When the major American tobacco companies signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the 46 states who sued to recover the costs of treating sick smokers, the companies agreed to nominal advertising restrictions and massive yearly payouts to the states.
"Ed Gillespie, who will help promote President Bush's future nominee to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, is a top-tier lobbyist who represents a host of clients with direct and indirect interests in the outcome of Supreme Court decisions." Gillespie's task is "to use the tools and techniques of a presidential campaign to put together a conservative political machine equipped to take on the alliance of groups on the political left." But his firm,
The Washington Post reports on how House Majority Whip Roy Blunt "has converted what had been an informal and ad hoc relationship between congressional leaders and the Washington corporate and trade community into a formal, institutionalized alliance." Blunt's "organization of whips and lobbyist vote counters ...
"These are heady days on Capitol Hill for business lobbyists," writes Stephen Labaton. "After suffering numerous setbacks in President Bush's first term, business lobbyists now say they have the wind at their backs." In addition to pushing for "tort reform" (which limits what people can collect in damages if they sue a corporation), lobbyists are also getting Congress to ram through new legislation that "would make it significantly more difficult and expensive for poor and moderate-income families to use bankruptcy protection to shield themselves from creditors.
Conservative activist Grover Norquist, from Americans for Tax Reform, told Australian Financial Review journalist Tony Walker that three of his political priorities – tort reform, curtailing political contributions from unions, and promoting free trade – would have the combined effect of weakening support for
"The caller to Joanne Doroshow's office last month described
himself as working for Sky Radio Network, a company that
produces programming for Forbes Radio, one of the audio
channels available to passengers on American Airlines. As the executive director of the Center for Justice and
Democracy, a nonprofit organization that casts itself as a
champion of consumer rights, Ms. Doroshow was asked if she
would be interviewed for a talk show examining the issue of
tort reform. When Ms. Doroshow agreed, she said, the caller
Margery Kraus of APCO Worldwide has been named "International PR Professional of the Year" by PR Week magazine - a fitting honor to a woman whose company specializes in the worst sleaze the industry produces -- from helping the tobacco industry promote "sound science" to orchestrating a phony "grassroots" campaign for "tort reform" as a way of making it hard