Tom Lauria: From Big Tobacco to the New Afghanistan

Former tobacco industry spokesman Thomas Lauria has been working for the Northern Alliance since mid-September when he became their media liaison. Lauria, with lobbyist Otilie English and Northern Alliance spokesman Haron Amin, worked to increase awareness of the Alliance, lobbied for American military support, and tried to "dampen" reports of Alliance human right's abuses. With Northern Alliance officials now occupying high posts in Afghanistan's interim government, Lauria has been picked as one of Afghanistan's Washington-based representatives. "Today's messages involve rebuilding Afghanistan," Lauria said. "Since food seems to be having trouble going into Kabul, we're looking for help from the international community." Lauria was one of Big Tobacco's most outspoken and powerful lobbyists with the DC-based Tobacco Institute from 1989-1999.