The Wilson Memo

California’s Governor shows that he, too, is a secret friend of tobacco


Notes for this Memo:

  • “Buffy” and “Jim” are most likely: Kathleen M. “Buffy” Linehan, who works overseas for Philip Morris; James W. Dyer, Philip Morris lobbyist, currently staff director for the House Appropriations Committee. The two worked in the same office in 1990.

  • Pete Wilson is the GOP governor of California. During the 1990 election, Wilson publicly said he would not take tobacco money, but later attended a Philip Morris-sponsored fundraiser that raised $100,000 for the state GOP. Later he claimed he was unaware of the company’s involvement. Hamish Maxwell, former CEO of Philip Morris, is the chairman of the executive committee; Mrs. Ehud is the wife of Ehud Houminer, CEO of Philip Morris USA; Bill Murray is the former president of Philip Morris.

  • The remaining $84,000 mentioned in the memo is unaccounted for. These contributions may not be traceable to tobacco.

  • Wilson has repeatedly tried to divert funds from California’s highly successful anti-smoking campaign. Court orders and lawsuits (brought by the American Lung Association, among others) have thwarted his efforts.

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