LITTLE TO PALLONE: WHAT OTHER DECISIONS DID YOU TRY TO INFLUENCE BECAUSE SOMEBODY GAVE YOU CAMPAIGN CASH?
(HIGHLANDS, October 14) – Republican Congressional challenger Anna Little – responding to a report in The New York Times indicating that her opponent, 22-year incumbent Frank Pallone, worked to overturn a decision by the Food and Drug Administration after receiving campaign contributions from a medical device manufacturer whose device had been unanimously rejected on multiple occasions by FDA scientific reviewers – today called on Pallone to tell his constituents what OTHER federal government decisions he has tried to influence on the basis of campaign contributions.
“Today The New York Times published a disturbing report about our Congressman, Frank Pallone, using his influence to get the FDA to approve a medical device after receiving campaign contributions from the device manufacturer,” said Little. “The device in question had been reviewed and rejected unanimously by FDA scientific reviewers over a number of years, according to a report issued by the FDA last year,” continued Little. “But under pressure from Frank Pallone and others, senior managers at the agency made a political decision to overturn the recommendation of their own reviewers.
“According to a report in The New York Times from last year, Rep. Pallone began making inquiries on behalf of the device manufacturer after receiving contributions to his campaign account — $2300 in December 2007 and another $1000 in October 2008 – from an executive of the device manufacturer. The inquiries began in December 2007.
“Here in New Jersey, especially, where we have long fought a corrupt political culture where ‘pay to play’ has been deeply embedded at the state and local level, it’s especially troubling to learn that our representatives in Washington apparently have been engaging in the same kind of activity.
“I don’t know which is worse – knowing that the FDA can be influenced by political pressures, or NOT knowing what other federal agency decisions Frank Pallone has tried to influence because a campaign donor asked him to. Perhaps Rep. Pallone can save us a lot of time and trouble by just telling us what other federal agency decisions he’s tried to influence based on his latest campaign needs?
“Remember, you cannot change Washington without changing the people we send to Washington!”
Today’s New York Times report: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/health/policy/15fda.html?_r=2
Last year’s New York Times report: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/health/policy/25knee.html