AUGUSTA – On the campaign trail, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon claims that big pharmaceutical companies “absolutely have bought their way into all of our laws.” If that were true, a new video suggests that Gideon’s donor history looks like she was one of the sellers.
The video was released on the “Team Collins” Twitter account, an account of the campaign of U.S. Senator Susan Collins. It contrasts a video clip of Gideon making the claim about pharmaceutical companies buying their way into our laws with Gideon’s donation history from some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
“Gideon has received donations from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly,
Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Merck and PHRMA,” says the ad. “And
she continues to take pharmaceutical money through Leadership PACs.”
In a statement released along with the video, a Collins for Senator spokesperson pointed to Gideon’s pharma donor history, providing an itemized list of donations to Gideon Leadership PAC dating back to 2014. Those donations included multiple donations from PHRMA, which was one of Gideon’s largest overall donors.
“Sara Gideon says
the pharmaceutical industry has bought its ways into all of our
laws. If that’s true, then she should tell Mainers what the pharmaceutical
industry bought with the tens of thousands of dollars that it has given
her. This is yet another example of Gideon’s
hypocrisy. She says one thing, and does the exact opposite hoping no
one will notice,” said Kevin Kelley, spokesman for the Collins for Senator
Along with accepting donations from major pharmaceutical companies, the Collins campaign says Gideon has also accepted money from Senator Chuck Schumer’s Leadership PAC. Schumer’s PAC has taken at least $35,000 from the pharmaceutical industry.
They also say that Gideon accepted nearly $10,000 from major health insurance providers, another favorite target of liberal politicians and groups for. Those donations to Gideon’s Leadership PAC included money from Aetna, Cigna and Anthem.
Gideon has tried to make opposing corporate PAC donations a centerpiece of her campaign, but has struggled. Between violations of state and federal ethics laws and a long history of accepting corporate donations, her primary opponents and now general election opponent, are increasingly pointing to what they say is clear hypocrisy on Gideon’s part.
Recently, another piece of Gideon’s agenda came under fire. In the months leading up to Gideon’s roll-out of a new anti-lobbyist pledge, the Washington Free Beacon revealed Gideon had accepted nearly $20,000 from lobbyists, mostly in the Washington D.C. area.