Valis (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


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

Wayne H Valis was a Republican political aide during the Reagan and Ford Administrations, and a corporate lobbyist who worked extensively for the tobacco industry through his company Valis Associates. There are 5699 documents in the tobacco archives which contain the 'Valis' name, and another 1101 which have the obvious mis-spelling of 'Vallis' (some of which were another person)

He was a most prolific lobbyist for the tobacco industry during Republican administrations because he had many White House and top Republican contacts, and through a period with the American Enterprise Istitute he was able to develope his libertarian/corporate ultra free-market contacts via the Atlas Group network of think-tanks.

He converted his ideological inclinations into a cash-rich business in 1983 when he left the Reagan Administration before the Nov 1984 elections and set up his Valis Associates lobbying business which allowed him to exploit the administration associations after Reagan's landslide win.

His immediate project was the promotion of the Toxic Torts Clearinghouse with PR firm Hill & Knowlton. This was at the time of the battle over the Superfund, CERCLA Act (clean up legislation) and various scandals like the Times Beach, Missouri civilian exposure to dioxins.

Valis's lobbying friends/partners

Wayne H Valis
Valis Associates
Valis (Doc Index)

Valis Associates Employees

Documents & Timeline

1944 June 14 - Born, Somerville, New Jersey

1966 - B.A., Rutgers University

1966-69 - Eastern Director, Intercollegiate Studies Institute

1969-72 - Editor, The Intercollegiate Review

1972-73 - American Enterprise Institute, Assistant to the Director for Legislative Analysis

1973-74 - Staff Assistant to the President(Nixon)

1974-77 - White House Office of Public Liaison (Ford), Director of Research and Planning

1976-Sept/Oct - President Ford's campaign committee

1977-80 - American Enterprise Institute, Special assistant to the president

1981-83 - Special Assistant to the President (Reagan) for Public Liaison with the business community

1983 July /E - set up his lobbyshop, Valis Associates. He had one employee.

1983 Sep 27 Hill & Knowlton and Valis Associates have run a workshop on the Toxic Torts Clearinghouse which Katherine L Becker of the Tobacco Institute attended. The Clearinghouse is still in its early formation stages, and they want funding from asbestos, chemical, tobacco companies etc. (any with poisoning and polluting problems). In return for funding the Tobacco Institute would be given a seat on the board. Workshop speakers included:

  • Thorne Auchter (later a business associate)

    In his presentation, Thorne Auchter, head of OSHA, devoted much of his time to criticizing a recent Nader report on OSHA and to answering Washington Post reports on his actions in the ethylene dibromide matter. Auchter told the audience industry must be "equally concerned about appearance, as well as substance."
    Referring to the Nader and Post items, he said "this type of public relations problem" can be avoided through a centralized information-sharing entity - a clearinghouse. In his view, such a clearinghouse would help industry deal with the "subculture of health activists."

  • Rep James J Florio (D-NJ) (He helped write the Superfund legislation, and was a critic of EPA's toxic sites cleanup operations)[2]
  • Jim Tozzi (also a later partner)

    a former high-ranking official at the Office of Management and Budget (OIRA), spoke of the "enormous potential cost" of proposed toxic victim compensation systems, citing as an example the black lung program and its costs.* According to Tozzi, if the asbestos victim compensation system proposed in H.R. 3175 were established, the costs would be nearly $30 billion annually. Because this system would be funded by the asbestos industry, the program would necessitate a $1,000 per ton tax. (Asbestos presently sells for $340 a ton.)
    As further proof of the economic burden likely to result from victim compensation, he listed the number of possible claimants for various "toxicants": silica, 3.2 million persons; cotton dust, 500,000 persons; and, radiation, 750,000 persons.

  • J. Marshall Coleman, Esq., Beveridge & Diamond, (Tozzi now worked for them) former Attorney General for Virginia, was the only person to mention smoking during the workshop. Coleman believes the present tort and workers compensation systems can handle any toxic victim compensation. He called the absestos claims situation a "unique case". Speaking about cancer, Coleman said its cause can "rarely" be pinpointed to one factor. Rather, he continued, the "vast majority of cases" of cancer are "owed to other things, like smoking...not toxic wastes."
  • S. John Byington, a lawyer with Pillsbury Madison & Sutro spoke in support of Auchter. He was "former Chairman of the Consumer Products Safety Commission and also (not admitted) head of the Formaldehyde Institute. Formaldehyde is considered to be a IAQ problem and health hazard.

The Tobacco Institute saw the Clearinghouse as a potential threat, as much as a solution. They imagined the Chemical Industry Association, might use it to divert attention to cigarettes, rather than chemicals [3]

1983 Oct 21 Wayne H Valis and his associate/employee Jill Hanson (mis-reported as 'Jo') have been in touch with the Tobacco Institute and want a meeting about the Toxic Torts Clearinghouse, which they are running in association with Hill & Knowlton. [4]