Clark S. Judge

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

Clark S. Judge was a Speechwriter and Special Assistant to both President Ronald Reagan and (then) Vice President George Bush. He was a member of the Moscow Summit speechwriting team (along with another member of WHWG, Joshua Gilder) and the lead writer for the Toronto Economic Summit in 1988. He became the Managing Director of the White House Writers Group (WHWG),[2], a former member of the executive council of The Atlantic Bridge, [3] a non-profit with strong ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Research Institute [4] a free market think tank that has associated with the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute.

Judge has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and other publications, and he has a "Revolving Door" profile on the Center for Responsive Politics' website.[5]] See also the, Judge, Clark S: White House Writers Group, "Revolving Door" profile.

Tobacco Industry

In 1993 Judge, as Manager of the White House Writers Group, became a major advisor to the combined Philip Morris/RJ Reynolds Tobacco Task Force.[6] This Task Fore had been put together in March 1993 to counteract the EPA's Draft ETS Risk Assessment that second-hand smoke was a Group A (known) carcinogen. It was a joint-company strategy group, designed initially to handle US domestic problems which came under the heading of Government affairs, but it expanded over the years into a major industry co-ordinating institution and effectively an industry conspiracy.

In 1993 the task force was formed by the two companies (also with their subsidiaries) to attack the EPA's risk assessment. It consisted of the top disinformation staff from the two companies plus their main public relations advisers and political strategists:

Over the next four years the leading executives change, with Vic Han taking over the lead from Craig Fuller.

This group were all incestuous:
1. The first six Philip Morris executives/senior staff were the key disinformation executives in the domestic cigarette company. They are too well known to need elaboration. Kathy Smith appears to have been an assistant to Ellen Merlo who ran many of the company's domestic scams.
2. Tom Griscom was the President of Ogilvy & Mather before transferring over to run RJ Reynolds disinformation operations. He then joined Murdoch's News Corp. During the Task Force period he kept in frequent contact with his counterpart, Steve Parrish of Philip Morris, to coordinate their activities. [7] His associate William Lindquist handled the disinformation activities ( ie. TASSC) [8]
3. Tom Humber was a senior VP at Burson-Marsteller who also ran the National Smokers Alliance (NSA) for tobacco and was a key organiser of their WhiteCoats program [9] Ellen Merlo was also associated with the NSA from the Philip Morris USA side. [10] [11] Humber had previously worked for Philip Morris in Europe and also for Brown & Williamson before joining Burson-Marsteller.
- - Gary Auxier and Tom Bell were also in charge of the NSA at various times. Auxier was a White House/Congressional specialist having been Press Secretary to Walter Huddleston and associated with Senator Wendel Ford. Auxier and Bell were seen as a political strategists who had links to useful Congressmen. [12]
- - Albert J Tortorella left Burson Marsteller and went back to USA Tobacco as a Senior Vice President of their PR division. He worked closely with Philip Morris (Ellen Merlo) and the other members of the expanded Task Force for many years. [13] Later still (1999) he entered into joint agreements with Philip Morris over the use of APCO to support the Task Force operations. [14]
4. Roger E Ailes was the well-known chief of staff and primary strategy advisor for Republican Presidents - Reagan, GHW Bush and 'Dubya' Bush. Ailes took over Murdoch's Fox News TV in 1994 and led the attack on President Clinton. [15] Scott Ehrlich was Ailes dogs-body (credited as "a top lieutenant from Ailes' political consulting firm") who did all the hack-work for the Task Force of circulating advice about Republican National Committee's political manoeuverings in the top echelons of power -- and those likely to be persuaded in the media. He also appears to have maintained the budget. [16][17]
5. Roger Beahm was a marketing/advertising strategist. The archives index shows 405 results with his name, but many of them are restricted. However 34 of them deal with the Task Force, so he remained an advisor for some time.

6. Clark S Judge was the Managing Partner of the White House Writers Group. This was nothing to do with the White House; it was a political strategy and campaign company run by Clark which hired ex-politicians and lawyers to write op-eds and speeches in support of corporate-inspired legislation. One member of his writing group was Robert H Bork Jr. ...

    "... a famous conservative [who] was Nixon's solicitor general and became acting attorney general during the "Saturday Night Massacre". He refused to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox. Reagan tried to elevate him to the Supreme Court, but Congress rejected the nomination."

Clark dealt with Philip Morris's Craig Fuller, who also had been in the White House as an aide. [18] [19]

Documents & Timeline

1992 Jan 31: Tom Humber and Gary Auxier of Burson-Marsteller wrote to Tom Borelli and Steve Parrish [Corporate Affairs PM USA] a few weeks before the EPA was expected to release its draft risk assessment about the dangers of passive smoking (ETS). [Known here as "EPA Day"]

The Bush I Administration has imposed on the EPA a 90-day moritorium on its regulatory activities which allowed the tobacco and other industries time to mount massive campaigns [political and public/media] against any regulations.

This is one of their planning documents (some items unknown):

  • Rep Tom Bliley ("Mr Tobacco") would trigger Congressional Commitee hearings.
  • Forbes magazine and other journalists would run stories fed to them by PM.
  • Walter Olson at the Manhattan Institute could possibly create a story about airline stewardesses (who were attacking airline smoking, and seeking a ban)
  • They would run a nationwide poll on sick-building syndrome and the need for more office ventilation. (a guaranteeed winner over smoking bans) This would create a scare-campaign over the (rare) Legionnaire's bacteria in buildings. [20]
  • The National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas (Koch funded, later Tea Party organisation) would create a paper attacking the EPA


1993 Mar 12 Judge has sent Craig Fuller at Philip Morris

As requested, below is an inventory of speeches, letters, op-eds, communiques, white papers, talking points, phone scripts, fact sheets, cards, press kits and press releases anticipated in the task force's plan. I haven't included technical papers such as scientific studies and Iegal briefs .


1993 Mar 22 PM/RJR Tobacco Task Force Contact Sheet. [23]

1993 Mar 24 James Ramsay at Philip Morris is sending Clark Judge some confidential material. [24]

1993 Jun 2 Judge has sent Craig Fuller material for the "First round of Speeches". [25]

1996 May The 1996 PM/RJR Tobacco Task Force now has a few other participants. It has been expanded to take in the tobacco industry's advertisers, food subsidiaries, etc. [26]. Also modified chart: [27]

1996 Mar 4 Robert H Bork Jr. Senior Director of the White House Writers Group has suggested to Thomas C Griscom of RJ Reynolds that they run "a campaign of op-ed by surrogates" [a euphemism for paying prominent people to plant propaganda articles on newspapers] "attacking the legislation ..." [28]


White House Writers Group
1025 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Suite 110G
Washington DC 20007
Phone: (202) 783-4600
Fax: (202) 783-4601
Web Contact Form:

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