to include at least one professor of economics in each State (some States had two). Payment was increased; there was a regular turnover, but the numbers stabilised. Eventually the Tobacco Institute became annoyed with the mark-up that the partnership added to its bills, and sent in the auditors. They didn't like what they found.
  • Phase 5. (c. 1996) The Savarese/Tollison partnership continued with a few of Tollison's close associates, but the bulk of the network broke away and began to operate directly to the Tobacco Institute under the leadership of Robert Higgs and William Shughart through the Independent Institute think-tank.

Documents & Timeline

1985 {Note: prior to Goff joining the network.] The Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University published a 43 page self-congratulatory booklet.

  • Professors Shughart and Tollison, along with Mr. Brian Goff, a Center graduate assistant, wrote a paper entitled "Homo Basketballus." This paper argues and demonstrates empirically that professional basketball players who competed in states with open high school basketball competition survive longer in the National Basketball Association.
  • Professors Shughart and Tollison and Mr. Goff, along with Mr. Trey Fleisher, a Center graduate assistant, completed a paper called "Crime or Punishment?: Enforcement of the NCAA Cartel." This paper proposes that the NCAA is enforced so as to favor perennial football powers. The empirical results tend to support this idea.

"Sportometrics," or the use of sports and sports data to test economic hypotheses, will continue to be of interest to some Center Scholars over the next several years.

[Before you laugh, note that they are actually being serious about their new discipline of 'Sportometrics'.]
  • Professor Crain, and Mr. Brian Goff, a Center graduate assistant, have a forthcoming paper called "Televising Legislatures: An Economic Analysis" in the Journal of Law and Economics. In a test employing data on US state legislatures, they show the impact on incumbent reelection of televised legislative sessions.
  • Professor Crain and Mr. Goff also have a second study of televised legislatures, in which they test for the effect of televised sessions on the production of legislation.
  • Professors Crain and Tollison along with Center graduate students Brian Goff and Dirk Carlson, investigate the relationship between the size of government and the degree to which the legislature is specialized into more committees. As it turns out, more committees in the legislature are associated with more government spending. This paper was published in Public Choice during 1985. [3]
[And you wondered why the expert advice of these free-market economists led us into the 2009 World Depression?]

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:

KENTUCKY
Professor Brian Goff Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 42101, 502-745-2249

Goff is listed here as serving two states:

TENNESSEE
Professor Brian Goff

Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University, Bolling Green, KY 42101, 502-745-2249
Professor F. Steb Hipple Department of Economics, East Tennessee State, Johnson City, TN 37604
Prof. J.R. Clark Hendrix Professor of Economics and Free Enterprise

School of Business, The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee 38238-5015, 901-587-7228


1987 Jun 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 . It was secretly directed by Robert Tollison from George Mason University with Savarese as the organiser and front. In the mid 1987 period, the project was controlled by Jeff Rose [under Peter Sparber] at the Tobacco Institute and it focussed on defeating cigarette excise tax increases -- and especially the threat of such taxes being 'earmarked' to bolster health care budgets. Saverese and Tollison appear to have been in some form of loose partnership, because Anna Tollison, the wife of Bob Tollison, was employed by James Savarese & Associates to keep a record of the articles generated by their 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 in which they were published, together with their circulation figures [eg. the potential number of readers they may have influenced] and the publication date. This economist is featured on her list.

TENNESSEE, Goff, Tennessean , [circ.] 123,900, [no pub. date]

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/pxe38b00/pdf


1987 Jun 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".

In TENNESSEE
Goff for Tennessean --Owed $1600 -- Total to date $1600

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. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/dln25b00/pdf


1987 Jun 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.

[Note:][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:

DEMOCRAT WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE PROJECT [4]
STATE Democrat Congressmen Economist Reliability
Illinois Dan Rosenkowski
Marty Russo
Fred McChesney Unreliable
Florida Sam Gibbons Richard Wagner Unreliable
Texas J.J. Pickle and Michael A. Andrews Charles Maurice RELIABLE
California Fortney H. (Pete) Stark and Robert T. Matsui Gary Anderson RELIABLE
Indiana Andrew Jacobs Cecil Bohanon RELIABLE
Tennessee Harold E. Ford Brian Goff (in Kentucky) RELIABLE
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 Jul 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.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gtw24b00/pdf

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


1987 Jul 9 A list of quotes excerpted from major newspaper editorials and op-eds from the TI's cash-for-comments economists about the Packwood tax plan.

The Memphis Commerclal Appeal July 9, 1987
"Congress' own budget office estimated that the average increase in taxes from this source as a percentage of income would be about twice as large for families with incomes between $10,000 and $20,000 than for families with incomes of more than $50,000."

Brian L. Goff, assistant professor of economics at Western Kentucky University.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/hah38b00/pdf


1987 Jul 28 Goff has written to Congressman Harold E Ford and Congressman John J Duncan to get the maximum commission out of his op-ed in the Memphis Commerical Appeal . He has sent copies of the letter to the Tobacco Institute as proof along with a clipping of the article "Strengths, drawbacks vary for tax options." He doesn't mention that the article was drafted, edited and cleared by the Tobacco Institute and its lawyers. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/voe78b00/pdf


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.

TENNESSEE
Professor Brian Goff Western Kentucky University Bolling Green, KY
Excise Tax Op Eds: Tennessean -- 06/03/87
Economic Witness/Testimony:
Field Staff Contact: None.
Field Staff Evaluation: None.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/hco14b00/pdf


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.

[Note: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 .

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jlx64b00/pdf


1988 Mar 31 The Tobacco Institute's list of available economists, with details of their target for a review of Robert Tollison and Richard Wagner's "Smoking and the State" book (secretly funded and published by the tobacco industry). <Img src="../pix/T&W_S&S.gif" width=20% align=right> Jim Savarese writes to Jeff Ross who looks after the cash-for-comments network:

I have listed below potential areas where we could place book reviews for the Tollison/Wagner monograph.
Tennessee

    Targeted paper: The Tennessean Economist: Brian Goff, Western Kentucky University.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jex32f00/pdf


1988 Jul 13 Savarese writes to Debby Schoonmaker at the Tobacco Institute

I need your help on this one. I have had this for six weeks and forgot to send it to you for legal clearance. The economist, Professor Kimenyi, called me yesterday to see if he is suppose to proceed with publication of this book review. Can you please put a super rush on this for purposes of legal clearance so I can keep him happy?

[Articles were sent by the Tobacco Insitute to both Covington & Burling and to Shook Hardy & Bacon for legal clearance -- and it often took the lawyers two to three weeks to get around to checking them.]

The response came back to Debbie from Carol Hrycaj, saying

"Kimenyi's review is included among the "controversial" items. I'll request rush review for his piece"

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/sug93b00/pdf


1988 Jul 14 A number of the economists' pseudo-reviews of the Tollison/Wagner book Smoking and the State have been sent to the lawyers for legal clearance.

Once again, I am forwarding several reviews of Smoking and the State for your comment. You will find that we marked certain sections of these reviews that appear to be controversial. Would you suggest alternative language for those passages?

Included in this package are critiques prepared by Brian L Goff, Cliff P Dobitz, Samson M Kimenyi and Allen M Parkman. In addition, enclosed is an executive summary of the Tollison and Wagner book. The copy reflects our comments.

Due to a deadline for publication, Professor Kimenyi has requested we expedite the review of his article and obtain.clearance as soon as possible.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/mtg93b00/pdf She also sends the same articles to Shook Hardy & Bacon with the same request. It is not clear why two of the largest and most experienced tobacco law firms would be both asked to vet such documents. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ltg93b00/pdf


1988 Oct A Savarese memo notes that his review of the Tollison/Wager book was

Rejected by:
      1. The Tennessean
      2. Bowling Green Daily
Will try Louisville paper.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vsg93b00/pdf


1988 Nov The Tobacco Observer notes that Goff has played his "I'm a non-smoker... and therefore a trustworth independent expert" line.

"Even to a nonsmoker as myself, Tollison and Wagner expose some of the loose logic in the fervor of the antismoking campaign," notes Brian L Goff, assistant professor of economics at Western Kentucky University

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zgc02f00/pdf The Tobacco Institute love his 'non-smoker' claim and use it extensively [Dozens of documents quote his]. See this draft document by Ogilvy & Mather (subedited by the Tobacco Institute) to accompany the Tollison-Wagner media tours promoting their book. Apparenently

...this work restores balance to the controversial debate on smoking. These independent experts have examined the allegations of anti-smoking activities ,,, etc. etc.

an idea endorsed by Goff. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zaa93b00/pdf

How the economists network was utilized.
What Are Other Economists Saying About
"Smoking and the State." This hand-out was used with economists and the media to promote the Tollison-Wagner book,

Every economist quoted here is a member of cash-for-comments economists network. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zgy28b00/pdf


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.

    TENNESSEE
    Prof Brian Goff West Kentucky University
    Prof F Steb Hipple, East Tennessee State,
    Prof J. R. Clark, Univ of Tennessee at Martin

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jdu35b00/pdf

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

.

See page 5 http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vqg09a00/pdf


1990 Goff and Tollison were co-editors of "Sportometrics" published by Texas A&M University Press on the economics of professional sports.

This volume illustrates how sports events and data can be used to test economic theories. In addition, Tollison and Goff, with Arthur Fleisher (University of Delaware), completed a book manuscript in 1989 called The National Collegiate Athletic Association: A Study in Cartel Behavior, which has been submitted for publication.

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/axl83b00/pdf


1990 Aiug 29 Robert Tollison, using the Center for Study of Public Choice letterhead, is leading a tobacco-funded attack on the Environmental Protection Agency's draft release of "Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Guide to Workplace Smojing Policies."

I come to the issue of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) from a background as a professional economist. My general overall assessment is that the EPA analysis of cost saving is flawed beyond repair. It is based upon a failure to apply basic economic principles, the application of which lead to the conclusion that there are presently no uncompensated costs in the workplace arising from ETS; hence, there can be no cost savings from banning ETS in the workplace

In support of his position he lists publications by dozens of his cash-for-comments network economists. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/tmp51f00/pdf [This bibliography illustrates how close Goff was to Tollison and the others in the network.]


1990 May 7


1990 May 7: Carol Hrycaj and Martin Gleason from the Tobacco Institute distribute a CONFIDENTIAL note to their co-workers (including Savarese & Associates) on the 1991 Tax and Social Cost Plans. They are concerned that:

The "social cost" issue impacts all of our issues. Proponents of cigarette excise tax increases, smoking restrictions and advertising bans often rely on "social cost" arguments to support their efforts.

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.

The messages they want the economists to promote are:
  • Excise taxes are regressive
  • Cigarette excise taxes are discriminatory (Blacks, Hispanics)
  • Excise taxes are unfair.
  • Excise taxes are unreliable sources of revenue.
The document has a listing for the cash-for-comment economists who are operating in Tennessee:

TENNESSEE
Professor Brian Goff
Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University
Boiling Green, KY 42101 502-745-2249
Professor F. Steb Hipple
Department of Economics, East Tennessee State
Johnson City,TN 37604
J.R. Clark
Hendrix Professor of Economics and Free Enterprise
School of Business, The University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, Tennessee 901-587-7228

Goff is also listed as covering Kentucky. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vej19a00/pdf

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

Objective: 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. [5]


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 ER 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 Amacher, Clemson University
SOUTH DAKOTA, Dennis Hein, Augustana College
TENNESSEE, JR Clark, The University of Tennessee at Martin
TEXAS, S Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University
                   Michael Davis, Southern Methodist University
VIRGINIA, Richard B Wagner, George Mason University
WASHINGTON, Richard D. Zerbe, Jr., University of Washington [6]

1993 Mar 23 Jim Savarese is proposing to Calvin George at the Tobacco Institute a new Op-ed program to attack the Clintons.

Outlined below is our proposed op-ed program in opposition to the use of excise taxes to finance health care.

  1. Op-ed article by Robert Tollison to be submitted to Wall Street Journal' - - - $ 4,000.00
  2. Rebuttal article by Bob Ekelund, Auburn University, to be submitted to the Birmingham News - - - $ 3,000.00
  3. "Monster" tax op-ed project using twenty economists (list attached) 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 - - - $60,000.00

    TOTAL $67,000.00

Brian Goff is listed as one of the proposed lucky recipients of $3,000 in largess from the Tobacco Institute for slashing out a quick op-ed. He was to submit the article to The Commercial Appeal and Lexington Herald Ledger [7]


1993 Apr 16 Goff has been quick off the mark with a draft article "Medical Reform Proposals Self-Defeating." It has been passed through the sub-editor and ghost-writer mill. [8] It was returned to him after the lawyers had checked it, and he submitted it to the Lexington Herald-Leader


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 little 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 Remes 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:

    KENTUCKY
    Professor Brian Goff, Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
    • Mar 23 -- [TI designated newspaper/s] The Commercial Appeal and Lexington Herald Ledger
    • Apr 9 -- Received 4/16/93 -- Sent to Cal 4/16/93 -- Received from Cal 4/22/93 -- Waiting - legal 4/28/93 -- Returned 4/29/93 -- Rev. Draft 4/30
    • May 12 -- Submitted to the Lexington Herald-Leader
    • May 18 -- (as above)
    • June 2 -- (as above)
    • June 14-- Submitted to Lexington Herald-Leader
    • Aug 3 -- Submitted to (rejected) Lexington Herald-Leader ... resubmitted to Bowling Green Daily News .

[9]



2000 There are no further records of Brian Goff's activities from this point on. Perhaps he dropped out of the network, or maybe the files were culled.


References