Tierney Blog

Fighting Smoke With Fire

In the ongoing tobacco wars, Tierney, these days a consultant hired by state attorneys general, is part strategist, traffic cop, lawyer and spin doctor. His 10 years of experience as attorney general in Maine during the 1980s and his knack for a sound bite have gotten him quoted more often in the national press than many incumbent AGs. He’s a new breed of activist and outsider who, with a little help from digital technology, can influence Washington policy debates from far beyond the Beltway — and become something of an insider in the process.
— John Schwartz, "Fighting Smoke with Fire," The Washington Post

See: The Washington Post, Nov 17, 1998 [or download PDF]

The Tobacco Wars: Strategist of Smoking Assault Calls Shots from Maine Farm

Control Central for the 35 attorneys general and 200 private lawyers pressing the vast legal assault on Big Tobacco is, incredibly, the perfect rural stillness of a weathered old farmhouse near tiny Lisbon Falls, Maine.

Up the stairs, in a small bedroom that affords a view of his neighbor’s pasture and occasionally yields up the wafting fragrance of his own ancient apple trees, James E. Tierney is a one-man information clearinghouse in the wave of lawsuits that is expected to redefine the role of cigarettes in U.S. commerce and society.

This rangy, 50-year-old man wearing blue jeans, a green plaid shirt and dusty old hiking shoes - a regular Mainer, you might say - is the spin doctor, coordinator and a key strategist for the attorneys general who are suing to make tobacco companies repay Medicaid money spent to treat smoking-related diseases.
— Hunt Helm, The Courier-Journal

See: The Courier-Journal, June 11, 1997