'Following the money' that gets funneled to lawmakers in campaign contributions is ALWAYS a good idea. And the heaviest hitter in researching all these contributions could be those ruthless bloodhounds at Open Secrets dot org.
According to their recent spreadsheet, these are the top ten Democratic lawmakers who have accepted contributions from drug companies and pharmaceutical lobbyists in 2008 and for the upcoming 2010 election cycle. Not that many contributions have been made yet for the 2010 cycle, which is why those figures are lower. However,
some of the names may surprise you. This doesn't necessarily mean they would vote AGAINST health care reform.
It just means you should keep your eye on them...
If one of YOUR lawmakers is on this list, maybe you should drop he or she an email reminding him or her that 75% of Americans now support health care reform. Maybe they'll return the money and do the job you sent them to Washington to do.
Names are given in the order of amount received. The 2010 contributors are lower because this article was posted in 2009, and not too many contributions for 2010 had yet been recorded. But by now...they are certainly a lot higher.
1) Senator Max Baucus, Montana. 2008 - $445,064. 2010 - $13,000.
2) US Rep James Clyburn, South Carolina. 2008 - $262,108. 2010 - $58,500.
3) US Rep Charles Rangel, New York. 2008 - $262,200. 2010 - $15,000.
4) US Rep Steny Hoyer, Maryland. 2008 - $250,550. 2010 - $22,500.
5) US Rep John Dingell, Michigan. 2008 - $239,136. 2010 - $11,500.
6) US Rep Frank Pallone, Jr, New Jersey. 2008 - $210,478. 2010 - $4,250.
7) Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa. 2008 - $191,150. 2010 - $250.
8) US Rep Anna Eshoo, California. 2008 - $166,798. 2010 - $31,000.
9) Senator Patty Murray, Washington. 2008 - $105,750. 2010 - $46,050.
10) US Rep John Tanner, Tennessee. 2008 - $131,000. 2010 - $8,000.
In a more general list, here are the total amounts contributed to the Top Twenty lawmakers by these PAC's and companies during the years 1989-2010. They include both Democrats and Republicans.
Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT) $1,267,724
Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,057,466
Ferguson, Mike (R-NJ) $966,751
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $926,279
Kerry, John (D-MA) $842,043
McCain, John (R-AZ) $828,165
Johnson, Nancy L (R-CT) $820,830
Baucus, Max (D-MT) $740,605
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $720,100
Santorum, Rick (R-PA) $714,698
Barton, Joe (R-TX) $713,238
Dingell, John D (D-MI) $713,234
Burr, Richard (R-NC) $692,447
Eshoo, Anna (D-CA) $645,383
Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $612,540 (Has not accepted any money for 2010)
Thomas, Bill (R-CA) $572,550
Hastert, Dennis (R-IL) $566,250
Dodd, Chris (D-CT) $552,378
Rangel, Charles B (D-NY) $544,252
Kennedy, Edward M (D-MA) $489,857 (Has not accepted any money for 2010)
Checking both lists, you can see there are a few names that appear twice. If they are Democrat, then voters need to keep a REALLY close eye on them, because they have a pattern of supporting the interests of these drug and pharma-companies. The drug and pharma-companies are against the idea of health care reform, and in fact, are pushing lawmakers to allow pharmacists to make more choices about the dispensing of drugs. Open Secrets says there are draconian payment issues here which would benefit both pharmacists and the companies who provide the drugs.
Funny thing, though. I thought those choices were better left to your doctor.