WASHINGTON -- December 16 -- Rep. W. J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.), who today was named president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), raised more than $218,000 in his campaign account from pharmaceutical manufacturers over the past 15 years.
He collected increasing amounts over time from drug companies, topping out at $91,500 in the 2002 election cycle. It was the fourth-highest total from the industry to a member of the House that cycle. It was also the first cycle for Tauzin as chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the drug industry.
Tauzin raised $41,500 from pharmaceutical manufacturers in the current cycle, even though he was not a candidate for reelection. He collected $9,000 from the PhRMA political action committee since 1997.
Drug companies have contributed $8.1 million since 2003 to federal candidates and political parties, 69 percent to Republicans. During the 2002 election cycle, when unlimited soft money contributions to the political parties were still allowed, pharmaceutical manufacturers gave $21.7 million, 80 percent to the GOP.
The industry spends millions lobbying the federal government each year -- PhRMA spent more than $8 million on lobbying in the first half of this year alone. Drug makers also spend millions more on nonprofits active in federal elections. Public Citizen estimates that PhRMA poured $41 million into 501(c) groups in 2002. Such groups are not required to disclose their donors.
This story, along with related charts and links, is available online at <http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=148>