Congressional Statements Ghostwritten by Genentech Lobbyists

November 15th, 2009

Via: New York Times:

In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities. Often, that was no accident.

Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.

E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans.

The lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress.

Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists.

In an interview, Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said: “I regret that the language was the same. I did not know it was.” He said he got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from.”

5 Responses to “Congressional Statements Ghostwritten by Genentech Lobbyists”

  1. tochigi Says:

    “got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from”

    representative democracy in action.
    the united states congress seems to be one of the least democratic institutions in the world but…ah, fugedaboudit. nothing to see here, move along, loiterers will be arrested.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Is this the new, “My dog ate my homework”?

  3. Eileen Says:

    This is one of the more interesting things I’ve ever read concerning Congressional Members, lobbyists, and the Congressional Record. This is a definite KEEPER article – one to pass around the office. Have a laugh about, if it weren’t so pitiful. But oh well. I digress.
    yes, it does make a difference if a contractor does something for the government. Hmm. how do I say this without identifying myself or implicating someone?
    Anyways, ever since Ronald Reagan mind you,t he contractor ALWAYS DOES BETTER than the Government. Doesn’t matter. The gov employee may be a PHD with a gazillion years of experience under the belt – but when you work for government – there is a shade over your being.
    You aren’t good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people don’t like you (welcome Al Franken into the fold).
    I just learned something last week. A contractor did something – and their dumbfuckedness sent $17 million dollars in the wrong direction. And duh, no one noticed in the agency.
    Yeh verily, I’d like to park my ass at home and commute to work whenever I damn well felt like it too. Just like the contractors. Telework. There isn’t one government agency that believes in it as far as I can tell. Unless it comes to their contract employees.
    But contractors? La DEE DAH. No one holds them to a timeclock they have to punch.
    I’m sick of this shit. The NYT should have the balls to publish NAMES.
    If elected officials are too lame to read a bill their ass ought to be bared to the sunshine.

  4. Eileen Says:

    I should have said “too lame to read a bill” AND DRaft their own thoughts – if they only had a brain on them.
    I feel slimed from here just thinking about it.

  5. Eileen Says:

    Oh, and that $17 million? That is PISS IN THE WIND.

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