Blowing Smoke Think Colorado's courts are overstuffed? So sue me

Denver Westword
Thursday, September 14, 2000

In the just-released The CALA Files: the Secret Campaign by Big Tobacco and Other Major Industries to Take Away Your Rights, Public Citizen and the Center for Justice and Democracy outline how the ATRA has helped build a network of local organizations that "act as mouthpieces for anti consumer tort law changes." For their report, the two organizations studied eighteen "CALA" groups -- the names are all variations on Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse -- and found that "large corporations seeking to reduce their liability to consumers created and bankrolled the CALA campaign to manipulate the media, the legislative process, the electoral process and the American public."
Chief among those large corporations was Big Tobacco. One 1995 memo outlined the strategy: "The communication program is intended to enhance our ability to enact favorable legislation at both the federal and state levels. It is also intended to put the trial bar on the defensive, and to improve the legislative climate concerning tort issues, both because of pressure from constituents and through possible electoral changes in the composition of various legislatures. Because these media activities, to be effective, must not be linked to the tobacco industry, we hope that significant industry funding encourages other groups to make similar contributions to support such activities."

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