Just Say Yes To Drugs: Drug Lobby Pumps Money and Ads Into Nevada Race for Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is struggling for reelection this year and his friends have lined up to help him. This week, Nevadans saw a series of glossy, high-priced ads for Reid paid for by his friends in the pharmaceutical industry. Reid fought to include huge benefits for drug companies in the health care bill and now the industry is running ads touting his work for “Nevada families.”

The ads praise Reid for saving jobs and for understanding that “good jobs with good benefits [mean] a better future.” One ad asks voters to encourage Reid “to keep fighting for Nevada families.”

The campaign appears the work of Billy Tauzin a former member of Congress who secured windfall profits for the drug industry and was then made president of the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). The Obama administration worked with Tauzin to craft the health care bill to the approval of this powerful lobby. Critics allege that the Obama Administration is secretly pushing drug lobbyists to “protect their own” in pouring money into Reid’s campaign and others.

Reid has received $154,000 from Pharma PACs as of May 30. That makes him the second most supported politician of the drug industry after Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Source: Examiner.

41 thoughts on “Just Say Yes To Drugs: Drug Lobby Pumps Money and Ads Into Nevada Race for Reid”

  1. Yissil,

    I wouldn’t doubt that pharmaceutical companies and health insurers helped to financially support groups such as Dick Armey’s.

  2. Elaine M:

    This is from Wickipedia’s article about Dick Armey and freedomworks (I just happened to remember this off the top of my head):

    …In addition to being the chair of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey was a senior policy adviser for DC-based lobbying firm DLA Piper, whose recent and/or current clients include “pharmaceutical maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, … health care provider Metropolitan Health Networks, and the pharmaceutical firm Medicines Company,” all entities that might benefit financially from seeing health care reform defeated. Dick Armey’s concurrent posts with both FreedomWorks and DLA Piper became particularly controversial in light of the $1,290,000 DLA Piper received in 2009 from the pharmaceutical company Medicines Co…the report …also cited the example of The American Council of Life Insurers, which paid DLA Piper $100,000 shortly before FreedomWorks lobbied to deregulate life insurance, as one instance of a possible conflict of interest involving Armey and the two organizations.

    (Armey resigned from Piper and stayed on at FreedomWorks)


    I’ll see if I can find other documentation of where the influence of health insurance and drug money was coming from. The teaparty movement was organized very specifically around the healthcare issue. It didn’t evolve into a general right wing populist movement for quite a while.

  3. Yissil–

    The Tea Party Movement: Who’s In Charge? (The Atlantic, April 2009)

    Here is the organizational landscape of the April 15 tea party movement, in a nutshell: three national-level conservative groups, all with slightly different agendas, are guiding it. All are quick to tell you that the movement is a bottom-up affair and that its grassroots cred is real.

    They are: FreedomWorks, the conservative action group led by Dick Armey; dontGO, a tech savvy free-market action group that sprung out of last August’s oil-drilling debate in the House of Representatives; and Americans for Prosperity, an issue advocacy/activist group based on free market principles. Conservative bloggers, talk show hosts, and other media figures have attached themselves to the movement in peripheral capacities. Armey will appear at a major rally in Atlanta, FreedomWorks said.

    All three groups vehemently deny that the movement is a product of AstroTurfing–fake grassroots activism organized from the top down–as some on the left have claimed. They will tell you that citizens-turned-activists, upset with President Obama’s economic agenda and the financial bailout, have been calling them, asking for help and how they can organize protests on Wednesday. The movement, they say, is entirely organic: they are mostly providing help and resources to this new class of outraged conservative free-market populists, some of whom are their own members and some of whom are outsiders to politics with whom they’ve never communicated before–not even on an e-mail list.

  4. The tea bagger movement was started with money from the health care companies (true story.)

    It will be a choice between two evils, but God help us if the worse of the two evils (the Repulicans) win any signifigant power in November.

    We should all go out and campaign for our local dem candidates, no matter how unlovely they may be.

  5. Vote third party or stay at home. Let the corrupt (Reid) and the idiotic (Angle) duke it out, and may the lesser of two evils win. I say it will be close.

  6. frankdawg,



    To quote Ava Fontaine (Bridget Moynahan) from the film “Lord of War” – “I don’t care if it’s legal! It’s wrong!”

    And I don’t think there’s any question that in any given state, Senators are the biggest whores present.

  7. I think corporations still prefer republicans but they know how to hedge their bets.

  8. This does seem to be the choice American voters are presented with today – Dems increasingly in the pockets of well moneyed interests or batshit crazy Rs who should be allowed nowhere near any lever of power of any kind.

  9. I would rather not see the teabagger win but she is winning in the polls.

  10. Oh, that we would have perfect choices of virtue versus evil. Would anyone here rather see the teabagger win?

  11. To understand politics follow the money. Everything else shrinks to insignifigance.

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