Anyone who criticizes tobacco, alcohol, fatty foods or soda is likely to come under attack from the CCF. It's enemies list has included such diverse groups and individuals as the Alliance of American Insurers, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Consumer Federation of America, the Harvard School of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council.
CCF is one of the more active of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a firm owned by lobbyist Richard Berman. Richard Berman originally got his front group started by a $600,000 “donation” from tobacco company Philip Morris.
Berman’s name might sound familiar. In 1995, Berman and Norm Brinker, his former boss at Steak and Ale Restaurants, were identified as the special-interest lobbyists who donated the $25,000 that disgraced then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was hauled before the House Ethics Committee for influence-peddling over the money. Berman and Brinker were lobbying against raising the minimum wage.
In a 1999 interview with the Chain Leader, a trade publication for restaurant chains, Berman boast...