Clausen Ely

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

Clausen Ely Jr. was one of the main tobacco industry lawyers who worked through Covington & Burling, for both the Tobacco Institute and Philip Morris. He was one of a cabel of tobacco lawyers working through C&B in the 1990s, including John Rupp, David H Remes, Michael T. Buckley and Melinda Sidak. He first appears in the archives on the C&B letterhead in October 1980. (he may have acquired the partnership from his father, Clausen Ely Sr. (this variation doesn't appear in the archives)

Documents & Timeline

1983 Covington & Burling letterhead shows - Senior Partners - H Thomas Austern, Edward Burling Jr and 7 others - Named partners - Stanley L Temko. Don V Harris Jr, H Edward Dunkelberger, Jr, Charles Lister, Peter Barton Hutt, Herbert Dym, John P Rupp, Clausen Ely, Jr. [2]

1989 Sept 28 The Corporate Affairs organizer of the closed and corrupted ETS conference being run by Philip Morris at McGill University in Canada (The "Montreal ETS Conference" or "McGill University ETS Symposium") have finalised the agenda for "Day One" [Nov 3 1989].

Every scientists or lawyer listed to speak at this conference is a tobacco industry lackey -- and they are all being paid to attend. Some are contract witnesses, some are regular consultants, and others are WhiteCoats.

The lawyer Clausen Ely is listed as making introductory remarks. [3]

1991 Dec 3 Robert A Pages writes to Steve Parrish and Tom Borelli about the Gori Confounders Proposal. Clausen Ely a lawyer at Covington & Burling has copied them in on the Gio B Gori proposal for a $1.3 million study into possible 'confounders' in anti-smoking epidemiological studies. They are hoping to find points to attack.

In comparison with what was discussed with Borelli and me at our meeting with Gori/Proctor on Oct 15th, the only new things here are: l) the cost estimate ranges,- and 2) the acknowledgement of the active participation by Peter N Lee. Neither of these is surprising, although $1.3m makes you pay attention.

The bottom line still is: the study, if done right, is worth doing.

The " if done right" according to this proposal depends upon our confidence in the team of Gori/Lee/Proctor and Gori's connection with 'EQUIFAX' -- the company that would actually conduct the survey. I have no reason to doubt their ability to oversee the work.

I'm not totally comfortable with signing up for a study which could cost "as little" as $700K or as much as $I.3m -- to be determined along the way -- but 1 can't think of a good alternative.

One thing that might make me a little happier is if they already had their questionnaire in hand, but the point Borelli raised on Oct I5th also remains to be addressed: Is there a way that this study could be done to yield a more 'credible' publication?

Presumably, we're looking at Gori and Lee (?}. Farming out the cotinine analyses to Neal Benowitz is a nice touch, but it won't make him a coauthor.

O.K. Where does all this leave us? WE SHOULD GET ON WITH IT!
It'll probably take months to get all the interested companies 'on board' anyway. Let's do it while we still have the money and before we think of more stupid things to spend it on. [4]

[Note: Peter N Lee was a well-known and well-used British statistician who could produce any result the companies desired. Gio B Gori was a corrupt scientist who had previously been dismissed by the National Cancer Institute after running an early tobacco study with funding from the industry. (known as the Tobacco Working Group.)]
It is difficult to find a more damning expose of the way in which the tobacco industry conducted supposedly scientific research -- or more openly condemnatory of the so-called scientists Gori/Proctor/Lee who were being given the funds to conduct this purely propaganda exercise. Gori and Lee were over-used by this time, and their links to the tobacco industry were becoming obvious.]

1993 Feb 25 A Tobacco Institute document labelled 1993 EPA Briefings refers to a concerted attack on the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) by the tobacco companies via briefings to various editorial boards and journalists.

It lists the various briefings to editorial boards, meetings with legislators (often one-to-one), organised radio interviews, etc. by:

They are meeting the media, town councils, airport officials, and legislatures in: San Diego, Dallas, Kansas, Lincoln, Salt Lake City, Carson City, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Hilton Head, Sacramento, Denver, St Louis, Minneapolis, Monroe County this month and had scheduled meetings cancelled in Santa Fe, Cheynne, Charleston, Nashville, Minneapolis, Pierre and Madison. Diane Avedon ran this operation out of the Tobacco Institute: Here is her advice to witnesses and early schedule. Diane Avedon's list of witnesses involved in these EPA Briefings. [5]