The Wilson Memo

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

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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.

Back to Our Good Friend, the Governor

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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