Overview of previous posts here
Tobacco Employee Roy Marden was one of the tobacco employees responsible for the communication with think tanks. He wrote the following memo, titled Tobacco Strategy on the think tanks he was responsible for (the industry divided the think tanks between a couple of its employees)
(...) (the document is 6p. long)
The tobacco industry sought the help of right-wing think tanks to fight excise taxes.
In 1995, the Tobacco Institute sent a memo, mentioning that the economists still were able to provide op-eds in no less than 30 states. The same memo illustrates how the industry worked with the different think tanks
A similar document was written in 1998, most likely by Roy Marden. Notice how long the list is. It no longer only mentions thinks tanks, but many journalists, and even an actor and a magician (???). It's not clear why the document mentions Dwight R. Lee and Walter Williams, but it is possible Marden was not aware of their membership in the social cost economists network. Do also notice he mentions he's on the board of the Heartland Institute.
[ETC, the list is a couple of pages long]
While there always have been contacts between the industry and think tanks, and they worked together since at least the 1980's, it was only in the 1990's that the industry's involvement would become so pervasive that one could say the industry 'owned' some of these organizations.
In the long run, think tanks probably were much more powerful allies than a secret network of economists ever could have been.
S. Fred Singer wrote his infamous Alexis De Tocqueville Institution's tobacco-paper in 1994 (see further), with Robert D. Tollison helping him. Tobacco economists were working with the Heartland Institute since at least 1991. The Independent Institute was was joined by many members of the economists' network. In 1994, Tollison and Wagner became members of the Independent Institute's advisory board.