August 10, 2000
Madison - Pharmaceutical manufacturers substantially increased their dose of campaign contributions and lobbying activity during the first six months of 2000 when Wisconsin legislators considered but failed to pass any one of six bills to create a prescription drug assistance plan for the elderly, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.
Figures show that four political action committees representing large pharmaceutical companies from outside of the state contributed $15,275 during the first half of 2000, or 21 percent more than all pharmaceutical PACs had given in the previous five years combined to legislative candidates and legislative campaign and state party committees, a WDC analysis found (Chart).
In addition to campaign contributions, pharmaceutical companies with an interest in the prescription drug issue spent $224,113 on lobbying in the first half of 2000. That’s 78 percent more than the companies spent in the previous six months (Table 1). Most of them lobbied on only a small number of pharmaceutical or health-related bills, and spent from 15 percent to 100 percent of their time lobbying on prescription drug proposals.
The leading dollar contributor among pharmaceutical PACs in the first six months was Pfizer, which gave $7,000, which is only $50 shy of the total amount they contributed to legislative campaigns between 1995 and 1999. Glaxo Wellcome’s PAC contributed $3,700 to legislators and the State Senate Democratic Committee from January to June 2000. They had not previously contributed to legislative campaigns. (See table below)
|PAC NAME||1995-99||Jan-June 2000|
|Eli Lilly and Company PAC||$4,000||$3,000|
|Aventis Pharmaceuticals/Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc.||$300||$1,575|
|DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals PAC||$500||$0|
|Johnson & Johnson Employees PAC||$500||$0|
|Novartis Employee Good Government PAC||$500||$0|
"This is yet another example of special interest donors getting their way," WDC executive director Mike McCabe said. "The pharmaceutical industry had not been very active in Wisconsin until the prescription drug legislation came along. Then they were all over the Capitol like ants on a picnic basket. They got their money’s worth, stopping the legislation that so many seniors want dead in its tracks."
Like other powerful interest groups, the pharmaceutical industry targets its money well. Among the key recipients were legislative leaders and the campaign committees that they control (Table 2). The Republican Assembly Campaign Committee and the State Senate Democratic Committee are legislative campaign committees that aggressively raise money and use those resources to help legislative candidates in key races. They are run by GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Charles Chvala, who control their respective houses and decide which bills will be considered in the Assembly and Senate.
Other top recipients of pharmaceutical industry contributions were the state Democratic and Republican parties; members of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and Senate and Assembly health committees; and several of the sponsors or co-sponsors of the six bills introduced between January and March 2000 to create a prescription drug assistance program.
They made their contributions to legislators during or shortly after the legislative session. And it seems likely that attempts to influence this emotional policy matter will only increase. Like policymakers in other states and nationally, Wisconsin legislators are feeling increasing pressure to assist low-income elderly people who are forced to spend thousands of dollars per year for medicine, sometimes forsaking other necessities. Clearly the pharmaceutical companies want to make sure their interests are protected as this issue receives legislative attention.
*Pharmaceutical PACs gave 21 percent more money to legislative candidates, legislative campaign committees and the parties between January and June 2000 than they did in the previous five years (1995-99) combined.
|Name||Jan-June 1998||July-Dec 1998||Jan-June 1999||July-Dec 1999||Jan-June 2000|
|Pharmacia & Upjohn||$0||$0||$0||$0||$7,371|
|Eli Lilly and Co.||$19,159||$17,744||$24,852||$24,114||$26,157|
(Div. Of Warner Lambert)
Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America
|HLR Service Corp.||$30,330||$32,379||$66,629||$2,179||$25,668|
**Lobbying expenses by pharmaceutical industry groups and companies between January and June 2000 increased 78 percent over the previous six-month period.
***Formerly Hoechst Marion Roussel and later merged with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Title or Relevant
|Republican Assembly Campaign Committee||Legislative Campaign Committee||R||$1,250|
|Unity Fund||State Democratic Party account||D||$1,000|
|State Senate Democratic Committee||Legislative Campaign Committee||D||$1,000|
|Sen. Rodney Moen||Health committee chairman||D||$750|
|Rep. Scott Suder||R||$750|
|Rep. Scott Jensen||Assembly Speaker||R||$750|
|Sen. Robert Welch||Health committee member||R||$600|
|Rep. Frank Urban||Health Committee member||R||$600|
|Rep. Steve Foti||Assembly Majority Leader||R||$550|
|Sen. Roger Breske||Health committee member||D||$500|
|Sen. Chuck Chvala||Senate Majority Leader||D||$500|
|Sen. Alberta Darling||Joint Finance Committee member||R||$500|
|Sen. Gary Drzewiecki||Health committee member||R||$500|
|Sen. Carol Roessler||R||$500|
|Sen. Mary Panzer||Senate Minority Leader||R||$500|
|Republican Party of Wisconsin||State Party||R||$500|
|Rep. Shirley Krug||Assembly Minority Leader||D||$450|
|Rep. Eugene Hahn||R||$400|
|Rep. Antonio Riley||Joint Finance Committee member||D||$400|
|Rep. John Townsend||R||$400|
|Rep. Steve Wieckert||Health Committee member||R||$400|
|Rep. Jean Hundertmark||Health Committee member||R||$300|
|Rep. Gregg Underheim||Health Committee chairman||R||$300|
|Sen. Brian Burke||Joint Finance Committee co-chair||D||$250|
|Rep. John Gard||Joint Finance Committee co-chair||R||$250|
|Rep. Sheryl Albers||Joint Finance Committee member||R||$200|
|Rep. Bonnie Ladwig||Asst. Assembly Majority Leader||R||$150|
|Rep. Steve Kestell||R||$100|
|Rep. Gerald Petrowski||R||$100|
|Rep. Phil Montgomery||R||$100|
|Rep. Rick Skindrud||R||$100|
|Rep. Dan Vrakas||R||$100|
|Rep. Lorraine Seratti||R||$100|
|Rep. Jeff Stone||R||$100|
|Rep. Mark Pettis||R||$100|
|Rep. Carol Kelso||R||$100|
****Originally a $125 contribution from the Aventis PAC to the Sheila Harsdorf (R) campaign was shown on this list. On August 16, 2000, Aventis PAC informed the State Elections Board that this check was voided, thereby confirming the Harsdorf campaign statement that it had never accepted the contribution.