Frank Fahrenkopf

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

Frank Fahrenkopf, born in 1939, is a high-powered Washington lawyer and former national chairman of the U.S. Republican Party. He is president of the American Gaming Association, the lobby arm of the casino industry. He is also the co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates. He is also a trustee of the Free Enterprise Foundation.

As an attorney in Reno, Nevada in 1975 he represented the Tobacco Institute as a lobbyist, and in that capacity claimed in a March 4, 1975 article printed in the Nevada State Journal that there was no conclusive evidence that cigarette smoking was harmful to the nonsmokers and that legislative efforts to end smoking in public places represented "a big brother attempt to legislate morals and public behavior. He further stated that "The claims that tobacco smoking is hazardous to the non-smokers are...just a facade disguising what is an attempt by one group of persons to write their prejudices into the law."[1] It is unclear how long Fahrenkopf represented the Tobacco Institute, but by 1983 he had become chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Fahrenkopf served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983-1989 (throughout six of president Ronald Reagan's eight years in office). A biosketch on a speakers bureau site claims he retired in 1989, but by all means he did not become inactive. [2] He sits on the Board of Directors for five New York Stock Exchange public companies: First Republic Bank, Gabelli Equity Trust, Inc., Gabelli Utility Trust, Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust, and Gabelli Dividend and Income Trust. [3] He has been a frequent commentator on political and gaming issues, on TV shows such as Crossfire, Inside Politics, Meet the Press, Hardball, Face The Nation, the Today Show, This Week, and Good Morning America.

Well after his supposed 1989 "retirement," Fahrenkopf became the first chief executive of the American Gaming Association on June 1, 1995. Prior to that time, Fahrenkopf served as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan & Hartson, where he chaired the International Trade Practice Group. In capacity as a partner at at Hogan & Hartson, Fahrenkopf served as Chairman of the Legal Policy Advisory Board of the Washington Legal Foundation[4], apparently leaving that position in July 1997, after which time he was appointed "Chairman Emeritus" of WLF.[5]. Fahrenkopf specialized in regulatory, legislative and corporate matters for multi-national, foreign and domestic clients. His early legal career included 17 years of practice as a trial and gaming lawyer in Nevada, his home state. In that capacity, he represented clients before Nevada gaming regulatory authorities.

Fahrenkopf is a personal friend of former White House drugs czar and conservative commentator William Bennett. He helped advise Bennett on how to respond to public revelations that Bennett, a self-proclaimed moral advocate, was a habitual gambler who has lost $340,000 at Caesars Atlantic City and millions more in Las Vegas. "I viewed this less as a legal problem than a public relations problem," Fahrenkopf said of Bennett's troubles.

External links

Biographical Notes

  • "Frank Fahrenkopf", Leading Authorities (speakers bureau), accessed December 2006.

General Articles

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. People, The Atlantic Bridge, accessed September 13, 2010.
  2. Strategy Document January 1992, NED, accessed February 23, 2009.