Hungarian-American Chamber of Commerce

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The Hungarian-American Chamber of Commerce was a phantom organisation set up by Andrew Whist, the head of External Affairs at Philip Morris International in New York. This sham operation is fairly unique, in that it is probably the only one of a number of phantom organisations that Whist created and ran which served only a single purpose. In this case, the organisation existed only to provide a front for the New York Governor Pataki to be given a very generous junket to the home-place of his father, in Hungary.

It was intended only to allow Governor of New York, George Pataki to pretend that his well-funded junket to Hungary was a demonstration of national support from grateful Hungarian businessmen in America who supported him politically. Despite the exposure, in 2015 Pataki prepared to make a play for Republican preselection to the White House. It is worth checking his entry in Wikipedia [2] to see how thousands of words of biography can be written with no mention of the relationship he had with Philip Morris -- when original documents can be checked through the tobacco archives

THINK-TANKS & SOCIETIES RUN BY WHIST
Andrew Whist and Andrew Whist's deposition
Libertad
New York Society for International Affairs
American-European Community Association
Institute for International Health & Development
Hungarian-American Chamber of Commerce
Spain-US Chamber of Commerce Inc
US-Spain Council

The role of the NYSIA was revealed during the deposition of Whist in 1998 during the case of Oklahoma vs the Tobacco Industry. He finally had to admit that it existed only as a chair in his New York apartment. However the records show that this phantom organisation ran dozens of conference around the world on such diverse subjects as human rights (The Freedom to Advertise" argument) and questions of World Health Organisations priorities. (they were against expenditures on anti-smoking programs)

Documents & Timeline

1999 Oct 24- Nov: Keith Teel, Leslie Brooke and both Sharon and James Portnoy (lawyers for Covington & Burling), are interviewing Andrew Whist, Keith Callahan (his deputy) and others in the PM New York office. They are preparing for the New York State Lobbying and Ethics Commission Investigations (billed Dec 28 1999).

Whist has suddenly retired and is leaving the USA for the safe-haven of Australia. Geoff Bible has arranged for a quick executive swap with his old mate David Hoare who is chairman of Telecom Australia.

The lawyers reports on many of Whist phantom operations in their billing records:(HR is probably lawyer Helen Rimm)

  • "Telephone conference with Mr. Callahan regarding AECA documents;
    Conference with HR regarding AECA and NYSIA 1999 policy of charging State officials $35 per event"
  • Review guest lists and event information provided by AECA, NYSIA and Libertad;
    Telephone call to HR regarding reviewing same for NY State officials' names.
    Review of print-outs reflecting BAC and PMMC/State Governmental Affairs budget payments to NCSL, ALEC, CSG, and those made to other organizations at Ms. Portnoy's request;
  • Meetings in New York regarding lobbying reports and Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce contribution.
  • Participate in interviews of Ms. Walls, Mr. Slavitt and Mr.Whist;
  • Telephone calls to and from Mr. Androphy and Mr. Campbell of NY State Ethics Commission
  • Telephone conferences with Mr. Callahan regarding Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce and strategy for finding documents to support PM position;
  • Meeting with Kevin Callahan regarding Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce and external affairs contributions.
  • Telephone conferences and conference with Mr. Callahan regarding documents relating to Ethics Commission investigation of contributions to Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce and regarding possible interview of Ms. Elling;
  • Collect and organize documents regarding Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce;
    Organize LobbyingCommission settlement documents and press releases. (16 Nov 1999)
  • Organize documents regarding Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce and external affairs contributions.
  • Ms Portnoy' s proposed letter of withdrawal to Lobbying Commission;
    Review Lobbying Act in connection with same and draft letter on behalf of Philip Morris;
    Review draft chronology on client involvement with Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce and supporting documents;
  • Meetings in New York regarding lobbying reports and Hungarian American Chamber of Commerce contribution.
  • Review MPG's memo regarding PMI/PM-Hungary and lobbyist registration issues;
    Review guest lists and event information provided by AECA, NYSIA and Libertad;
    Telephone call to HR regarding reviewing same for NY State officials' names.
    Review of print-outs reflecting BAC and PMMC/State Governmental Affairs budget payments to NCSL. ALEC, CSG, and those made to other organizations at Ms. Portnoy's request;
  • Legal research regarding meaning of "indirect gift under Ethics Act;

http://industrydocuments.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/kzwx0218