State Affairs Company

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

Founded in 1994, the State Affairs Company gained attention by setting up a tobacco industry front group Contributions Watch, which was later exposed by PR Watch. The Reston, VA-based firm was created by 3 former Burson-Marsteller executives to provide state legislative, regulatory, litigation and support PR and public affairs. The company now appears to be defunct.

The State Affairs Company was also charged with finding people to serve on the board of the Philip Morris front group the National Smokers Alliance, according to the September 9, 1997 videotaped deposition of former State Affairs Company employee Kenneth Hoagland.[1]

During 1996, the State Affairs Company contracted with Philip Morris at the rate of $7,500/month to provide services such as "media opportunities and contacts, pitching stories, arranging editorial and backgrounder briefings and providing written communications materials" for an unspecified "project."[2]


  • Charles Francis, founder and former Executive VP and managing director, Burson-Marsteller, New York, heading the IR group with clients such as VISA, NYSE and John Nuveen & Co.
  • John Davis, founder and former senior VP at B-M's Washington, D.C. office
  • David McCloud, founder and former B-M VP in Washington who headed the state and local PA unit, working for such clients as DuPont, Philip Morris, Signet Bank, and the Int'l Council of Shopping Centers
  • Robert L. "Bobby" Watson, founder and an experienced political campaign manager and former executive director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, served as Robb's State Director and Political Advisor.
  • William Timmons, Jr., partner adds more Republican ballast to the SAC ship. A former lobbyist for the American Trucking Association, he served later as Policy Director for the National Policy Forum under the direction of Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour. Timmons was also part of the team that staged this year's Republic Convention, along with former Reagan aides Michael Deaver and Kenneth Duberstein, the Dole campaign's Paul Manafort; and convention manager Bill Greener.


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