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State Lawmakers Got More Than $1 Million From Opioid Manufactures in the Last 20 Years

May 21st, 2018 by Jake Stofan
An investigation conducted by the Miami Harold found Florida lawmakers accepted more than $1 million from 9 opioid manufacturers and distributors over the past two decades.
The discovery comes a week after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed suit against those same companies for their role perpetuating the opioid crisis.
“They were on notice as to what they were doing, yet continued to do it and market their products, in my opinion no different than a street level drug dealer,” said Bondi.
The investigation found Bondi herself has received $1,500 from companies listed in the suit.
Ben Wilcox with Integrity Florida says while the individual donations were relatively small, that doesn’t mean their influence wasn’t felt.
“Florida has been slow among the other states in this country to address the opioid crisis and I think that can be directly attributed to the companies buying access and influence through campaign contributions,” said Wilcox.
Nine of every ten dollars contributed went to Republicans.
Government watch dogs say that’s to be expected since the GOP is in power.
Representative Jason Brodeur, Chairman of House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee received the most at $15,250.
“They’re not giving this money in the interest of good government,” said Wilcox. “They’re giving this money in the interest of government being good to them.”
Representative Brodeur denies the donations ever influenced his vote, noting they amount to less than 1% of the total contributions to his campaigns.
Governor Rick Scott, who has received $6,000 from companies named in the suit also held $300,000 in Johnson and Johnson stock.
Scott awarded the company $4.9 million in incentives in 2015.
Donations from Johnson and Johnson make up nearly half of the contributions to lawmakers.

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