Database details drugmakers' contributions to Congress
Before the midterm elections heated up, dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress.
Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Two of those -- Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon, a key Republican committee chairman, and Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican majority leader -- each received more than $200,000, a new Kaiser Health News database shows.
While PAC contributions to candidates are limited, a larger donation frequently accompanies individual contributions from the company's executives and other employees. It also sends a clear message to the recipient, campaign finance experts say, one they may remember when lobbyists come calling: There's more where that came from. The KHN analysis shows that pharmaceutical companies tend to play the field, giving to a wide swath of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Brendan Fischer, who directs federal reform programs at the Campaign Legal Center, cautioned that a campaign contribution from a corporate PAC does not directly translate into a vote in the drugmaker's favor. "Contributions help keep the door open for company lobbyists," he said.
Read the full article