Big pharma Pfizer is continuing to spend a king’s ransom to buy favor with the two main political parties, with the Republicans benefiting in the latest round of donations.
The Republican Party of Kentucky is closer to having a new headquarters building in the Bluegrass State completed after Pfizer wrote the state party a check for a million dollars in recent days, according to a report by the Kentucky Lantern.
That said, Pfizer wasn’t the only major corporation providing funding, but in terms of overall donations for this particular project, the big pharma maker was certainly the largest.
“A report filed by Republican Party of Kentucky Building Fund last week with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance listed the $1 million from Pfizer along with five other big corporation contributions in the final quarter of 2022 totaling $1.65 million,” the report said.
The outlet noted further:
The other large corporate donors to the fund in late 2022 were:
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York, $300,000;
- Altria Client Services LLC, of Richmond, VA., $100,000;
- Comcast Corp., of Philadelphia; $100,000;
- AT&T, of St. Louis; $100,000;
- Delta Air Lines, of Atlanta, $50,000.
And there is this: Suddenly, out of nowhere, the GOP HQ construction fund in Sen. Mitch McConnell’s home state is flush with cash, having only collected a paltry $6,000 during the first three quarters of 2022 (my, what a difference one election can make; the GOP did not take all of Congress but it has the House and is in striking distance of the Senate, with Dems having to defend scores of seats in 2024).
According to state and federal campaign finance laws, there are limits as to how much individuals or political action committees can give to the executive member of any political party. Corporate contributions to a party’s executive committee are banned altogether, while individuals can’t give any more than $15,000 per year, according to the outlet.
“But part of a campaign finance bill passed by the General Assembly in 2017 allowed each party to establish a building fund that can accept contributions of unlimited amounts. It also allowed the building funds to accept contributions from corporations,” the Kentucky Lantern added.
Sean Southard, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Kentucky, noted in a statement released Monday that “the Republican Party purchased the lot next door to our Frankfort headquarters and is planning an expansion project. Our current headquarters was acquired in 1974. With the growth of the Republican Party in Kentucky, we have a need for additional space.”
But okay — does McConnell really have anything to do with it? Well, per the outlet: “A sign identifies the party headquarters as the Mitch McConnell Building, in honor of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.”
So the answer, very obviously, is yes. Pfizer is obviously currying favor with a very powerful member of Congress, only the company is doing it at the ‘local level.’
“As we raise funds into the building fund account, we are following both federal and state law. The funds raised into this account can only be used for certain expenditures related to the building and are not eligible to be spent on candidate or issue advocacy,” Southard’s statement continued.
Sure — and Pfizer is simply giving the project a million dollars out of the goodness of the hearts of the company’s board of directors.
It should be noted that Pfizer was one of just a few pharma companies that benefitted greatly from the COVID-19 vaccine scandal, as the outlet reports:
Fueled by sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s revenue doubled to $81.3 billion from 2020 to 2021. The company ranks 43rd on the Fortune 500 list.
For the first three quarters of 2022, Pfizer reported $76 billion in revenues.
While our elected leaders preen about ‘responsible government’ and ‘being responsive to the people,’ Pfizer is just the latest corporation to put the lie to those claims. Our government and our political leaders are nothing if not for sale.