Haley Barbour

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


Haley Barbour is the Republican Governor of Mississippi. He was formerly a tobacco industry lobbyist based in Washington, D.C. His lobbying firm made $17,150/month plus expenses from R.J. Reynolds in 2000.[1] [2]

Barbour won the Mississippi gubernatorial election on November 4, 2003, in part on a pledge to keep Mississippi's state flag design intact, which contains a miniature representation of the Confederate battle flag.[3]

While campaigning, he also appeared at a fund-raiser sponsored by the Conservative Citizen's Council. The CCC is a modern-day version of the White Citizen's Councils that fought racial integration throughout the South in the 1950s and 60s.[4]

Since his election Barbour has championed tort reform, which he describes on his website as a "fight against lawsuit abuse", through the passage of the Tort Reform Act of 2004.

Barbour's background

Barbour was the Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs for two years during the term of President Ronald Reagan.[5]

Between 1993 and January 1997 Barbour was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and has strong ties to both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

In 1991 he founded and, until 1999, was the Chair and CEO of Barbour Griffith & Rogers. According to Barbour, the firm was sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies in 1999. Part of the sale deal was that the name remain the same even though Barbour no longer had a financial stake in the company.[6]

"In 2000 Haley chaired the Bush for President Campaign Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C. He was one of ten members of Governor Bush’s National Presidential Exploratory Committee in 1999," a biographical note states.[7]

Positions on issues

Racial controversy, 2011

In February 2011, BGR founder Barbour refused to publicly denounce a Mississippi license plate idea proposed by the white supremacist group, "Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans". The license plate would honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was "a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army and is believed to be one of the earliest members of (and first "Grand Wizard" to) the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan."[8]

Immigration policy position

Haley Barbour praises hispanics for helping rebuild Mississippi, advocates path to citizenship

In August, 2001 the Embassy of Mexico retain Barbour's services to work on legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for foreigners living illegally in the United States (what immigration reform opponents call "amnesty). [9]

Afghanistan war

In March, 2011, ten years into the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Barbour said he would consider reducing the number of U.S. troops in that country.[10]

Barbour on climate change

In August 2001 Judy Pasternak reported in the Los Angeles Times that while working as a lobbyist for electricity generators on March 1, 2001 Barbour wrote to Dick Cheney urging the Bush administration to reverse its promise to restrict carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

"A moment of truth is arriving," Barbour wrote. "Clinton-Gore policies meant less energy and more expensive energy. Most Americans thought Bush-Cheney would mean more energy, and more affordable energy," he wrote.[11]

"The question is whether environmental policy still prevails over energy policy with Bush-Cheney, as it did with Clinton-Gore," Barbour wrote in the two-page memo.[12]

Associated Press reported that Barbour wrote that "he was 'demurring' on the idea of whether regulating CO2 emissions was 'eco-extremism.'" "We must ask, do environmental initiatives, which would greatly exacerbate the energy problems, trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years?" he wrote.[12]

Comments on Hurricane Katrina


In September, 2011, while still a sitting Governor, Barbour joined the Karl Rove's wealthy conservative super political action committee American Crossroads. Former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie is another one of the gorup's high-profile advisers. The group is attempting to raise a goal of $240 million for the 2012 general election, to try and beat President Obama.[13]

Contact details

Official website: http://www.governorbarbour.com/
Campaign website: http://www.haleybarbour.com/


Related SourceWatch articles

External Resources

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  1. John Mott Coffey Cigarette prices rise on Friday Columbus, Mississippi Commercial Dispatch, May 14, 2009
  2. Lanny Griffith, Barbour Griffith and Rogers, Tommy Payne, R.J. Reynolds We are delighted the R .J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) has chosen to reengage Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Inc . (BG&R) Letter/contract. May 31, 2000. 2 pp. Bates No. 522493981/3982
  3. Intelligence Report: "'Southern Strategy'. In Mississippi, race and flag color gubernatorial campaign," Southern Poverty Law Center, Winter 2003.
  4. Council of Conservative Citizens website.
  5. Governor, GovernorBarbour.com.
  6. This Sun Herald link is no longer active.
  7. Biography, HaleyBarbour.com.
  8. Lucy Madison Haley Barbour Won't Denounce Proposal Honoring Confederate General, Early KKK Leader, CNS News, February 16, 2011
  9. Michael Sherer What Haley Barbour Didn't Tell Fox News: He Lobbied For Mexico On “Amnesty”, Swampland (political blog), February 13, 2011
  10. Stephanie Condon Haley Barbour says it's time to consider troop reductions in Afghanistan, CBS News, March 16, 2011
  11. Judy Pasternak, "Going Backwards: Bush's Energy Plan Bares Industry Clout Cheney-led task force consulted extensively with corporate executives. Its findings boosted their interests. Environmental groups had little voice," Los Angeles Times (Common Dreams), August 26, 2001.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Christopher Newton, "Going Backwards: White House Shifted Carbon Dioxide Emissions Policy After Lobbyist's Letter," Associated Press (Common Dreams), April 26, 2002.
  13. Josh Voorhees Haley Barbour Joins American Crossroads Super PAC Slate.com, September 9, 2011

External articles