Ford Sovine & Ford

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Front groups badge.png

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Ford Sovine & Ford (FSF) was a Denver-area public affairs and advocacy firm that represented:

  • The Colorado Licensed Beverage Association (CLBA), a trade organization for small tavern and liquor store owners.
  • Colorado Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a group whose mission is "helping Colorado families become safe places for people to grow and thrive."
  • The Towing & Recovery Professionals of Colorado (TRPC), a trade organization representing regulated towers.
  • Professional Pharmacists, a trade union serving professional licensed pharmacists who were, primarily, employees of King Soopers & Safeway
  • The City of Black Hawk, an historic gaming town located approximately 30 miles from Denver.
  • The Colorado Water Congress, a 501(c)3 organization representing diverse water interests in Colorado.
  • The Colorado Childcare Association, a membership organization serving childcare providers.

The name of Ford Sovine & Ford was derived from the Colorado lobbying triad of Chuck Ford, Cindy Sovine and Zack Ford. Chuck and Zack Ford were registered Democrats and Cindy Sovine was a registered Republican. Chuck and Zack Ford are father and son, respectively. Chuck Ford also served briefly as Director of the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association and CLBA operated, for a time, out of the offices of Ford Sovine & Ford.

CLBA has a long history of opposing any law that might help to proliferate alcohol, especially to minors, because legalizing things like Sunday Sales has been regarded as a prelude to alcohol in big box stores like Wal-Mart. In fact, CLBA has opposed efforts by the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) to allow 18-year olds to serve alcohol as well as efforts to allow restaurant patrons to drive home with open containers. Contrary to specious implications and poorly researched documentation by SourceWatch's Anne Landman, the CLBA did not receive extensive funding from Phillip Morris or RJ Reynolds Tobacco, but did agree to submit comments to the FDA in 1995[1] and commissioned an indoor air quality study in 2000[2].

Zack Ford was Membership Director of the "Coalition for Equal Rights", a group formed to oppose the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act (CCIAA) on the basis that it would harm small taverns and benefit corporate restaurants, which it did [3]. The CCIAA went into effect on July 1, 2006 and made most workplaces (including bars and restaurants) in Colorado smoke-free to protect workers from the health effects of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. While CCIAA ultimately had a negligible impact on Colorado's economy, many workers did lose jobs when some small taverns changed business models or were forced to reinvest large sums to renovate or become licensed as restaurants;[4][5] a phenomenon that may have been exacerbated by Colorado's relatively cold winter climate as well as restaurant's easier access to enclosed patio space. [6]

Notwithstanding SourceWatch's mission to "profile the activities of front groups...trying to manipulate public opinion on behalf of corporations," the irony of its position on CCIAA was that it indirectly supported corporate franchises and corporate conglomerates [7] in their bid to eliminate competition from small, family owned businesses [8]. That's a likely reason, after all, the Colorado Restaurant Association--whose members include current and former members of ALEC[9]--might want to support the CCIAA with no exemption for taverns.[10] Given that information, perhaps an appropriate question is: For whom does SourceWatch really "front" and where do the organizations for which it "fronts" receive their funding?[11]. Unethical bedfellows, indeed.

Cindy Sovine also lobbied for the Colorado Health and Hospital Association in 2004 [12] and the Trauma Care Preservation Coalition, a group of hospitals and health care agencies, in 2006.[13]


Unethical Bedfellows: Clients of Colorado's Most Influential Tobacco Lobbyists, a listing of Colorado lobbyists and who they represent, from GASP of Colorado newsletter, 2004. Available from GASP (Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution) of Colorado, (located in Boulder, Colorado)

Colorado Secretary of State Professional Employer Lobbyist Report, September 14, 2006