Wednesday, November 23

Cali voters defeat prop to save state a billion on drugs--with help from a Dem official

Democrats:  To hear them tell it, they're the party that constantly fights for the rights of the little guy, eh?  Like, oh, trying to lower prescription drug prices by passing a law that state agencies would pay no more for drugs than the federal department of veterans' affairs.  Yay!

That was exactly what California's Prop 61 said.  And as you might imagine, Big Pharma was determined to defeat it.  And sure enough, two weeks ago voters--seemingly voting against the state's own interest--rejected it.


Now the LA Times reports that the proposition's defeat may have been helped by a consulting firm run by the chairman of the LA County branch of one of the two political parties.  That firm, Victoryland  Partners in North Hollywood, was paid more than $100,000 by the pharmaceutical industry to defeat the measure.

Wow, isn't it just awful how those greedy Rethuglicans keep torpedoing sensible initiatives designed to keep the Little Guy from being gouged by Big Pharma?  It's just awful how...wait...what?

Oh.  You'll be shocked to learn that the head of the consulting firm that bagged $100G to help defeat the measure is chair of the LA County Democrat party--one Eric Bauman.

Well!  The minute the LA Times got wind of this, the state Democratic Party announced that it's "considering" a new policy that would require party leaders to fully disclose any compensation they receive to advocate for a statewide ballot initiative or candidate for state office.

Isn't that super?  You really have to hand it to the Dems:  They're always pushing to make government more transparent, more honest, more...lucrative.  And yet that's what they accuse Republicans of doing.  Interesting.

Bauman's firm was also paid as a consultant by supporters of three other state propositions...all of which passed: 
  • Proposition 51, a $9-billion bond for school construction projects across the state; 
  • Proposition 52, to make permanent the hospital fee program that helps fund Medi-Cal; and 
  • Proposition 64, to legalize marijuana.
Bond measures typically earn commissions for the underwriters.
The policy Dems are considering--requiring full disclosure of consulting payments to state officials-- came before the rules committee at the California Democratic Party’s executive meeting in San Diego this weekend.  The committee voted to draft the proposal so that it can be presented for a vote at the party’s May convention in Sacramento.

Bauman told the committee he was in favor of the change.  “I support this 100%,” he said.

Kimberly Ellis, who also is running for chair of the state party, said the initial proposal calling for members to simply disclose any financial interests in a ballot measure or candidate was too vague, and asked to committee to broaden its scope.

Bottom line:  The insiders will never allow *effective* reform, since it costs them money.  They'll posture and preen about supporting reform, but what passes will have loopholes you could drive a truck through.  Count on it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home