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Drug Company Lobbyists Back Coakley in Race for Kennedy Senate Seat

Drug company lobbyists are becoming controversial in Democrat Martha Coakley's run for Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat. More than a dozen of her campaign fundraisers are pharmaceutical company lobbyists who have 10 drug companies (and PhRMA) as clients.

Coakley, the state's attorney general, is in a tight race against Republican state Sen. Scott Brown. The Washington Examiner put together this list of her fundraisers and their clients:

  • Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
  • Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
  • Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
  • Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
  • Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
  • David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
  • Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
  • Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
  • Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
  • Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
  • Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.
As the Examiner puts it:
If Coakley pulls it out, this is the crowd that will have brought her here. If health-care reform passes, this is the crew that will have won.