Big Pharma Cash In Ohio

[LFC Comments: Thanks to a Kirtland lobbyist for this article.]

Portman Received Largest Amount of Big Pharma Cash in Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch published a story the other day of a study by STAT, a health-care newsletter, that Ohio politicians received over $250,000 for election in 2020. Guess who the top recipient was among all Ohio state and Congressional GOP members?

OK, not much suspense here. Our junior Senator Rob Portman received $66,500 from Big Pharma interests in 2020 and wasn’t even facing re-election last year. 

In the Ohio state legislature, 80 lawmakers, 60% of the entire legislature, received $247,158 from the pharmaceutical industry to fund campaigns. The top recipient in the Ohio legislature was the Senate President from Lima who received $29,600.

For the Ohio Congressional delegation, the money is correspondingly higher and more widespread. At the national level, 72 senators and 302 House members received money from the pharmaceutical industry in 2020 making this a bipartisan-level of influence. As a result, no agreement can be reached on legislation to lower drug prices. 

Money received by Ohio delegation from pharmaceutical industry in 2020:

  1. Rob Portman – $66,500 (top benefactors were Amgen, AstraZeneca and Pfizer).
  2. Sherrod Brown – $0
  3. Brad Wenstrup – $64,000 (top benefactor AbbVie, $10,000)
  4. Bob Latta – $41,000. (Top donor Johnson & Johnson, $10,000)
  5. Steve Stivers – $26,000 (top donor, AbbVie, $10,000).
  6. Jim Jordan – $15,000 (top donor Pfizer, $10,000).
  7. Bill Johnson – $14,500.
  8. Marcia Fudge – $11,500.
  9. Joyce Beatty – $7,500.
  10. Tim Ryan – $4,000.
  11. Steve Chabot – $2,500.
  12. Anthony Gonzalez – $2,000.
  13. Troy Balderson – $1,000.
  14. Bob Gibbs – $1,000.

Since two of Rob Portman’s top pharma donors are COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, you have to wonder if every time Portman pushes vaccines he’s not also vying for stock increases in his portfolio more than concern for Ohioans’ health. 

Campaign finance is a corrupt process across the board. The For The People Act attempted to provide public funding for elections to help reduce the dependance on outside donations from special interests, but as of this writing the bill is being considered for major changes to please Senator Joe Manchin, including removal of a public funding option. 

Portman’s indebtedness to Big Pharma explains why his actions around the opioid crisis always deal with the supply-side or post-addiction treatment aspects of the crisis. He doesn’t want to deal with the root causes that Big Pharma created super addictive drugs and doctors overprescribed them knowing that users would demand ever higher doses for every longer periods at great profits to the manufacturers and doctors supplying the drugs. 

Even though Portman isn’t running again, this Big Pharma money will pass to his endorsed candidate for his seat. So, the political pay-to-play system continues with Portman’s complete participation. 


The Columbus Dispatch: Capitol Insider: Ohio lawmakers got nearly $250,000 from major drug companies for election

The Columbus Dispatch: Here’s which Ohioans in Congress got the most in pharmaceutical contributions (scroll down the linked page to find picture of Rob Portman)

Categories: State of Ohio

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