December 5, 2005
Romney goes soft on big pharma
Mitt flies Air Viagra:
BOSTON –The Massachusetts Democratic Party is asking the state Ethics Commission to rule on Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to fly to California last week on a corporate jet owned by a leading pharmaceutical firm.
Also aboard the aircraft were three representatives for Pfizer Inc., owner of the $40 million Gulfstream V. Romney and state lawmakers are considering enactment of a universal health insurance law.
… Under federal campaign finance law, a corporation such as Pfizer can provide the use of an aircraft to a political group such as the RGA, so long as it calculates the full cost of the trip, and the recipient discloses it to the Internal Revenue Service as an in-kind contribution.
… “It’s outrageous that this governor would fly to California on a jet provided by one of the country’s leading drug companies while serious leaders back home are working to reform our health care system,” Democratic Party spokeswoman Cyndi Roy said in a statement.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney broke no ethics law. He said Romney told the Ethics Commission that he and his aides would be receiving transportation provided by the Republican Governors Association before taking the trip.
Which is a bit different to admitting that he was flying with a bunch of big-pharma reps at the same time Massachusetts is rethinking its healthcare system.
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