Ryan C Amacher

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Ryan Amacher)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the ScienceCorruption.com journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to editor@sciencecorruption.com


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

Ryan Amacher was a Professor of Economics at Clemson University, in South Caroliana and a core member of the Cash for Comments Economists Network. This main network (of about 50 professors of economics at any one time) was run for the Tobacco Institute by Professor Robert D. Tollison and lobbyist James Savarese with the help of Tollison's wife Anna and the staff from the Center for Study of Public Choice which was located on the grounds of George Mason University.

Ryan Amacher was not part of the original group which was formed into a network circa April 1984, but he had been enlisted by the end of that year, and he became an enthusiastic driver of most of their corrupt activities. He ran what amounted to his own sub-network of Clemson professors in addition to working for the main network.

The Cash for Comment Economists Network eventually split up and most of the members transferred over to work for the tobacco industry under the cover of the Independent Institute with William F Shughart taking a leading role. Savarese and Tollison then appeared to have formalised their partnership, with Tollison and his wife becoming part of James Savarese & Associates.



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.


  • Richard H Amacher is a member of the Office of Smoking & Health team preparing the Surgeon-General's report on passive smoking
  • Scott Amacher is a top Neuroscience researcher

Documents & Timeline

  • Economist, Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry, Clemson University South Carolina. His C/V A search in the tobacco archives for "Clemson" yields 5,422 documents, and a matching search for variations on "Ryan C Amacher" turns up 373.

1945 Nov 9 Born

1967 May AB Economics from Ripon College

1971 Jun PhD, Economics, University of Virginia

1972-74Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma

1974-75 Senior International Economist, US Treasury

1977 Jul-June 1981 Professor of Economics, Arizona State University

1979 His first publication which came to the attention of Ingo Walter (who was working for the Tobacco Institute) and wrote a chapter in the book:

"International Investment and the Multinational Corporation" , Ryan Amacher (ed.),
      Challenges to a Liberal International Economic Order
      (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute , 1979).

1981- 83: Consultant to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which controlled cigarette advertising at this time.

The FTC initially tried to deal with cigarette companies' questionable advertising claims about filters, tar, and nicotine by seeking to enjoin them. However, these lawsuits were difficult and slow - in part because the FTC was not equipped to test cigarettes, and there was no standardized test; hence, it was difficult to prove that cigarette companies' claims were deceptive or unfair.

1981: Dean College of Commerce and Industry and Professor of Economics at Clemson University's College of Textiles and Industry, Clemson, South Carolina.

1981 Nov: (Ongoing) Member of the Governor's Textile Study Committee.

1982 May: (Ongoing) Consultant to the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association

1982 Sep The Annual Report of the FTC mentions two of Amacher's joint papers with Robert Tollison and William Shughart and associations with some of the other (later) cash-for-comments economists.

In this paper, a model was developed which shows that independent dual enforcement leads to more antitrust activity at a lower unit cost than would be obtained with a single agency.

On the other hand, the paper states that if the agencies collude, as they appear to do under present institutional arrangements, dual enforcement leads to less and more costly antitrust activity than would otherwise result. According to the paper, empirical tests using historical agency budget and case production figures do not refute the models main predictions. It concludes that more enforcement activity would be obtained at a lower unit cost if the 1948 FTC-Justice liaison agreement were abandoned.

According to this paper, two broad and venerable hypotheses can be deduced from the literature about collusion, antitrust, and economic activity. These are that both private collusive agreements and producer protection regulation should vary inversely with the business cycle. This paper gives evidence which supports both contentions. Employing data on general antitrust law enforcement activity and complaints charging violations of the Robinson-Patman Act, strong counter-cyclical tendencies are found in collusion and governmental regulatory intervention. [3]

'[These economists all had first-hand experience with "collusion, antitrust, and economic activities."]

1983 Amacher was a consultant to the South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce

1984 Jan

1984 Jan: Network Beginnings: Although the documentation is scarce, it is quite clear from the available evidence that the Cash-for-Comments Economists Network was being created at about this time. Kenneth Greene and Harold Hochman had originally joined forces with James Savarese to help the Tobacco Institute lobby in New York State. Then Robert Tollison and Richard Wagner, who had been working for the international ICOSI (International Committee on Smoking Issues) organisation, had transfered over Tobacco Institute control to expand the network to other US States. Thomas Borcherding (from Claremont soon followed.

1984 Apr 30: This 109- page DRAFT Tobacco Institute Cigarette Excise Tax Plan' was being developed to covertly battle against a tax proposal being considered by the Reagan Administration; they were facing a budget crisis. The tobacco industry suspected that the Administration (under pressure to create tax cuts for the wealthy) was about to extend the life of a temporary excise tax which had been imposed on cigarettes (16¢ per pack).

They had an urgent requirement for some 'independent' experts to lobby on their behalf at the State level. Their lobbying budget specified the average cost per State worth lobbying:

  • One public finance economist for 10 days @ $1,000, [Total $ 10,000] including meetings with coalition members and/or the Governor's staff; research and preparation; and testimony.
  • One economist for a union workshop on the tax issue, [Total $5,000] including 3 or 4 training sessions over the course of a convention.
  • Six economists @ $5,000 and one senior economist @ $20,000 for a tax symposium, including publishing of the proceedings at $3,000. [Total $53,000] The senior economist would play an oversight/organizational role and would be responsible for editing the proceedings. Such a symposium would be staged for regional or national impact.
  • One economist provided to a public employee union to do original research on the need for adequate services to be funded by broad-based taxes; this would include the final report and testimony. [Total $ 25,000]

Also included in this bundle was draft copy and designs for a couple of different booklets aimed at different States, and others aimed at labor/union and racial groups. It also identifies the Congress Committeemen and state Assemblymen who should be targetted as most likely to be influenced, and it had an appendix which lists economists who can be enlisted to help.

Potential Economic Consultants:
Following is a list of economists in key states who might assist us as consultants. We have begun contacting them to ensure their willingness and expertise. We are asking each about past experience; work with similar issues; previous work with the industry; published articles or research; and speaking availability. As discussed in the body of this program, our intent is to have a group of individuals who we can call upon regularly to testify, conduct special research projects, and discuss their research and/or views on excise taxes with the media.

Tollison is the most influential and prestigious on this list; he was hired to consult on federal tax issues, to publish books promoting the cigarette industry's position, and to oversee efforts of the other cash-for-comments economists throughout the country. See last page

They are already designating key states for the economists to influence through op-eds and politicians, and allocating a recruited academic to perform their lobbying services. Yoram Barzel is the only name on the above list who appears to have had second thoughts. He resisted the Institute's overtures entirely -- although they quoted his papers extensively.

1984 Jul The following month the Tobacco Institute circulated a formal document to the cigarette company members:

Cigarette Excise Tax Plan.
The plan augments our basic lobbying efforts by relying on groups outside the industry -- some not regularly associated with the industry -- to argue against excise taxes for us.

It is an ambitious program, based on the notion that many of the most effective protests against tobacco taxes will come from groups philosophically distant from The Institute. Many such groups agree with us on the excise issue, even though they disagree with us on other matters.

At the federal level, supporting Congressional members from the tobacco states is essential to our lobbyists. The tobacco members consistently vote as a unified group -- something that is rarely seen in Congress today. They are our lobbyists' most important resource.

The program recommends that economic and other consultants assist us in developing, "packaging," and presenting our anti-excise arguments in legislative testimony or meetings with coalition members. Resources:
Economic consultants with different areas of expertise will conduct research and act as spokespersons for The Institute and organizations supported by The Institute. Specific activities with economists are discussed throughout the tactics.


  • Stimulate reputable public finance economists at key state universities to determine the validity of state revenue forecasts, perhaps on behalf of state business organizations and present arguments against excise taxes in various forums; e.g., meetings with potential coalition members or budget officials.
  • Encourage economists to make the case against regressive taxation in meetings with potential coalition members and legislators.
  • Retain public finance economists affiliated with non-profit organizations to research the subject and use their findings in forums such as:
    • Private meetings with state legislators or staff ;
    • formal testimony before government bodies ;
    • targeted media appearances;
    • speeches before business, civic, labor, and other groups ;
    • tax symposia in key states where the proceedings could be published for use in other states ; and
    • articles which raise the visibility of key arguments in the business, academic, and popular press.


  • Presenting specific members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees with arguments prepared by economists with whom they share some common interest; e.g college affiliation, service on the same commission.
  • Gaining the support of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), the most influential labor/liberal tax reform group in the country, in opposition to excise taxes.
  • Relying on the AFL-CIO -- via The Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco Workers Union -- to ensure that the labor/liberal tax package that emerges in the next session of Congress does not include tobacco.

Appendix: A list of economists in key states who may be willing to act as industry and third-party spokespersons on the tax issue. Following is a list of economists in key states who might assist us as experts receiving honoraria. We have begun contacting them to ensure their willingness and expertise. We are asking each about past experience; work with similar issues; previous work with the industry; published articles or research; and availability.

Cash-for-Comment Economists
State Economists   and their institutions
California Thomas Borcherding, Claremont College
Connecticut William McEachern, University of Washington
Florida Richard Wagner, Florida State University
Georgia Fred McChesney, Emory University Law School
Illinois James Heins, University of Illinois
Mass. Harlan Platt, Northeastern University
Minnesota Thomas Stimson, University of Minnesota (St.P)
New York Harold Hochman, City University of New York
Ohio David Klingaman, Ohio University
Penn. Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania
Texas Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University
Wash.DC. Robert D Tollison, George Mason University.
Wisconsin Burton Weisbord, University of Wisconsin
"Our intent is to have a group of individuals whom we can call upon as needed to testify, conduct special research and discuss their research projects and/or views on excise taxes with budget officials, potential coalition members, legislators and the media."[4]
[The only change here is that Yoram Barzel from the University of Washington, had dropped out. (There was always a regular turnover)
This was the core Cash for Comments Economists' Network. Over the years they recruited over 160 professors of economics.]

1984 Nov The C/V that Ryan C Amacher of Clemson University sent to the Tobacco Institute lists his co-authorships:

  • The Economic Approach to Public Policy: Selected Readings , edited, and with independent contributions by RC Amacher, RD Tollison and TD Willett (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976).
  • "The Behavior of Regulatory Activity Over the Business Cycle: An Empirical Test," Economic Inquiry, forthcoming, with Richard Higgins, William Shughart, and Robert Tollison .
  • The Economics of the Military Draft (Morristown, N. J.: General Learning Press, 1973), with JC Miller, MV Pauly, RD Tollison , and TD Willett. Reprinted as a chapter in The Military Draft: Selected Readings on Conscription, edited by Martin Anderson (Palo Alto: Hoover Institution Press, 1982).

Under Professional Affiliation: Member he lists: Society for the Study of Public Choice '

In fact his associations were with the Center for Policy Studies, the Center for Study of Public Choice, and the Public Choice Society!] He also published through the American Enterprise Institute, and the Hoover Institution. (Both tobacco funded) [5]
[Note in his CV the numerous research collaborations with Robert Tollison and William Shughart, who had also been at Clemson Uni. He was also thickly embroiled in the organisations driving the Atlas Group of think-tanks.]

1984 Nov Nov: Tollison and Savarese recruited both Gary Anderson (GMU), and William Shughart (Clemson Uni) at this time to help with tobacco propaganda at the annual Public Choice Society meeting in New Orleans (Feb 1985). Ryan Amacher, also at Clemson, appears to have also joined in November 1984, as does Dwight Lee

1985 Jan 31 Hurst Marshall at the Tobacco Institute has distributed this list of economists from the cash-for-comments network. It has been organise by State, and includes the names of Congressmen they wish to influence.

Attached for your information are the names of economists who have been identified by PR to assist TI on the federal cigarette excise tax issue. These people are also available to testify at the state level.

If you feel that this type of witness can be of assistance to you on state cigarette tax issues, please contact Fred Panzer for details and arrangements.

Please notify your lobbyists as to the availability of these people. At the same time, you may wish to ask them for their ideas or suggestions for other economists within their states.

This economist will be detailed to make the contact with Congressmen [by sending him/them the published op-ed]

  •   Professor Ryan Amacher
      Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

1985 Feb 21 Roger Mozingo, the State organiser at the Tobacco Institute is sending his regional and state directors a list of resources available to fight against cigarette excise taxes in their states. Ryan Amacher heads their state list of available economic witnesses for South Carolina. [7]

1985 Mar 6 He has had a tobacco-inspired-and-funded op-ed printed in the Greenville News: "Excise taxes must be understood." As was common with this raft of Tobacco Institute promoted articles, it makes only oblique references to cigarette excise taxes, and is careful to avoid criticism of the Reagan Administration which was trying to prop up its finances with extra cash from the sale of cigarettes. [8]

Rep Carroll A Campbell Jr , who sits on the Committee of Ways & Means, writes to thank him for the copy of his article in the Greenville News . He writes:

You have raised many valid points, and I share your view that excise taxes raise many problems. However, it still is not clear on which course the Ways and Means Committee and Congress will follow regarding tax reform and simplification. I appreciate your letter and views, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future on this important issue. As always, Ryan, if I can be of any assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

[A copy of this reply, of course, goes straight to the Tobacco Institute.] [[9]]

1985 Mar 20/E Tobacco Institute document "Federal Markets" on the likely allies the industry has acquired to oppose the earmarking of cigarette excises for healthcare.

Market: South Carolina
Positive Actions by Local Allies:
Academics: Professor Ryan Amacher (Clemson University) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform that appeared in the Greenville News on March 6 (newspaper in home district of Ways & Means Member Campbell). Copies were sent to Campbell.
See page 23 See success list

1985 Mar 29 The Monthly Report of Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) to the Tobacco Institute shows that Ryan Amacher was a multi-faceted individual who's by-line also decorated a "Legion article" that he did not write. The report says:

Legion article: O&M provided revised version of the article for client approval. Ryan C Amacher, PhD, from Clemson University will sign the piece.

They also says further down the page:

  • Op-ed Articles: O&M provided an update on this project. We are collecting original copies of the published articles to print in a collection.
  • Economic news service: O&M provided draft copies of three "tax quotes" columns and three editorials We are writing two additional sets of materials and obtaining economists' photographs for final production.
  • Preparing for excise hearings in Congress: O&M will begin preparing C Mather Lindsay for testimony and will identify spokespersons at AFL-CIO and CTJ. [10]
[C 'Matt' Lindsay was another member of the economists network from Clemson.
CTJ = Citizens for Tax Justice, a think-tank that the tobacco industry partly financed]
They had support from AFL-CIO by paying off union officials.

The April Billings of O&M also include the news that the PR company had:

  • Arranged for economic consultant, Dwight Lee , to testify against Pennsylvania legislation to restrict smoking in public places.
  • Drafted and revised article on tax reform and excises for submission to American Legion Magazine Ryan C Amacher, Ph.D., from Clemson University signed the piece.
  • Continued to prepare op-ed articles on tax reform and work with area economists to place in newspapers in home districts of members of House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees. Prepared weekly update on this project's status. (To date, 14 articles have been published; others are either pending with editors or still being revised for submission.)
  • Drafted three Q&A columns featuring our economic consultants and three editorials for "economic news service" mailing to local media nationwide. Also worked with designers to develop format for the service. We are drafting two more columns and editorials and collecting economist's photos for the final layouts.. [11]

1985 May 14 Ogilvy & Mather is billing the Tobacco Institute for creating the revised version as can be seen in the 'April Monthly Billing' of Ogilvy & Mather in Washington sent on May 14, 1985 to Susan Stuntz, Director of Issues Management at the Tobacco Institute.

  • "Drafted and revised article on tax reform and excises for submission to American Legion Magazine. Ryan C. Amacher, Ph.D., from Clemson University signed the piece." [12]

The article appeared under Amacher's name in The American Legion September 1985 [13]

1985 May 29 Fred Panzer writes to other issues-executives at the Tobacco Institute praising the success of the Op-ed Article Project on Excise Taxes.

So far, sixteen op-ed pieces of twenty-three submitted have either appeared or have been accepted for publication. That's a ... 700 batting average!

We're looking for about 35 of our economists to participate. They're the ones in states represented on the two tax writing committees of Congress.

Attached are clippings of ten of the articles:

    Des Moines Register, Chicago Sun-Times, Muskegon Chronicle, Hartford Courant, Caspar Star-Tribune, Tulsa Tribune, Austin American-Statesman, Atlanta Journal, Greenville (S.C.) News, and Huntsville (Ala.) Times.

You may agree that it would be a natural follow-on to arrange for sending the article to the approriate member of the state legislative tax writing committee. This would help create the impression that we have more support "out there" than expected. If nothing else, the exercise would give our lobbyists more credible and positive material to leave behind with state legislators.
[This a variation in what became known as a 'Big Chill' tactic of letting legislators know that you had the money and power to challenge them in campaigns and Congress if they didn't fall into line.]

The authors of these clippings are Thomas Pogue; A James Heins; Paul Menchik; Domenick Armentano; Todd Sadler; Joseph Jadlow; Henry Butler; Fred McChesney; Ryan Amacher; Robert Ekelund Jr; who all parade their university credentials, and who all forget to mention that the Tobacco Institute paid them to write these columns. [14]

1985 Jun 6 James Savarase & Associates has submitted its bill to Peter Sparber at the Tobacco Institute. The billing shows that some economists were paid via Robert Tollison, and that an Emory University Symposium had been held with Congressman [Wyche] Fowler.

                        TOTAL A/C was for $56.733.81 [15]

See also previous links to Congressman Fowler [16] and [17]

1985 Sep This is the article written by Ogilvy & Mather (probably by James Savarese) but signed by Ryan Amacher, which was published in American Legion Magazine. The article discusses the 'regressivity and unfairness of excise taxes, [subtext for poor smokers pay proportionally more for cigarettes], noting:

"Excise Taxes Overlooked in Tax Reform Proposals"
"... revamping the entire tax structure, including federal excise taxes, is necessary to ensure a fair tax system." [18]

The original article is reprinted in a Tobacco Institute monitoring report. See page 15

[Despite his lack of authorship, this article modestly cites Amacher as "one of the nation's leading economist [and] Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry at Clemson University."]

1985 Sep 6 Acey at the Tobacco Institute has sent a bundle of newspaper clippings along to their printer/copier.

Enclosed are 15 original newspaper clippings (don't lose them!) some in better shape than others.

We'd like these articles on seperate sheets so the lobbiests (sp) can make up their own individual packets. They will also be including some publications too.

This brings us back to the infamous Tax Folder... To hold all these clippings, publications and information on tax articles.

Size should be a 9 x 12 folder to fit in a 9x 12 envelope. You know what I mean. Good looking folder, not too slick. Articles should be in black & white. [19]

[The article that Ryan Amacher's signed but didn't write, is to be circulated.]

1985 Nov 6 Ken Arnold of Ogilvy & Mather PR writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute.

Fred, here is a summary of the Economist Op-ed and Economic News Service projects .

With regard to the Economist Op-ed project, we have submitted a total of 34 op-ed articles, and 18 of them have been published. Recent articles appeared in the Huntsville Times on September 11, by Robert Ekelund and in the Providence Journal on October 25, by Arthur Mead (see attachments).

Enclosed is a revised op-ed chart, indicating House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committee Members impacted to date, and the circulation of each newspaper publishing the articles. In most cases, the papers are the largest in the targeted district.

This chart list all the important Congressmen they want their economists to influence, including:

Congressman Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.

    Greenville News (c. 86,100) March 6
          Professor Ryan Amacher, Clemson University [20]

Economic News Service: Ogilvy & Mather appear to have organised a separate syndication system for economic articles which did not carry the names of the cash-for-comments academics, but which were simply distributed to these newspapers as if they were news. However, the titles show that they were carefully crafted to suit the local prejudices and interests -- so they were probably written anonymously by the same academics.

1985 Dec 12 Annual Report of the Tobacco Institute's Public Relations division lists Amarcher as an important resource:

We believe that the active and creative use of experts -- our scientists in particular -- gives us an edge. But without question, public smoking is our toughest challenge. A close second is taxation. In 1985, most of our resources in this area were focused on the federal situation.

That being the case, we concentrated almost exclusively on the home districts and offices of the 56 members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees .

We identified and utilized economists from universities in 48 of those districts. Some testified at the four federal tax hearings in which had interest. Others participated in academic symposia attended by Congressional staffers. Others communicated directly with their Congressmen.

And 34 of them wrote op-ed articles on the need to consider excises as part of tax reform. Many of these articles appeared in the principal newspaper in the targeted districts which have, by our estimation, a total circulation of nearly 4 million.The economists were of great help. [SNIP]

Professor Ryan Amacher (Clemson University) wrote an op-ed article on tax reform that appeared in the Greenville News on March 6 (newspaper in home district of Ways & Means Member Campbell). Copies were sent to Campbell.

[Also for the American Legion journal:] Published article written by Professor Ryan Amacher , member of the Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth, opposing cigarette excise taxes in Legion Magazine. (Also assisted in smoking restriction legislation.) [21]

The Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth had been founded in 1984 by Robert Tollison, with Harold Hochman, Thomas Borcherding, Fred McChesney and Dolores Martin. Ryan Amarcher was not a member. The original group met with and advised the tobacco industry on the use of economic arguments, and later they all became core members of the cash-for-comments network. This appears to indicate that the CETG continued to operate in some undefined way after the creation of the [[Cash for Comments Economists Network].

1985 June/1986 March-July The Cash for Comments Economists Network was commissioned by the Tobacco Institute to write economic opinion pieces opposing excise taxes on cigarettes in mid-year-1985. This propaganda requirment resurfaced as a major project for the economist in the peak of the Tobacco Industry's PR campaign against the Packwood tax plan (although the threat was obviously still a possibility until the end of 1986r).

The Tobacco institute (much later) put together a package of commissioned economics reports (see front section of document), followed by about thirty op-eds and composite pieces which were generated by the Tollison/Savarese Cash for Comments Economists Network in this 1985-86 time frame. It illustrates the propaganda value of this network -- and shows what it can accomplish in a very short time for just a few thousand dollars in academic bribes.

These op-eds attacking the Packwood tax plan were all published in local newspaper across the USA. (Copies needed to be sent in for payment to be made.) A few are from July 1985 and the rest appeared in local newspapers during March-July 1986. These spontaneous independent expressions of expert opinion all miraculously come from Professors of Economics attached to the Center for Study of Public Choice ...

Joseph M Jadlow, Oklahoma State Uni. (He had two op-eds in different papers.);   William C Mitchell Uni of Oregon, Eugene;   Lee G Anderson, Uni of Delaware;   John S Howe Uni of Kansas, Lawrence;   D. Allen Dalton, Boise State University;   Thomas F Pogue, Uni of Iowa, Iowa City (He had two.);   Scott Atkinson, Uni of Wyoming. (He had two in different papers.);   S. Charles Maurice, Texas A&M Uni;   Todd Sandler, Uni of Wyoming;   Michael A Crew, Rutgers Uni, Newark;   Robert B Ekelund Jr., Auburn Uni (He had two.) ;   Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College;   Lee Alston, Williams College;   Paul L Menchik, Michigan State Uni;   Henry N Butler, Texas A&M Uni;   Burton A Abrams, Uni of Delaware;   Ryan C Amacher, Clemson Uni (He had two.);   Dominick T Armentano, Uni of Hartford;   Fred McChesney, Emory Uni;   and a think-tanker David Wilhelm (Citizens for Tax Justice);

Also short extract pieces and letters-to-the-editor from A James Heins, Uni of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana;   William J Hunter, Marquette Uni, Milwaukee;   Dennis E Logue, Dartmouth College;   William F Shughart, George Mason Uni;   Harold Hochman, Baruch College, City Uni of New York;

Also uncredited overviews in the Newport Daily News, the Times-Review in Texas, Herald PA, etc. which expresses the encapsulated wisdom of most of the above with the addition of Thomas Borcherding (Claremont Graduate School, Calif);   K. Celeste Gaspari, Uni of Vermont, Birmingham;   David N Laband, Uni of Maryland;   Dean Tipps (Service Employees Intl. Union);   Allen M Parkman, Uni of New Mexico, Alburquerque, NM;   Richard K Vedder, Ohio Uni, Athens;   Roger L Faith, Arizona State Uni, Tempe;   Lee Alston, Williams College Mass;   and William J Hunter, Marquette Uni, Wisc.; (Some sections were published in multiple papers). [22]
This was a massive amount of propaganda coverage for a payment of less than $1000 each to these Professors at that time.

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 and in South Carolina there are two economists on the payroll:


  • Professor Matt Lindsay Department of Economics, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631, 803-656-3471
  • Professor Ryan Amacher College of Textiles and Industry, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631, 803-656-3471/3177

1986 Jan Public Relations Resources Commitee of the Tobacco Institute lists him in their Resource Catalog as a witness for hire.

Dean Ryan Amacher, College of Commerce and Industry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

He is available either as a "Public Smoking" or as a "Taxes" witness. As such he will be available to:

"explain why excise taxes are regressive and unfair to consumers and unsuitable and unreliable as a means to increase the federal revenue." Those economists who have testified or prepared op-ed pieces on the economic effects of public smoking are marked accordingly. The others may be briefed on the potential cost to government of implementing smoking restrictions.

A special note also lists his other services to the tobacco industry. They have reprinted his article in bulk as handouts.

"Excise Taxes Overlooked in Tax Reform Proposals"

  • One-page copy of Ryan Amacher (dean of the College of Commerce and Industry at Clemson University) article published in American Legion Magazine, September 1985.
  • Discusses the regressivity and unfairness of excise taxes, noting "revamping the entire tax structure, including federal excise taxes, is necessary to ensure a fair tax system."
  • General distribution; most effective distributed to family and friendly citizens and business groups.
  • Immediate availability


1986 May A bundle of 72 pages of information is being circulated by the Tobacco Institute to its Regional Directors. The data is predominantly on the tobacco-industry beat-up known as Sick Building Syndrome and on the general problems of Indoor Air Quality [all down-playing the effects of smoking in confined spaces] Section 1 is headed

List of sources. Local and national experts you can call for quotes or background information. It promotes the services of three specialist lobbyists

  • Lewis Solmon - an academic who discounts problems of workplace smoking
  • Al Vogel - who claims to be an expert in public attitudes to smoking
  • Mike Forscey, a labor lawyer/lobbyist who helped the tobacco industry keep the union movement on-side.

They have also provided a list of the 52 Professors of Economics from various State Universities who can be called on to provide services for roughly $1000 a time: This economists name and address are included under "Tobacco & Taxation (listed by state, alphabetically)" . [24]

1986 May 30 Fred Panzer of the Tobacco Institute was contacting British-American Tobacco's PR executive, Tom Humber [also Burson-Marsteller and National Smoking Alliance] sending him some of the examples of the network economists.

Enclosed are: (1) The first wave of 27 op-ed reprints, (2) A second wave of 32 op-ed articles (21 published and 11 unpublished), sent out on Packwood's first tax reform proposal. I've also included one on the Chase [Economtrics] study. There are a few others being rounded up, as well as a syndicated excise tax feature series we developed. Out of all this should come something useful for your people. [25]

He also lists 21 of the economist (including this one) and provides copies of many of their recent articles.

1986 Oct 3 The State Directors for the Tobacco Institute have been reviewing all economics network witnesses in their territories, and culling those who are not actively participating. The Washington DC office is now circulating to its State Directors a list of the economists available who...

"...have been identified in several states by J. Savarese as available and hopefully capable to testify in our behalf, or aid in our defense against proposed state of local legislation, from an economic aspect.

This list differs from others in providing a list of the economic specialities of each network economist, along with the Congresmen they were designated to influence. He is listed as specializing in:

SOUTH CAROLINA (Representative Campbell)
    Professor Ryan Amacher , Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, 803-656-3177
      [Specializing in:] Fiscal policy; public finance; public choice.

1986 Dec 8 Sam Chilcote is summing up the Tobacco Institute's activities in fighting the Packwood Tax Plan which attempted to impose special excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol and fuel (in the oil crisis years) to reduce use. Packwood also wanted to make these taxes and tariffs non-deducatable for federal income tax purposes.

The document bundle (219 pages) includes:

  • Pages 2 to 34: A major study done for the TI by Policy Economics Group
  • Pages 35 to 50: Another major study commissioned from DeSeve Economics for the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART) [funded by tobacco to act as a front]
  • Pages 51 to 57: A couple of papers done for lawyers Covington & Burling
  • Pages 58 to 100: A long document which has deliberately NOT included the name of the organisation which produced it within the document itself. (But done by [[ DeSeve Economics Associates]] Inc).
  • Pages 101 to 129 : A paper on the "Burden of Tobacco Taxes on Selected Demographic Groups" [To play the racial/ethnic card]
  • Pages 130 to 144: Some booklet trying to rabble-rouse the Hispanic and Black communities and make them believe Packwood is attacking them racially.
  • Page 145 to 177: A Citizens for Tax Justice 'poll' on attitudes. and Coalition Against Regressive Taxation (CART) document
  • From Page 178 on: many of the op-eds they have had published in newspapers by the cash-for-comment academic economists, See Amacher's articles on p203/204

1986 Dec 11 James Savarese sends Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute a summary of the activities of his network of economists. This is effectively the beginning of the main cash-for-comments economists network.

Dear Fred, I have attached a list of all the economists we have used along with the projects they have worked on in behalf of the Tobacco Institute.

There are now 62 names on the list (Some states have 4 or 5) not counting himself and Bob Tollison. The details given for each consist of State, Regional Division [of the TI], Name, Address and Telephone number. Added to this is a list of the 'Projects' they have completed (in later lists, also the names of Congressmen they have contacted.)

  • Virtually all of these cash-for-comment academics have been generating op-ed articles for newspapers, or have, in some unspecified way, opposed the Packwood Excise Tax Plan -- or perhaps helped fake up one of the 'Chase' [Econometrics studies] relevant to their State.
  • A few participants have attended Congressional or government inquiries ['Treasury I'] or local ordinance hearings as 'independent witnesses' while secretly acting for the tobacco industry.
  • Two (Ann Harper-Fender and [[Gary Anderson) had become advisors to Ronald Reagan's Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations -- which was used to bring pressure on the FDA, EPA and OSHA and stop them from being pro-active with smoking bans.
  • Other participants have been promoting the industry line at various academic conferences and fora [mainly as keynote speakers at economic society meetings], and a few of the core-team were involved in brianstorming sessions with members of the tobacco industry looking for new angles for their PR, and for possible research project which might generate some economic propaganda for the industry.
  • Many of them have joined in with the industry's orchestrated letter-writing campaigns opposing workplace smoking bans.

    GSA = Government Services Administration
    'Ways and Means' is a Congressional committee on finance
    ALEC = American Legislative Exchanged Council (a formalised way for big business to directly lobby Federal and State politicians from the right0
    Chase Econometrics , was a company which did made-to-order economic impact studies for the tobacco industry.
    The references for Ryan Amacher were:

South Carolina [ Region VI ]
Professor Ryan Amacher

    Dean, College of Commerce and Industry, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631, 803-656-3177
    Services rendered:
    • original excise tax op-ed [[27]]

1987 There are no Amacher documents in the tobacco archives for 1987 for some reason. {someone check please}

1988 Jan: Professor Cotton 'Matt' Lindsay has handed over his role in the cash-for-comments network temporarily to Ryan Amacher [both were at Clemson University].

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). Jim Savarese writes to Jeff Ross at the TI 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.
South Carolina

    Targeted paper: Greenville Times
    Economist: Matt Lindsay, Clemson University (Note: His name has been struck out and replaced by "Ryan C Amacher".

The review by Amacher was published in full in the Tobacco Observer. [29]

Promotion of the Tollison and Wagner book, Smoking and the State, continues. An executive summary of the book is near completion. Several members of the economists' network have completed critiques, which are in the process of being cleared for publication. Tollison and Wagner have received media training and are prepared to begin a series of media tours to promote the book and discuss the social cost issue. .p11-20 (emphasis added)

The Northwest Airline smoking ban project

1988 Apr 25 Northwest Airlines had just implemented the first ban on short domestic flights (formalised by the FAA on April 23rd), and the Tobacco Institute was turning out its lobbyists to convince the other airlines that smoking bans, of any kind. were a bad idea. The economists were central to this propaganda project.

  • Michael Babcock (Kansas Uni) wrote "Good service, not gimmicks win fliers" for the Topeka Capital-Journal which suggested that Northwest was a dangerous and unreliable airline, and that it should concentrate on maintenance and safety rather than persecuting smokers.
  • Michael Kurth (McNeese State) wrote "Market forces are the best way to guarantee freedom" for the Shreveport Journal. He saw it in personal freedom terms:

    The political remedy to social conflict is to ban "offensive" behavior. In a democracy, that usually means the behavior of a minority. That is what the Federal Aviation Administration did when it banned smoking on all airline flights lasting more than two hours. Some air travelers were offended by the smoking of other passengers, even though the smokers were isolated in the back of the plane. But by what criteria were their preferences elevated and satisfied over the preferences of smokers?

  • Ryan Amacher (Clemson University) had "Eliminating choice failed marketplace test" He claims that the Northwest Airlines experience had been a disaster (in fact it was highly successful). He also suggests Northwest was a dangerous airline to fly.
  • JR Clark (Uni of Tennessee) had "Focus on service would help airlines most" in the Memphis Commercial Appeal .
  • Michael Davis (Southern Methodist University) had "Smoking ban gets good test" in the Times Herald
  • William Hunter (Marquette Uni) had "Airline smoking ban example of free-market conflice resolution" in the Capital Times. . He damns the Northwest Airline policy for "failing the market test" and praises those airlines which were competing without smoking bans. [30]

1988 May 26 Savarese advises the Tobacco Institute that

We have initiated the book review project. A copy of the book and a short summary were sent out today to 17 economists across the country with instructions for writing a brief review suitable for newspaper publication. I have attached a list of the economists. I'll keep you up to date as soon as the reviews start rolling in. [31]

Amacher's name was on the list. This and the following index reference give unequivocal evidence of how "independent" these academic's published articles actually were from tobacco industry influence.

1988 Jun 13 James Savarese to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute:

Here are two more book reviews of the Tollison/Wagner book. I'll wait to hear from you before proceeding any further.

One of these was from Cecil Bohanon at Ball State University, and the other (which needed more sub-editing) was from Ryan Armcher at Clemson University. A hand note says:

"Next stage? -- Placement, Publication attempts."

Susan Stuntz has handwritten a note and refered the reviews to her assistant Debbie Schoonmaker,

    These two are pretty good, I don't see much problem with them.

Debbie replies;

    Does this mean Covington & Burling (the tobacco lawyers) clearance is unnecessary?

to which Susan replies

    "Unfortunately C&B and SH&B should review -- but explain circumstances of publication". [32]
[They are required to have both of these major tobacco law firms clear these articles before they were released for publication -- even though the Tobacco Institute's name was not on the released documents. This must be a precaution in case it ever leaked out who had funded the book and the reviews.]

1988 Aug 14 Amacher's review of Tollison/Wagner book "Smoking and the State" took the form of an article; "Economists Explore the Dangerous Aspects of Government Protection" which was published on August 14, 1988 in The State (Columbia SC). [33]

The tobacco industry was obviously delighted with the article. It was reprinted in the "Tobacco Observer"; mass-copied to all the companies; and sent out to all the Regional Directors and lobbyists working for the Tobacco Institute. [34] [35] [36]

1988 late The Tobacco Institute was promoting the Tollison & Wagner book "Smoking and the State" via a media tour or key states by the two authors, and by having the members of the Cash for Comments Economists Network write reviews of the book for their local newspapers. This document includes a draft press-release and a series of quotes taken from these reviews. They are in the process of being edited and corrected by someone at the Tobacco Institute.

David S Saurman, San Jose State University.
Samson M Kimenyi, University of Mississippi.
Allen M Parkman, University of New Mexico.
Brian L Goff, Western Kentucky University.
Ryan C Amacher, Clemson University.
Dwight R Lee, University of Georgia.
Cecil E Bohanon Ball State University
Robert B Ekelund Jr, Auburn University.[37]

Included is a CV for Robert Tollison, and another for Richard Wagner, and a full draft review by Todd Sandler

1988 Dec At the beginning of 1988, Northwest Airlines had successfully banned smoking on all its US domestic flights. Then in April 1988 the FAA introduced a two-year trial smoking ban on all domestic flights of less than two hours duration.

The tobacco industry flew into a panic because their own polling showed that a majority of airline passengers (smokers and non-smokers) were reasonably happy with such bans. They therefore instructed the cash-for-comments network economists to write articles attacking the financial stability of Northwest, attack its safety record, and preaching the need for smoking 'tolerance'.

The resulting articles generally took the line that Northwest Airlines was suffering financially... when in fact, the ban had been generally successful. This was, in fact, a clear attempt at influencing the stock-market to put pressure on airline management.

Involved in this disinformation exercise were

  • Michael Babcock, Kansas State Uni (Topeka Capital-Journal) "Good service, not gimmicks win fliers"
  • Michael Kurth, McNeese State Uni, letters to the editor. (Shreveport Journal)
  • Ryan Amacher, Clemson University (unknown newspaper) "Eliminating choice failed market test
  • Jeffrey R Clark , Uni of Tennessee, Martin (Memphis Commercial Appeal) "Focus on service would help airlines most.
  • Michael Davis, Southern Methodist Uni (LA Times Syndicate/Times Herald) "Smoking ban gets good test."
  • William Hunter, Marquette Uni (The Capital Times) "Airlines smoking ban example of free-market conflict resolution." [38]
[Many of the writers knew so little about these smoking bans that they confused the Northwest Airline ban with the later FAA trial.]

1988 Dec 1 Contract lobbyist James Savarese writes to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute reporting on his activites during November (both for himself and his employee, Leslie Dawson). His consultancy is also now specialising in co-opting labor and economists, and countering the next Surgeon General's report.

He also lists successes he has had with getting economists to plant op-eds on various local newspapers. His and Tollison's network of economists has generated numerous reviews of the Tollison/Wagner book "Smoking and the State," which the Tobacco Institute has funded and now wanted widely circulated.

Also attached are his company accounts ($114,589) for the Tobacco Industry Labor Management Committee disbursement. [39]

1988 Dec 30/E The Tobacco Institute's Communications report.

Two reviews of Northwest Airlines' total smoking ban concluded that the policy has not passed the market test.

  • The Greenville News carried Clemson University Dean Ryan Amacher's views,
  • the Memphis Commercial Appeal published University of Tennessee-Martin Professor Jeffrey R Clark's analysis.

The clips are enclosed. [40]

1989 Jan 4 The Tobacco Institute's economics consultant lobbyists James Savarese was responsible for attempts to co-opt both genuine and pseudo/astroturf type economics societies to serve the tobacco industry cause. He has been in contact with some of these organizations in order to construct a number of collaborative efforts to promote the ideas of smaller-governments and unfettered free markets [Airline smoking bans were a major problem to the cigarette companies at this time]. Savarese's report says:

    Airline Cabin Air Quality
  • participated in strategy meetings of airline cabin air quality task force, including Labor Subcommittee
  • worked with airline consultants on indoor air quality
  • participated in meetings with pollster on airline smoking issue
  • participated in follow-up to November 29 ASHA Board Meeting
  • continued op-ed project on Northwest Airlines.

He also lists some of his successes in having the economists plant articles in newspapers:

As of January 3, three op-ed projects have been published:

  • Shreveport Journal -- Michael Kurth -- McNeese State Univ.
  • Commercial Appeal -- JR Clark -- University of Tenn. at Martin
  • The Greenville News -- Ryan Amacher -- Clemson Univ.

Also later in the document

  • Social Cost Book Review Program [Smoking and the State] - As of January 3, seven book review have been published. Three are forthcoming:

1989 Jan 11 Savarese has sent the CONFIDENTIAL list of network economists to Debbie Schoonmaker and Carol Hyrcaj who shared responsibility for the Tax Hearing Readiness project at the Tobacco Institute.

This memorandum includes information on the industry's ability to respond to proposals to:

  • increase federal excise taxes on tobacco products;
  • earmark excise taxes to fund federal programs; and
  • reduce/eliminate tobacco tax deductability for advertising.

It provides the arguments that should be used by the economists, some think-tanks which will provide support, a list of members of Congress who are seen as allies, and includes this list of available economists:

ALABAMA, Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Auburn University
ARIZONA, Roger Faith, Arizona State University
ARKANSAS, David ER Gay, University of Arkansas
CALIFORNIA, Gary Anderson, California State at Northridge
                    David Saurman, San Jose State University
COLORADO, Barry Poulson, University of Colorado
CONNECTICUT, Dominick Armentano, University of Hartford
DELAWARE, Lee Anderson, College of Marine Sciences, Uni of Delaware
                    Burton Abrams, University of Delaware
FLORIDA, Bruce Benson, Florida State University
GEORGIA, Dwight R Lee, University of Georgia (also Washington Uni, St Louis MI)
HAWAII, Suuner LaCroix, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
IDAHO, Allan Dalton, Boise State University
ILLINOIS, Bill Bryan, University of Illinois
                    Fred McChesney,School of Law, Uni of Chicago.
                    James Heins, University of Illinois
INDIANA, Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University, Muncie
IOWA, Thomas Pogue University of Iowa, Iowa City
                   Todd Sandler, Iowa State University, Ames
KANSAS, John Howe, School of Business, Uni of Kansas, Lawrence
                   Michael Babcock, Kansas State Uni, Manhattan
KENTUCKY, Brian Goff, Western Kentucky University
LOUISIANA, Michael Kurth, McNeese State University
MAINE, Robert McMahon, University of Southern Maine
MASSACHUSETTS, Simon Rottenberg, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
                   David Tuerck, Suffolk University, Boston
MICHIGAN, Peter Boettke, Oakland University, Rochester
                    Lawrence Brunner, Central Michigan Uni, Mount Pleasant.
                    David Fand, Wayne State University, Detroit.
MINNESOTA, Raymond Raab Uni of Minnesota/JP Consulting, Deluth
                    Jack Militello, College of St Thomas, St Paul.
MISSISSIPPI, Samson Kimenyi, University of Mississippi
MISSOURI, Thomas L Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University
                    Thomas I. Wyrick, Southwest Missouri State University
MONTANA, Terry L Anderson, Montana State University, Bozeman
NEBRASKA, Craig R MacPhee, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
NEW HAMPSHIRE, Dennis Logue, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
NEW JERSEY, Jeff Ray Clark, Farleigh Dickinson Uni/Contractor
NEW MEXICO, Allen Parkman, University of New Mexico, Alburquerque
NEW YORK, Roger Congleton, Clarkson University, Potsdam
                    Allan Leiken State Uni of New York, Stony Brook.
NORTH DAKOTA, Cliff Dobitz, North Dakota State University
OHIO, Mark Toma, Miami University, Oxford
                   Richard Vedder, Ohio University, Athens
OKLAHOMA, Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
                    Edward O Price Oklahoma State University
OREGON, William Mitchell, University of Oregon, Eugene
PENNSYLVANIA, Ann Harper-Fender, Gettysburg College
                    Jack Militello, College of St Thomas, St Paul (also Minnesota)
RHODE ISLAHD, Arthur Mead, University of Rhode Island. Kingston
SOUTH CAROLINA, Cotton Mather Lindsay. Clemson University
                    Ryan Amacher, Clemson University
SOUTH DAKOTA, Dennis Hein, Augustana College, Sioux Falls
TENNESSEE, Brian Goff, Western Kentucky Uni, Bowling Green
                    F. Steb Hipple East Tennessee, State, Johnson City
                    JR Clark University of Tennessee, Martin (also New Jersey)
TEXAS, S Charles Maurice, Texas A&M University
                    Michael Davis, Southern Methodist University
                    Morgan Reynolds, Texas A&M University, College Station
VIRGINIA, Henry Butler, George Mason Uni, School of Law
                    Richard B Wagner, Center for Study of Public Choice, George Mason Uni.
                    Walter Williams, George Mason University.
WASHINGTON, Mark Schmitz, (Consultant) Seattle
WEST VIRGINIA, John David, West Virginia Inst. of Technology, Montgomery.
WISCONSIN, William Hunter, Marquette University, Milwaukee (also CSPC)
WYOMING, Chuck Mason, University of Wyoming, Laramie [42]


1989 Jan 11 TI Scientific Consultancy Activity 1988-89 This is an 80 page mixed bag of files dumped together. [First is dated from 1990]

  • Pages 3 to 23 It begins 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]

    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.

    South Carolina now has two members from Clemson.

[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.]

1989 Jun 2 A Tobacco Institute collection of 'Op-Eds Opposed to Restrictions on Cigarette Advertising'

In a free society, we must listen to a political speech that offends us, allow movies to be produced that we don't like, and permit the sale of books that are distasteful to some members of society . In the defense of freedom, we must also be vigilant in protecting commercial speech that some may find distasteful ."

The Amacher's article on Excise Taxes was: "Full-time busybodies seek advertising controls, by Ryan C . Amacher, Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry at Clemson University in The Greenville News, June 2, 1989 . [44]

Freedom is threatened not by torrents, but by droplets. Except for an occasional revolution, freedom, as George Orwell so deftly showed, is slowly eroded by the gradual intrusion of government. Professional busybodies who think they know what is good for us all are at it again, as they simultaneously try to prohibit the advertising of cigarettes (because they are "bad" ) in newspapers and magazines, and try to force the advertising of condoms (because they are "good" ). [45]

On June 2, 1989 the article 'Full-time busybodies seek advertising controls' written by Ryan Amacher was published in the Greenville News (Greenville, SC). [46] In this article Amacher states that it is wrong to put restrictions on tobacco advertisements. This op-ed is mentioned in the 'July Status Report' of James Savarese and Associates, sent to Susan Stuntz.[47] The letter of James Savarese and Associates has the same address in Washington as the 'April Monthly Billing' of 'Ogilvy & Mather' sent to Susan Stuntz in 1985. Both organizations are linked to the 'Committee on Taxation and Economic Growth' [48] of which Mr. Amacher was a apparently now a member. [49]

It is increasingly apparent that James Savarese operated his own company effectively as a subsidiary of Ogilvy & Mather PR, which was in the process of being transformed to Ogilvy Adams & Reinhard. However for possibly legal reasons, he operated James Savarese & Associates as a separate company which effectively was in partnership with Professor Robert Tollison in running the Cash for Comments Economists Network. It also ran the Labor Management Committee. After 1994, Savarese suddenly reappeared as a top lobbyist within Ogilvy Mather & Reinhard, in charge of others working for the tobacco industry. [50]

1989 Jul 19 Walker Merryman, Director of Communications at the Tobacco Institute has written a letter to the editor of the Denver Post, critical of an editorial about a smoking ban on Northwest Airlines. His points include:

  • Reviewing the history of this issue, Professor Ryan C. Amacher, Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry at Clemson University, observed that Northwest Airlines has not experienced an increase in passenger revenue as a result of its total smoking ban. He notes that, "the perceived desires of nonsmokers did not translate into demand in the marketplace."
  • No other U.S. airline has followed Northwest's lead by banning all smoking. That should tell you (1) Northwest is apparantly more interested in publicity than serving all its customers and (2) every other U.S. airline is satisfied that smoking and nonsmoking sections work well most of the time. [51]

1989 Dec 14 Jim Savarese is listing the economists taking part in their new Excise Tax Op-Ed project .

I have also listed the newspapers we plan to target and a package of the materials we are sending to the economists. We should start getting drafts of the op-eds around the first of the year.

This economist is on the list for:

      [Targetted newspaper] Columbia State [52]

1989 Dec 25 Clemson University now had a third professor of law and economics who was writing op-eds in "The State" newspaper for the tobacco industry. [[Ryan Amacher; Matt Lindsay and now... Professor Robert J Staaf who is quoted as writing:

"The fundamental difference between these proposals and existing regulations of tobacco advertising is that they are not based on consumer protection principles. If enacted, these bills would establish a precedent to restrict or eliminate the right of sellers to advertise a legal product. Censorship is not in consumers' interest and is a violation of a fundamental constitutional right, regardless of one's views on smoking."

In the same document Ryan Amacher is quoted as having written in a June 2 1989 article in The Greenville News .

In a free society, we must listen to a political speech that offends us, allow movies to be produced that we don't like, and permit the sale of books that are distasteful to some members of society. In the defense of freedom, we must also be vigilant in protecting commercial speech that some may find distasteful. [53]

[Presumably 'free speech' includes the right to lie to your constituency and readers about your 'independent academic status.']

1990 Fen In TI's "Public Affairs Management Plan Progress Report of February 1990" they proudly wrote

The 1990 op-ed program involving consulting economists' articles on the excise tax and "user fee" question moved forward last month. We reviewed additional draft articles and returned them to the authors to seek placement. Meanwhile, the previously cleared op-eds continue to appear in print. Recently published articles include those by J.R. Clark (with placements in five different Tennessee newspapers); Ryan Amacher (the Anderson Independent-Mail); William Hunter (the Milwaukee Journal); and John David (the Charleston Gazette).[54]

The Anderson Independent-Mail published a second anti-excise tax article by Mr. Amacher in June 1990.[55] [56]

1990 Mar 20 Clipping of an op-ed by Amacher for the Tobacco Institute which appeared in the Anderson Independent-Mall "Quacking tax ducks have no lips to read." This is an attack on President George Bush I on the basis of his 'Read My Lips' promise not to increase taxation. [57]

1990 May This is a Tobacco Institute/Savarese list of the newspapers designated to certain economists on the network. They were to plant an op-ed article attacking "Excise Taxes" on local newspapers. Ryan Amacher has been allocated the Columbia State newspaper. [58]

1990 May 7 The Tobacco Institute's "1991 Tax and Social Cost Plans" have sections on

  • "Social Costs" Hearings Readiness (preparation for fielding witnesses at Congressional hearings.) They list here the arguments that the Institute and its allies must be prepared to present.
  • "Tax" Hearing Readiness (as above, but for excise tax increases, State and Federal)
  • List of cash-for-comment network economists in each State.

This is an updated list with the current locations of each, with phone numbers and addresses.

Professor Matt Lindsay
Department of Economics, Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29631 803-656-3471
Professor Ryan Amacher
College of Textiles and Industry, Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina 29631 803-656-3471/3177

1990 Jun- July The Monthly Communications Activities report of the Tobacco Institute lists:

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) prepared a response to the recent Congressional Budget Office study, "Federal Taxation of Tobacco, Alcoholic Beverages and Motor Fuels."
      Distributed to Members, the media and other interests, the response rebuts the CBO's methodology and concludes:

    "No matter what criteria for the tax burden one uses. increasing excise taxes will mean an increased tax burden on the majority of Americans of modest incomes."
          A copy of EPI's material and the National Journal article featuring the analysis are enclosed.

1990 Jun Amacher is writing articles for the Tobacco Institute which are distributed to newspapers as op-eds. He is also available for consultation. His successful planting of op-ed was listed for payment as:

  • 2/90 [Feb 1990] Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in The Anderson Independent-Mail
  • 6/90 [June 1990] Anti-excise tax/"no taxes" op-ed published in The Anderson Independent-Mail

[60] The article "Congress should hold off on new taxes" was published June 17. See clipping.

1990 Aug This long document has media tour records (being conducted by Fleishman-Hillard) for the a number of different cash-for-comments networks. They are now working on...

  • the economists network
  • ventilation network members (mainly HBI)
  • biological scientists network,
  • academic lawyers network
  • labor network and
  • advertising academics network

The economist's media tours are to promote the Wagner/Tollison book on the Social Cost of smoking written for the Tobacco Institute and then reviewsd by many of the cash-for-comment economist network members.

Also attached is a list of Savarese's network economist triumphs which has the intriguing heading "Consulting Economists -- Not on Philip Morris List" which suggests that PM was running a similar or parallel operation to that of the Tobacco Institute.

This list holds the recent successes in planting op-eds on local newspapers, and a few appearances of economists at State hearings, conferences, etc.

Ryan Amacher
Dean of the College of, Commerce and Industry, Clemson University
      2/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in the "Anderson Independent-Mail"
      6/90 Anti-excise tax/"no taxes" op-ed published in the "Anderson Independent-Mail"

1990 Aug 3 Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute has advised the Members of the Executive Committee of plans for a "Celebrity Spokesman Project" -- to develop a'celebrity speakers program using academics and other expert consultants. They are to offer the speakers both money and personal promotion:

[W]hile it is clear that there are a number of individuals who can and are speaking out on our issues independent of The Institute, there also is much more that could be done. There are, for example, opportunities to develop higher profiles for those individuals with whom we enjoy an existing relationship, and to increase within the media an awareness of their availability.

There also are a number of individuals who have been identified who do not currently have a relationship with the industry, but whose views appear to be compatible with our own. Should the Executive Committee decide that it wants to proceed with an expansion of our speakers' program, these individuals would be contacted to determine their interest in our issues.

The addition of new speakers to our program will be expensive. Most of these individuals command substantial consulting fees; media and other activity will require a new commitment of funds, although an exact amount cannot be determined until candidates have been approached.

He then lists:

  • Authors, newscasters and newspaper columnists.
  • Well-known politicians, political aides, White House staffers, State authorities, agency administrators, etc.
  • Heads of various coalition groups (American Advertising Federation. etc.)
  • Cash-for-comments legal and business academics from Savarese's network list.
  • Cash-for-comments 'risk assessment' academics and promoter.
  • Cash-for-comment experts in indoor air pollution and ventilation systems.
  • Cash-for-comment academic economists + some likely allies:
  • Some more minor network academics, together with their recent achievements.
  • Ryan Amacher, along with dozens of others, is thought to be a potential speaker and is credited with recent achievements:

    Ryan Amacher
    Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry,
    Clemson University
          2/90 Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in the "Anderson Independent-Mail"
          6/90 Anti-excise tax/"no taxes" op-ed published in the "Anderson Independent-Mail"

    1990 Oct /E Tobacco Institute document. This lists the services that academics and secret consultants have provided to the tobacco industry during 1989 and 1990 -- both as witnesses and as authors of articles and letters.

    • Pages 2 - 9 Advertising : lawyers and advertising administrators
    • Pages 10 - 30 Science and Public Policy on ETS/IAQ
    • Pages 31 - 39 Taxation
      This gives the dates of each of the services, and any 'Current Projects' they may be working on:

    Ryan Amacher, Dean of the College of Commerce and Industry, Clemson University
          2/90 -- Excise Tax/"user fee" op-ed published in The Anderson Independent-Mail
          6/90 -- Anti-excise tax/"no taxes" op-ed published in The Anderson Independent-Mail See page 34

    TI budget papers show that
    • Each op-ed still earned the economists $3,000.
    • Presentations to conferences earned them $5,000.
    • Savarese was paid $70,000 to $100,000 pa for this project,
    • Ogilvy & Mather received $250,000 overall. See page 5

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

    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. [63]

    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. [64]

    1992 Feb A report to the executive of the Tobacco Institute by Carol Hrycaj lists under "Highlights" :

    Several new excise tax projects progressed in February, including the Coalition on Human Needs congressional district campaign, the Economic Policy Institute's consumption study, the Texas Alliance on Human Needs state campaign and consulting economists' endeavors.

    [The Coalition on Human Needs was mainly a training operation attached to the Atlas Group network of libertarian think-tanks. It was based in the grounds of George Mason University]

    The 1990 op-ed program involving consulting economists' articles on the excise tax and "user fee" question moved forward last month. We reviewed additional draft articles and returned them to the authors to seek placement.

    Meanwhile, the previously cleared op-eds continue to appear in print. Recently published articles include those by

    Consulting economists sent letters to administration officials reported to be looking for ways to justify a cigarette excise tax/"user fee" connection. [65]

    [They were now targetting administration officials, and not just Congressmen]

    1994: The crucial year when the tobacco companies accepted they were losing: internal documents being exposed to public scrutiny. Hillary Clinton's health task-force focused on tobacco; the Waxman hearings and whistleblowers exposed them: class action suits were filed against the cigarette companies.

    1994 Mar: Florida judge Robert P Kaye was over-ruled by his state appeal court. He was forced to allow 60,000 flight attendants to jointly sue US tobacco companies for health difficulties they claim were caused by inhaling passengers' cigarette smoke. (This was the first class-action against tobacco.) [66]

    1994 Apr 18 Time Magazine asks "Is it all over for Smokers: The battle against tobacco is turning into a rout." Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General, says:

    America will be smoke-free, but not in my lifetime. We have 40 million people who are addicted to smoking, We've got to help them get over their addiction, and that's going to take a while.

    • Henry Waxman's House subcommittee will vote next week on the Smoke-Free Environment Act.
      • Any building entered by 10 or more people each day will have to become smoke-free.
      • One subcommittee wants to raise the cigarette tax by $1.25 for health care reform
      • Last month Congress signed a bill outlawing smoking in all public and some private schools.
      • Department of Defence now bans smoking in offices, even soldiers in their tanks.
    • Marylands, Washingon State will ban smoking in virtually all workplaces,
    • OSHA has proposed a ban on almost all indoor smoking in the workplace
    • FDA is taking a look at classifying nicotine as a drug
    • MacDonalds and other companies have banned smoking,
    • [A year ago] EPA said passive smoking was a Class A carcinogen which killed 3000 non-smokers a year
    • For the first time members of the antismoking Congressional Task Force on Tobacco and Health outnumber pro-tobacco House members, 53 to 42. The industry lost its virtual stranglehold on Congress.
    • CDC says cigarette smoke kills about 418,000 people a year. [67]

    1994 May 23: Mike Moore, the Attorney-General of Mississippi, filed suit against the tobacco companies to recover medical costs for tobacco-related illnesses.

    " The state of Mississippi didn't smoke cigarettes, but the state of Mississippi has had to pay about $100 million a year for the care of our residents who smoked after they were deceived by the cigarette companies about the addictive nature of their products, " said state Attorney General Mike Moore. [68]

    The tobacco companies were anxious to get the federal law passed before the Mississippi case came to trial - further negotiations were now done on a state by state basis. So they settled Mississippi, then later Florida and Texas. A dozen other States lined up, and this formed the basis for Minnesota settlement.

    1994 Aug 19: Hubert H Humphrey III, the Attorney-General of Minnesota also acted. The Minnesota court set a cut-off date: documents produced before this time must be produced by Philip Morris and placed in a public Depository in Minnesota . (They became generally available after the Master Settlement Agreement in1996) [69]


    1994 Oct 14: David Theroux at the Independent Institute sends a copy of their proposal for a book to be called "Sin Taxes" to William Orzechowski at the Tobacco Institute. It implies that excise taxes are imposed on cigarettes simply because the tobacco industry is unpopular and an easy target.

    It doesn't single out cigarettes (that would be too obvious) but raises the threat of Alcohol, Prohibition: The Ultimate "Sin", Gun Control, the War on Drugs, and the evils of 'Earmarking' such excises to prop up the health care system. Constitutional Liberties are also dealt up in the penultimate chapters.

    The Institute is prepared to print and promote 810,000 books (cheap enough to be used as text-books) and there will be other benefits, such as "reprints in journals and magazines, syndication of Op-Eds and wire stories to major newspapers, media intereviews and government testimony by authors. Also lecture tours, etc. etc.

    It will be edited by William Shughart under the direction of the Independent Institute's Research Director, Dr Robert Higgs, and have chapters written by the old Cash for Comment crowd.

    William F Shughart, Uni of Mississippi
    Adam C Gifford Jr, California State Uni, Northridge
    Randall G Holcombe, Florida State Uni
    Dwight R Lee, University of Georgia
    Thomas J DiLorenzo, Loyola College in Maryland
    Richard K Vedder, Ohio University
    Mark Thornton, Auburn University
    Bruce L Benson and David W Rasmussen, Florida State Uni
    Richard E Wagner, George Mason University
    Robert B Ekelund Jr and Paula A Gant, Auburn University
    Bruce Kobayashi, George Mason University
    Jonathan Macey, (Law) Cornell University
    Gary M Anderson, Cailfornia State Uni, Northbridge
    Donald J Boudreaux and Adam C Pritchard (Law) Clemson Uni
    Gordon Tullock, Arizona State University. [70]
    The book reached the drafting stages, and William Shughart sent his detailed Introduction along to the Tobacco Institute for their approval. [71]

    1995 July: The remnants of the Cash-for-Comments Network has now transferred over to work through the Independent Institute. William F Shughart II (U of Mississippi is editing "Taxing Liberty and Other "Sins": Predatory Politics and Taxation" for the Tobacco Institute. It has chapters by:

    (With the exception of a few new names this is the remnants of the old Cash for Comments Economists Network)

    Hence, when David Theroux of the Independent Institute contacted me to ask whether I might be interested in putting together a volume that would explore the purposes and effects of tax policy in regulating consumption choices, I eagerly accepted . Let me here acknowledge the Independent Institute's financial sponsorship and David Theroux's encouragement along the way.

    This draft was in Philip Morris files, and it has additions and corrections in handwritten form. For instance "politically incorrect" has been inserted before"products" and "excise" inserted before taxes. "Sin" taxes have been quoted. New chapter titles have been added. [72] [73]

    1995 According to http://www.guidestar.org/GuideStar, Ryan C. Amacher is a (former?) member of the Board at the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI). He was the president of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), but in 1995 he "resigned amidst several UTA academic, athlethic and minority under-representation allegations." [74] He is still Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at UTA.

    1997 June 20: The tobacco industry agreed with some of the State Attorneys-General to pay a penalty of $370 billion, curtail advertising that might affect children, and subject itself to FDA regulation. The 68-page "Proposed Resolution," (which later became the Master Settlement Agreement) reported that the industry would fund a variety of health programs, pay monetary damages, subject itself to FDA regulation, and restrict certain sales and marketing practices.

    In return, tobacco companies will be exempt from all punitive damages for their past conduct and immune from new class action lawsuits. This was just the first draft of a long process.

    1988: The tobacco industry had (in June 1997) agreed to pay a penalty of $370 billion, curtail advertising that might affect children, and subject itself to FDA regulation in return for exemption from all punitive damages and immunity from new class action lawsuits. In 1998 Senator John McCain sponsored a bill that would raise the price tag to over $500 billion and strip the industry of immunity (This was defeated).

    However, in 1998 Philip Morris created its Youth Smoking Prevention ("YSF") department, which was directed to help reduce the incidence of youth smoking -- then in August 1988 Geoff Bible of Philip Morris called a meeting of CEOs to discuss a possible settlement of the remaining Attorney-General cases.

    2000 Oct 5: U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno warned on October 5th that the Department of Justice's (DOJ) lawsuit against cigarette companies to recover money spent by the Federal government on alleged smoking-related illnesses could come to a halt unless Congress authorizes enough money to pursue it. Reno estimates the department would need $23 million to fund the lawsuit through fiscal 2001. [The first year of the George W Bush Administration.]

    Up to now, she had maintained that the DOJ itself would find the funding if Congress did not. Most of the money is needed for what is called pre-trial "discovery" to have cigarette companies disclose documents in the plaintiffs' attempt to prove fraud, according to David Ogden, who is overseeing the suit. [75]

    2004 Mar: Amacher and Roger Meiners, another professor at UTA and a director of Institute for Policy Innovation, wrote the book "Faulty Towers, Tenure and the Structure of Higher Education" published in March 2004 by The Independent Institute (ISBN 0-945999-89-5) [76]


    Related Links

    <tdo>search_term=Ryan Amacher</tdo> [[Category:Tobacco documents biographies|Amacher, Ryan C.}}