by Mike Adams
the Health Ranger
August 12, 2010
Corruption in Washington is nothing new.
Lobbyists for special interests have
been padding the pockets of amoral politicians for longer than most
of us have been alive, and they've been doing so with the help of a
controlled media that rarely presents the facts without shrouding
them in terms of "left" or "right" in order to confuse people.
But as you'll see in this story, the
corruption goes far deeper than most people realize, and a perfect
example of this is the dishonorable legacy of Nevada Senator and
U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.
Leader, Harry Reid
Reid was recently exposed for
accepting large sums of money from
Big Pharma in order to craft
and guide the recently-passed health care bill in Big Pharma's
Reid's political career dates back to the 1960s. He's been a member
of Congress since 1982, and a Nevada Senator since 1986. And since
the early days of his career, Reid has been accepting contributions
from lobbyists as payment for political favors.
One of the earliest stories I found about Reid accepting money from
lobbyists is a
1987 Washington Post article about
how Reid and several other Nevada politicians had accepted money
from mob sources that had connections to the Nevada gaming industry.
(The full text of the article is available for purchase, but the
part about Reid is visible in the abstract for free).
Reid ranked tenth in Judicial
Watch's Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians. According to the
allegations, he failed to report a $700,000 land deal to Congress,
and accepted $30,000 in bribe money from Nevada Indian gaming.
Again in 2007, Reid made the same
top ten list.
This time, according to a report in the
Los Angeles Times that year, Reid abused his power in Washington to
negotiate a lucrative real estate deal for developer Havey
The same report explained that Whittemore had
contributed "tens of thousands of dollars" to Reid's campaign, and
hired Reid's son, Leif, to act as the company's lawyer in order to
"negotiate" the deal with federal officials.
There are likely other historical scandals involving Reid, but these
should give you a taste of the type of activities in which you might
typically find him engaged.
(And you may want to check out
Judicial Watch for yourself to see
who else is on these lists; you might be surprised to see that
politicians from both sides of the aisle regularly appear there).
But the biggest issue I want to bring to your attention is Harry
Reid's open and obvious connections to
Big Pharma, particularly in
relation to the recent health care bill.
This is perhaps the most
damning and far-reaching scandal in Reid's history yet, illustrating
just how powerful Big Pharma is when it comes to controlling
Washington for its own gain.
used politicians like Harry Reid to steer health care reform
According to a recent
Washington Examiner article, Big
Pharma has had its tentacles deeply intertwined in health
legislation for years, and the industry has been involved in
virtually every aspect of crafting the recent health care "reform"
Last summer, Billy Tauzin, then President of the
Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA),
visited the White House to work out a deal on the health care bill.
Mind you, PhRMA is the largest single-industry lobbying group in the
nation. According to reports, he negotiated with government
officials to make sure all existing drug industry favors would
remain intact in any proposed health care legislation.
But this wasn't all. Tauzin was able to convince Democrat
politicians - many of the same ones who promised during the Obama
campaign to rid Washington of special interest control - to add to
the bill additional drug industry perks including subsidies,
mandates, and a complete monopoly on complex drugs that will last 12
So much for transparency and reform, huh?
When all was said and done, PhRMA got what it wanted and Big Pharma
won yet another long-term financial victory in the name of "reform."
So how does Harry Reid play into all this?
Well for starters,
Reid successfully stopped Byron
Dorgan's drug reimportation amendment from being added to the
bill, which would have helped to reduce drug costs for consumers
(and cut Big Pharma's profits).
Dorgan amendment was basically a
government price control option that would have reduced drug prices
for consumers and limited Big Pharma's complete monopoly over drugs.
Even though it was a far cry from a true free market that would
lower drug prices through real competition, the amendment would have
cut costs for consumers, employers and states at the expense of Big Pharma's monopoly.
Nevertheless, Big Pharma quickly squashed the amendment through one
of their right-hand men, Harry Reid, who coordinated a Democratic
filibuster of the bill until PhRMA could convince the politicians
who supported the amendment to change their minds.
One of the ways PhRMA achieved this was by convincing the Department of
Human Services (HHS) to write a letter to the Senators who were
about to vote on the bill.
Throughout this entire process, Reid was the primary catalyst for
guiding health care reform legislation the way PhRMA wanted it to
go, and in the end, he made sure it got passed the way Big Pharma
A far cry from actual reform, the
health care bill
drastically expanded Big Pharma's control over health care under the
guise of being a "public option".
Follow the money to Sen. Reid's office
Big Pharma rewarded Reid nicely for his services by paying him tens
of thousands of dollars. In fact, the money began flowing almost
immediately after Tauzin first visited the White House back in July
to news reports, drug giant
Eli Lilly sent Reid a $5,000
check just two days after Tauzin's first visit to Washington. By the
following Monday, Reid received two more $5,000 checks, one from PhRMA and one from Pfizer, the nation's largest drug company. And by
the end of the following week, Merck and Astra-Zeneca sent their
checks as well.
So in less than two weeks after a visit from a Big Pharma lobbyist,
a single politician receives at least $23,000.
But that's just the money Reid received for the initial meeting.
After successfully getting the bill passed, Big Pharma sent Reid
plenty of "thank you" money for his compliance with their agenda. As
of May 30, 2010, Reid's Big Pharma gifts totaled at least $154,000,
setting him one place behind Big Pharma's number one man, Senator
Richard Burr (R-NC).
It's important to note that Sen. Harry Reid, a Democrat, and Sen.
Richard Burr, a Republican, hold the top two positions on Big Pharma's political donation payroll.
Both political parties, you
see, are deep in bed with Big Pharma.
Reid's re-election campaign being driven by Big Pharma
Naturally, the passage of Obamacare has sent shock waves throughout
the nation, including in Harry Reid's home state of Nevada.
support for re-election dropped tremendously in his home state
following the passage of Obamacare, with approval ratings hovering
in the 30 percentile.
Fortunately for Reid, part of Big Pharma's payment for his services
funding an ad campaign for his re-election this fall.
One of the ads they've made for Reid (below video) includes laud and praise for
the many supposed ways that he's helped Nevada families and improved
the condition of the state, but the ad was bought and paid for by,
It's exactly this type of apparent corruption in Washington that the
Obama campaign spoke so heavily against on the campaign trail.
in its actions, the
Obama administration wholly supported handing
Big Pharma even more monopolistic control over America's health care
system. This type of doublespeak seems sadly typical in Washington,
and it comes from both parties.
Reid, and countless other Washington politicians from both sides of
the aisle, regularly accept money from powerful lobbyists like Big
Pharma that control our government and shape our public health care
Big Pharma operates a multi-billion dollar monopoly on medicine that
it uses to financially influence politicians who write industry
laws. And the facts show that this type of corruption exists on both
sides of the aisle. Those whose campaigns are the most heavily
funded are almost always the same candidates receiving money from
the pharmaceutical industry, regardless of their political
Real candidates like Representative Ron Paul will always be
marginalized because they refuse to be political prostitutes for the
corporate elite who want to control our nation. They serve based on
principle, not based on which industry hands them the most money.
Sadly, both the Republican and Democratic party have been largely
hijacked by pharmaceutical interests, and until we get the
corporations out of politics - and the crooks out of Washington -
this situation is unlikely to change.