Frank Schubert

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

Frank Schubert is the president of Schubert Flint Public Affairs, a Sacramento, California-based PR firm. Schubert founded the firm in 2003 "following 12 years as a partner and key leader of Goddard Claussen Porter Novelli."[1]

In 2008 Schubert was the chief strategist for Protect Marriage, a group which supported Proposition 8, a ballot initiative which amended the California constitution to ban gay marriage. The campaign was heavily funded by the Mormon Church.[2]

Schubert on John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee

Schubert maintains a blog on his Web site in which he stated, "I watched intently as Palin spoke to the crowd in Dayton [on the day of her nomination], and boy was I impressed. This is a woman who is confident, articulate, immensely likeable and, yes, not too hard on the eyes. The more I learned about her, the more I liked her ... Kudos to Senator McCain for a truly brilliant, race-changing pick. He took a risk but it is one that could well result in him winning the White House. And kudos to his staff for their brilliant manipulation of the news cycle."[3]

Schubert's involvement with the tobacco industry

Involvement in "Tort Reform"

In 1990, Schubert concluded a four year stint the President of the Association for California Tort Reform, a state "CALA" group ("Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse") and one of many such fake "grassroots" groups created at the behest of industries and businesses to give the appearance of a groundswell of public desire to alter the legal system to make it harder for citizens bring lawsuits for injuries and illnesses caused by hazardous products. [4]

In 1993, Frank Schubert worked for Goddard Claussen, a firm that specializes in organizing public affairs campaigns and "issue advertising." At that time, Goddard Claussen was working to establish a comprehensive tort reform program in Illinois on behalf of the tobacco industry and other industries. Schubert refers to this as working on "civil justice issues."[5] In a September 2, 1993 memo, Schubert wrote to Bob McAdam of the Tobacco Institute stating,

It was and is our sincere desire to work in partnership with the [tobacco] industry and other major players to enact comprehensive tort reform in Illinois, which would include the "inherently unsafe" ... immunity ... We have no illusions about the difficulty of the effort ahead of us, however. It will be a tough and expensive fight, but we expect to be victorious. The full participation of the tobacco industry will enhance our chances of success and should benefit the industry"[6]

Fake "Grassroots" Organizing

On November 19, 1996, Schubert was a speaker on a panel at a conference titled "Grassroots Strategies: Harnessing the Power," held to instruct corporate clients on the use of fake, corporate-organized "grassroots" campaigns in influencing elections. A member of Schubert's panel cautioned participants that "the media, the public, adversaries and elected officials are 'on to us.' They know the difference between astroturf and real grass. While we can get people to do just about anything ... our issues have to be seen as real and important in people's lives." [7]

Fighting cigarette tax ballot measures

In 1995, Frank Schubert helped the tobacco industry organize a campaign to fight a proposed cigarette tax increase in California. In an August 30, 1995 memo to Bob McAdam of the Tobacco Institute, he recommended the following strategy be used to fight the tax: "The essence of the strategic approach we are suggesting is to center the debate squarely on smokers and how Californians should deal with their fellow citizens who smoke. We would communicate themes such as fairness and tolerance, positioning the new taxes as unfair to smokers while putting the tax proponents on the defensive as being hateful and intolerant." Other tactics Schubert recommended to defeat the tax included fomenting cynicism and anti-government feelings among voters, portraying pro-tax forces as intolerant, inducing guilt in voters for considering the tax, and recruiting "credible allies to stand with the [tobacco] industry" to help defeat the tax. [8]

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Frank Schubert
Schubert Flint Public Affairs
1415 L Street, Suite 1250
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916.448.4234
Fax: 916.448.5933
Email: (Substitute at @ sign for the word "AT")

Web site:


  1. "Frank Schubert", Schubert Flint Public Affairs website, accessed November 2008.
  2. Jesse McKinley and Kirk Johnson, "Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage", New York Times, November 14, 2008.
  3. Frank Schubert, Schubert Flint Public Affairs Palin Pick Frank's Rant, September 2, 2008, Volume 1, Number 24
  4. Association of California Tort Reform Newsletter - Schubert to Step Down as Chief Executive Newsletter. 1990. 6 pp. Bates No. TCAL0231055/1060
  5. Web site of The Association of Political and Public Affairs Professionals About AAPC/Board of Directors/Frank Schubert. Undated. Biosketch. Accessed November 21, 2008
  6. Frank Schubert, Goddard ClaussenIllinois Tort Reform Memorandum. September 2, 1993. 2 pp. Tobacco Institute Bates No. TIILBC0008137/8138
  7. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hawthorn Group Grassroots Strategies: Harnessing the Power Report. November 19, 1996. R.J. Reynolds Bates No. 522629106/9114
  8. Frank Schubert et al, Goddard Claussen First Tuesday California Tobacco Issues August 30, 1995. Tobacco Institute Bates No. TCAL0475624/5629

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