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Lawrence Halfen was hired by the Tobacco Institute to conduct sham air-testing, mainly of offices where the staff of companies were complaining of poor indoor air quality (IAQ). He made a healthy income via his own company Environmental Consultants out of providing special services to the tobacco industry, both in churning out distorted measurements of indoor air quality (IAQ), and also in providing witness services to local ordinance hearings, legislative inquires, court cases and in media briefings.
The tobacco industry and its paid coterie of sham air-testing companies beat up the problems of air quality in buildings caused by plastics, synthetic carpeting, vapours from the early photocopying machines -- while ignoring the contribution of second-hand smoke. And by paying the testing companies, the tobacco industry always had the figures to prove that smoke was never more than a trivial problem.
Lawrence Halfen became fixtures in the Tobacco Institute's travelling circus, which was circulated through the major regional centers in the USA, where they lobbied politicians, provided briefings to the media, interviewed on radio, and acted as witnesses for local ordinance hearings, etc.
Documents and Timelines
1988 to 1993 Diana L Avedon at the Tobacco Institute ran a major media-tour operation called the Scientific Witness Teams. This operation circulated variable teams of TI staff spokespersons, contracted sham air-testing company staff, one or more Covington & Burling lawyers, and other more specialied tobacco lobbyists. They were used in two ways:
- As fire-fighters, to turn up in some town or region when problem about public or workplace smoking was arising, and do media interviews.
- To make regular media tours through various parts of the country to promote Tobacco Institute propaganda.
They were paid to visit major cities in each state, where the Regional Tobacco Institute staff would have arranged radio, TV or news coverage, and set up meetings with key officials at the local councils, counter air-ports (smoking bans) and meet with the editorial boards of media outlets. This is Diana Avedon's list of the key contractors on these group media-tours. It had the advantage of each participant getting to know the others, which introduced a collegial element to their shared message distortions.
|1993 Jun 1 TI list of "Witness/Expert Appearances Scientific/Legal/Spokespersons."|
Assistant to the Tobacco Institute President,
|Mike Buckley |
lawyer-lobbyist with Covington & Burling,
|Simon Turner |
IAQ witness/executive of ACVA/HBI,
| Gio Batta Gori|
Corrupt science researcher at Nat. Cancer Institute
He ran the Tobacco Working Group for the industry until fired.
Tobacco Institute's Media spokesperson
|Gray Robertson |
Partner in ACVA then owner of HBI
Lifelong contractor for sham air-testing with TI
owner/partner of ACVA and HBI
He sold his share of HBI to Gray Robertson
| Larry Holcomb|
Ran sham air-testing company (airlines)
Holcomb Environmental Services
|John C Fox|
Lawyer lobbyist for TI via Pettit & Martin
Later also through Pillsbury Madison & Sutro
Healthy Buildings International (HBI)
spokesman on 'sick buildings'
TI Public Relations, then Issues Management
Later VP at the Tobacco Institute.
| David Remes|
legal strategist from the main law firm
Covington & Burling (C&B)
National Energy Management Institute
(NEMI) organiser who worked for TI
|Melinda L Sidak|
C&B lawyer; strategist in science corruption
Worked on recruitment of scientists.
He ran restaurant front-group RSVP
He organised lobby against smoking bans.
| Larry Halfen|
Environmental Consultants; TI witness
|An attached 1991 Witness List includes|
| Brennan Dawson|
Media relations at the Tobacco Institute
|Jeff Seckler |
Exec. in charge of HBI's sham air testing
He later turned whistleblower.
Lawyer sent on media tours by the Tobacco institute to train witnesses.
|Joe Pedelty |
worked for Holcomb Environmental Services
Did sham air-testing for TI
|Jolly Ann Davidson|
NASBE school/educational lobbyist,
ran "Helping Youth Decide" program for TI
GMU economics professor (Tollison aide)
Key in cash-for-comments network
lawyer and media lobbyist with John Fox
She was retained by TI as IAQ witness
|Walter J Decker|
Ran Toxicology Consultancy Services
Provide witness services for the TI
TI Director of Economic Issues
He was ex-US Chambers of Commerce
|Mike Davis (Dallas Texas)|
Prof of Econ. and Business Management
Witness for the Tobacco Institute.
Prof Economics West Virginia.
Worked in cash-for-comments net.
|The main long document has this 1989 witness list attached with the addition (to above)|
economics professor and leader of
cash-for-comments economists network
| David A Weeks|
Boise Idaho physician, TI Witness
Partner of S James Kilpatrick in Per-Med Corp.
Ex tobacco industry scientist. Retrained
to provide legislative and media briefings.
GMU professor of economics who ran the
cash-for-comments economists network
Economics professor and TI witness.
Tollison's understudy in c-for-c network
| Jack E Peterson|
Industrial hygienist; ran Peterson Assoc.
Also worked for Dow Chemicals
|Bestype Consulting Corporation |
they ran TI's "Sick Building Syndrome"
and "Tight Building Syndrome" seminars.
|Dennis A Vaughn|
Lawyer-lobbyist for Tobacco Institute,
Associate of John Fox at P&M and PM & Sutro
|The 1988 List includes most of above with the additions of:|
|Alan W Katzenstein|
Biostatistician with Katzenstein Assoc.
Witness for Tobacco Institute,
Ran the Smokers Rights Alliance
His wife Sue had her focus on airline smoking.
[Numerous other documents detail the day-to-day organization of these groups spread over five or more years.]