Mark W. Nelson

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

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Mark W. Nelson is the president of Public Affairs Counsel, a campaign management and polling firm in Oregon that has long helped the tobacco industry defeat clean indoor air laws and cigarette taxes in Oregon. He has been a campaign and opinion consultant since 1980.

In 1988, Nelson assisted assisted the Tobacco Institute in a campaign to defeat ballot Measure 5, a cigarette tax, using a strategy designed to prevent opponents from gathering enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot.[1]

In 1990, Nelson organized "smokers rights" group meetings in Oregon for R.J. Reynolds. [2]

In 1991, Nelson again assisted the industry in defeating a cigarette tax. [3]

In 1996, Nelson headed up a front group, "Fairness Matters to Oregonians," that was funded by the Tobacco Institute to defeat cigarette taxes in Oregon. In 1996, Nelson admitted to making an error when it was revealed in the newspaper The Oregonian that a dentist his campaign had featured in an anti-cigarette-tax mailer had been convicted of defrauding the Oregon Health Plan, which the tax would benefit.[4]



  1. Mark W. Nelson, "Short/Long Term Strategies", Letter, March 14, 1988. Bates No. TIOR0010802/0808
  2. J. Krebs, "On your January 31 lobbyist report for RJR", Letter, January 19, 1990. Bates No. 518284759/4760
  3. Public Affairs Counsel, "Campaign in Opposition to Proposed Cigarette Tax Initiative", October 28, 1991. Bates No. 91815580/5615
  4. "Tobacco tax opponents burn their fingers again: The anti-measure 44 leader admits it was a mistake to use as a spokesman dentist convicted of defrauding the Oregon Health Plan, which the measure would benefit", The Oregonian, October 18, 1996. Bates No. TI16380779/0780

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