Friday, May 26, 2006

The Great Right Wing Protectors of Drug Company Money

Here we go again with the right wing conspiracy theories! Yesterday J.B. Van Hollen put out a press release regarding the court ordered disbursement of funds based on a successful lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. One of the 48 groups that received a disbursement was Wisconsin Citizen Action. This has caused a frenzy for a radical right wing that seems more intent on protecting pharmaceutical companies than their victims. After all, where is the Van Hollen press release lauding this and other settlements that favored the public over these kinds of abusive corporations?

First let me say that if Van Hollen and allies had done their homework, they would know that WCA was an organizational plaintiff in this lawsuit. This is nothing new to them as they have served in that role, defending Wisconsinites in the PAST. I would hope that Van Hollen knows that being a plaintiff in a lawsuit does cost money in terms of time doing depositions, filing motions and the like.

The key to Van Hollen’s conspiracy theory is his selective use of the Wisconsin Citizen Action website. He uses a quote from the website that talks about building a progressive majority and how the organization wants to help elect leaders that agree with their values and support their issues. Oh the nerve of them!

While Van Hollen and others are trying to define this organization and it’s membership by using these selective quotes, why not use the following one from their site?

Our Members Wisconsin Citizen Action has 61,000 individual members. They come from all over Wisconsin, from each of our ninety-nine state assembly districts and from all walks of life. They are rural and urban, young and old, lower, middle and upper income, male and female, multi-racial and have different faiths and political persuasions. Approximately 45% are Democrats, 34% Republicans and 17% independents.


That’s amazing. So Van Hollen wants us to believe that this grand liberal conspiracy was pulled off by an organization that boasts a 34% Republican membership?

It only took that one Van Hollen press release and now you have the right wing blogosphere going crazy. Again, who knew that they were so protective of the big pharmaceutical companies money?

Owen at Boots and Sabers appears to be content in almost entirely cutting and pasting the Van Hollen press release. Real Debate Wisconsin goes off the deep end saying:

This money was supposed to go to "Wisconsin organizations engaged in the care and treatment of cancer or the promotion of improved health care for Wisconsin citizens." The only thing Wisconsin Citizen Action does is boycott Wal-Mart. In fact, I searched their website and nowhere did I even find the word cancer.


The key words should be “or the promotion of improved health care for Wisconsin citizens.” If this and the other right wing blogs would have bothered to do the research, they would have seen a seven year history of WCA advocating for Wisconsinites in the areas of healthcare, prescription drugs among many others (yes even fighting Wal-Mart in SOME cases).

Let me do my good deed for this holiday weekend and help my right wing brethren. Here is a short list of some of the good work that WCA has done for you and all other Wisconsinites:

*They have filed other class action lawsuits against other Pharmaceutical companies that victimized our citizens.

*They were used as a source on a story about drug company abuses.

*They broke a front page story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on sky high drug prices in Wisconsin.

*They were part of a story regarding drug prices and the policy solution (which ended up being the precursor to the current Badger Rx Gold pool).

*They have made major efforts on health care reform in general.

*They have done extensive work on Seniorcare.

Had enough yet? Uncle? I think that I should have been able to at least convince you that this group is not just about fighting Wal-Mart.

The bottom line is that WCA has been fighting the good fight for Wisconsinites on many levels for at least 7 years. They were organizational plaintiffs in this lawsuit such as they have been several times before. They have incurred costs in this role that deserve to be paid by the pharmaceutical company involved. These are NOT STATE FUNDS. They were ordered dispersed by the judge in the case. WCA is directly involved with “the promotion of improved healthcare in Wisconsin” which is part of the criteria for receiving the funds. They fit that criteria and they deserve what they recieved.
Case closed.

2 comments:

Scott D. Feldstein said...

I just knew there was a whole lot more to this thing. Thanks for clearing the air. Anyone want to put odds on whether there are any concessions or retractions at the rightie blogs?

realdebate said...

This has everything to do with politics. Look at the desparity in how money was doled out.

Wisconsin citizen Action is an overt leftie group. Nothing wrong with that on its face but to give that kind of cash in a campaign season to such an overtly left wing organization is outrageous.

Spin it however you want to, but if the roles were reversed, say Paul Ryan got some settlement money runneled to Wisconsin Right to Life you would going batshit right now over this.

Your defense of this is almost as outrageous as her behavior.

At a minimum, giving this group more than cancer research outfits is absurd.