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Tommy Thompson - Tobacco Industry Friend
by Anne Landman
This timeline reveals Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson's remarkably close relationship with tobacco giant Philip Morris as well as PM's front group, the Washington Legal Foundation, a pro-tobacco organization that receives substantial monetary support from PM.
- 17 Feb 1988 Washington Legal Foundation writes pro-tobacco letter to Department of Health and Human Services
- In the letter, WLF Tells DHHS that is has no expertise to deal in tobacco export issues, that tobacco is a "world-class export" that benefits the US economy and that trade policy should not be influenced by public health concerns of "anti smoking zealots."
- 19 Feb 1988 Washington Legal Foundation boasts to Philip Morris about helping derail government inquiry into U.S. tobacco export policy
- WLF letter to PM CEO Hamish Maxwell touts WLF's efforts to derail an inquiry by the Department of Health and Human Services into US tobacco export policy, and once again thanks PM for its financial contributions to WLF.
- 01 Mar 1988 Washington Legal Foundation requests $10,000 from PM for general support, says it is involved in many pro-tobacco activities "because of PM's past support."
- In this 1988 letter from Daniel Popeo of the Washington Legal Foundation to Philip Morris, Popeo describes some of the "many pro-tobacco activities WLF attorneys have been involved in this year because of your past support," and requests an additional $10,000 from PM for general support.
- 06 Jul 1990 WLF "backgrounder " opposes educating Americans about the health effects of tobacco
- In this 1990 WLF Legal Backgrounder opposing Sen. Kennedy's legislation to educate Americans about the hazards of tobacco, it claims that such government propaganda is tantamount to communism.
- 26 Sep 1990 WLF comments negatively on the EPA's draft "Guide to Workplace Smoking Policies
- Arguments are eerily similar to Philip Morris' arguments on the subject.
- 18 Apr 1991 Philip Morris cites WLF legal opinion on Canadian ad ban
- PM Issues an Alert on Canadian cigarette advertising ban litigation, which includes a reference to a supportive WLF Legal Opinion Letter.
- 1992 (est.) Washington Legal Foundation sues the EPA
- Attempts to void the agency's published Risk Assessment on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (again, a Philip Morris agenda).
- 14 Oct 1992 Washington Legal Foundation opposes ad ban in King County, Seattle, Washington
- Offers to send a legal opinion opposing King County's choice (PM's agenda)to judges, media and other policy and opinion leaders, and thanks Philip Morris for its support of WLF.
- 14 Oct 1992 Tobacco Institute budgets $30,000 for the Washington Legal Foundation in '92 and '93
- Funded WLF for its work on the "advertising issue." (See age 4-47, or Bates No. 2046847276, of this 1993 Tobacco Institute Budget.
- 19940225/P WLF writes yet another article that mimics Philip Morris's viewpoints
- Article, called "Regulate to Eliminate: The Real Goal of the Neo Prohibitionist Movement."
- 20 Apr 1994 WISCONSIN GOVERNOR TOMMY THOMPSON JOINS WLF LEGAL POLICY ADVISORY BOARD
- Washington Legal Foundation boasts of new official alliance with Gov. Tommy Thompson.
- 14 Jun 1994 Washington Legal Foundation sues the Food and Drug Administration (Donna Shalala)
- Contact the timeline author at (970) 245-2120 for assistance in viewing this document.
- 22 Sep 1994 Washington Legal Foundation sues FDA (David Kessler)
- Contact the author of this timeline at (970) 245-2120 for assistance in viewing this document.
- Oct 1995 (est.) Philip Morris's strategy to oppose FDA tobacco regulations
- Document lists the WLF as a key messenger to advance PM's legal arguments that cigarette advertising regulations violate the First Amendment. (see Bates page 2046575176)
- May 1998 (est.) WLF Chair Daniel J. Popeo widely circulates an ad strongly supportive of the "demonized tobacco industry"
- Hysterical ad puts down "ant-tobacco zealots," launches into the typical industry slippery-slope argument against regulation saying, "The Big Caffeine merchants at Coca-Cola and Starbucks, whose products attract kids in droves, should be justifiably jumpy."