Ah, I love the smell of the influence money has on elections...regardless of party. Over in Pennsylvania, the truly repugnant Rick Santorum is trailing in his race for re-election--and, while Democract Bob Casey gives new meaning to unimpressive/unimaginative, it will be a great election night to watch Santorum's concession speech. BUT, the drug companies aren't giving up yet, as The Wall Street Journal reports in its story today entitled, "Fearing a Democratic Victory, Drug Makers Fund Key Races." Here's a bit from the subscription only story:
HERSHEY, Pa. -- Few businesses have more at stake in next month's congressional elections than pharmaceutical makers. Assailed by Democrats, drug companies are pouring millions of dollars into close races, giving some Republicans a financial edge. In the process, the industry is becoming not just a campaign backer, but also a campaign issue.
Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum is a big beneficiary of the industry's push. He was a leading proponent of the 2003 law that gave seniors Medicare coverage for prescription drugs, and helped shape the law in ways that benefited the industry. Battling to keep his seat in a crucial Senate race, Mr. Santorum's campaign has received almost $500,000 from pharmaceutical interests and their employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group. The industry has also helped fund television advertisements and aided get-out-the-vote efforts.
Mr. Santorum's opponent, state treasurer Bob Casey Jr., regularly attacks the Medicare program as "a giveaway to Big Pharma," in part because it bars the government from negotiating prices. He and many fellow Democrats say they will overhaul the benefit if they win control of Congress on Nov. 7. Not surprisingly, Mr. Casey counts just $11,850 in contributions from pharmaceutical interests.
Companies and business groups have long thrown money at candidates to further their interests. But with a Democratic victory increasingly likely, few recent elections have been so critical, particularly for the drug industry. On the campaign trail, Democrats frequently lump "Big Pharma" with "Big Oil" in attacking Republican ties to industry. Within the first 100 hours of taking over the House, promises House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrats will rewrite the prescription-drug benefit to take away most of the advantages it handed to pharmaceutical companies.
On the Democratic side, The New York Times, perhaps following the L.A. Times story from yesterday, has its own take on the troubles of Democrat "Dollar Bill" Jefferson. I just find it truly remarkable that people want to pretend like having stashed $90,000 in your freezer isn't cause for a little bit of concern:
Angrily dismissing the cash in the freezer, a woman at the Guste Home housing project said, “If I want to carry them in a sock, that’s my business.”
Helen Lang, an activist who introduced Mr. Jefferson to a friendly audience at the project, said: “Let’s not get bogged down in all this foolishness. I’ve been bumping in politics a long time. He’s not one who’s abused us.”
Well, that "foolishness" may strike others as a bit suspicious. But, whatever--Jefferson will lose the run-off that he is almost certain to find himself in after Nov. 7th.