Friday, July 24, 2009

Blue Dog Origins

The efforts of Blue Dog Democrats at stalling health care reform have inspired me to look into the origins of the Blue Dog caucus. One of the founders of the Blue Dog Democrats was Billy Tauzin, who later became a Republican in 1995, one year after founding the Blue Dog caucus. As if Tauzin's willingness to shift partisan loyalties with the political winds wasn't damning enough, his career after leaving Congress is even more maddening. According to Tauzin's Wikipedia entry,
While recovering from a difficult fight with cancer, on January 3, 2005, the same day he left Congress, Tauzin began work as the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, a powerful trade group for pharmaceutical companies.

It was reported that they had offered more than $2.5 million per year for his services, outbidding the Motion Picture Association of America, which had offered Tauzin $1 million to lobby for it.
In other words, Tauzin didn't merely sell out to the pharmaceutical industry. He was the pharmaceutical industry. Democrats need to pressure Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Max Baucus (D-MT) to make sure that campaign contributions from the health care industry don't lead those men down a similar career path.

1 comment:

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