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Readers’ Corner

This week we answer questions about drug company contributions to senate campaigns, and learn that sometimes congressional offices don’t even know what their own members voted on!

Karen writes:
“If only the pharmaceuticals industry were policed with anywhere near the zeal the FDA is showing for supplements, we would have hundreds of thousands of fewer deaths each year due to drugs. I wonder where Senator Kohl gets his campaign money: Big Pharma, I presume. I’d sure like to know.”
Senator Herb Kohl (D–WI) is one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He has self-financed 93% of his reelection campaign expenses since he was elected in 1988. The amount of money Sen. Kohl received from drug companies is so insignificant that we really cannot connect his recent Committee hearing actions to drug company contributions.
Thanks for your excellent question. You’ve inspired us to do further research on other senators and Congressional representatives, research that we will either put into a report or add to our Congressional Scorecard. This will be good to know before the fall elections.
Lance writes:
“Hi! I am a little confused. You say that the amendment by Rep. Waxman was not included in the Senate bill (S 3217), amendment (SA 3739). I called Sen. Casey on Friday May 21 to learn that it did pass on Thursday May 20, and Sen. Casey voted for it. I went to the U.S. Senate website to find out the vote was 60–40 with the Yays in the majority. Are you sure you have your facts straight? I did call twice and e-mailed Sen. Casey and Sen. Specter opposing this amendment.”
ANH-USA writes:

There was a large package of amendments (SA 3739) that were adopted into the Senate bill (S 3217). Although there were Federal Trade Commission-related amendments among them, Waxman’s now-controversial FTC expansion language was not included. Unfortunately, this bill was so large and so vast that many Senate offices are still getting up to speed on what they voted on
William writes about our article on supplement safety:
“You folks are the BEST!!! At last, some light on a subject that has seriously needed it. Keep up the great work!”
ANH-USA writes:

Thanks! That kind of message makes it all worthwhile.

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8 thoughts on “Readers’ Corner

  • Ann Curtis

    While some of the people who represent us come from lots of old, family money (Sen. Kohl is one of them), I, too, would be very interested to know how our elected members get their seats. I would like to know who fronts most of their campaign money: pharma, ag, big corporations, oil, etc. Knowing where they get their money–and thus to whom their alliances are bended–will help me tremendously when it comes to the next voting session. We need a shake up–a very big shake up–in our representatives, and we need to do it now, while we still have a money system (which is on the verge of collapsing) and before ObamaCare completely decimates our economy. Because an even worse Recession–perhaps Depression?–is coming. Anyone who isn’t awake and hasn’t figured that out yet…well, they’re in for a rude awakening and a world of hurt.

    • M

      Please remember that our economy and environment were already more than decimated by 8 years of abuse at the hands of the previous administration. The fallout from their handing the reigns of government to big business will continue for some time, and things may well get worse before they get better. While you may not like all of the current administrations policies or be frustrated by the health bill that passed (I’m sure no one’s entirely happy with the result, but do visit http://factcheck.org after seeing things on Fox or hearing them talk radio or politicians before taking them as gospel, this page has a good summary of some of the exaggerations recently: http://factcheck.org/2010/04/more-malarkey-about-health-care/ )), it has nothing to do with the collapse that is going on right now.
      The truly scary thing in government that everyone should be alarmed by is the complete lack of any limits on corporate contributions to candidates. With this we will have more candidates bought and paid for by big business with enough PR financing to make them be able to spin everything into making it sound like a good idea while claiming that they are not spinning anything. They will be brought on TV and welcomed by the hosts who will ask them questions designed to reinforce their goals. Yes, it’s already happening and will get worse.

      • Gus

        Sorry, but factcheck.org is NOT a reliable or unbiased source of information. They are funded by the Annenburg foundation, which has strong ties to Obama. Highly liberal biased. Project censored is a far better place to for information that doesn’t make the mainstream media news, or is distorted by same.

  • EddieW

    Unlikely the Federal DEATH Administration will want to remove BPA or even the Antibiotics used in animals to spurt growth…Big Pharma is making money from these things, and that’s what the FDA is about!!

  • Thomas W.

    How members of congress vote is not as easy as where their campaign money comes from, You need to look at their financial statements, i.e. stocks and any positions, that may be held by them or their family within big business. Spouse and children are a great way to funnel money into the family for favorable votes. That is mostly how it is done.

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