BY: Follow @lachlan
Asked to name the enemies that she is most proud of during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton cited industries represented by lobbyists who are among her top campaign fundraisers.
In addition to Iran and the Republican Party, Clinton said she was proud to count “the health insurance companies” and “the drug companies” as her enemies.
Those industries’ lobbyists do not appear to share that enmity. By mid-July, seven of them had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for her presidential campaign, according to campaign finance records.
They include Heather and Tony Podesta, the recently divorced Democratic power brokers. Heather Podesta represents health insurer Cigna, while Tony lobbies on behalf of pharmaceutical firms Amgen and EMD Serono, a division of drug giant Merck.
The Podestas have also given as much as $150,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to that group’s list of donors.
Another of Clinton’s lobbyist bundlers, Richard Sullivan of the firm Capitol Counsel, represents the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry’s leading trade group, as well as pharmaceutical firm Genentech and insurer Cardinal Health.
Mottur and Brian Pomper both lobby for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group that represents a host of drug companies. Pomper also represents Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drug companies.
Clinton’s seven lobbyist bundlers representing drug companies and health insurers have together bundled $368,125 for her campaign, according to its latest disclosure of those fundraisers.
Clinton’s supposed enemies are also frequent collaborators with the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and some of its largest donors.
Insurers Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and drug company Pfizer have donated between $1 million and $5 million. Merck has given $250,000 to $500,000; AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have donated $100,000 to $250,000.
One of the speakers at this year’s annual Clinton Global Initiative summit was Merck chairman and chief executive Kenneth Frazier, a PhRMA board member. Last year, CGI hosted the president of health care consulting firm Rabin Martin, which represents a number of drug companies. The year before, it announced financial commitments from Pfizer, one of multiple such charitable commitments that drug company has made through the Clinton Foundation.
The Foundation has also heavily collaborated with the health insurance industry. Its website even hosts a column by the CEO of Humana touting the company’s extensive work with the foundation and the Clinton family.