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Press Release

Yes on Issue 2: Big Drug Companies Create Shady Dark Money Conduit

Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices
Posted on: 01 Nov 17

Attorneys for the Yes on Issue 2 Campaign today delivered a letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine asking the officeholders to investigate the elaborate dark money scheme that has been exposed by the most recent campaign finance filings of PhRMA and the big drug companies.

The letter, available here, reads in part:

“Based on the PhRMA PAC’s pre-election finance report, filed on October 26, 2017, the committee believes that the PAC may be funneling a significant portion of its funds through an entity named Campaign Communications Group, LLC (“the LLC”), as part of a scheme to not reveal the ultimate and intended beneficiaries of the PAC’s expenditures, in violation of R.C. 3517.13(G)(1), which prohibits “conceal[ing] or misrepresent[ing] . . . expenditures made.

"The suspicious reporting detailed here is consistent with the PAC’s larger scheme to mask the source of its contributions, which PhRMA has admitted are coming entirely from its pharmaceutical company membership in earmarked payments. The PAC has failed to identify any of the contributors, disclosing only the shell-entity (another LLC) that was set up to mask contributions from pharmaceutical companies. The shell-entity, which has the same name as the PAC, was registered as an LLC the same day that the PAC filed its Designation of Treasurer with your office. To date the PAC has reported receiving $58 million dollars in contributions from the shell-entity LLC without disclosing contributions from a single pharmaceutical company.”

Big drug companies fronted by the PhRMA PAC funneled $3.7 million to Campaign Communications Group, LLC to be used for purposes of engaging in the Issue 2 election. The Campaign Communications Group, formed by a law firm that has a long history of representing opiate drug companies, was created just weeks after the PhRMA PAC was formed.

PhRMA PAC does not disclose how much money each drug company is pumping into the campaign against lower drug prices. The Campaign Communications Group gives the big drug companies the ability to spend $3.7 million and more without telling Ohio voters who they have hired or how much they have paid to individuals and organizations.

“For months, we’ve known the drug companies manufactured a loophole in Ohio election law to hide contributions from specific drug companies. Now, we’ve learned they created another LLC specifically to spread millions of dollars around without a shred of accountability or disclosure to the voting public,” said Dennis Willard, spokesman for the Yes on Issue 2 campaign. “The drug companies created the perfect dark money conduit that would make bankers in the Cayman Islands green with envy. Millions of dollars in and millions of dollars out without a trace. The drug companies are running the darkest, dirtiest, most expensive campaign in Ohio history so voters should stand up to the bully and vote Yes to lower drug prices and save tax dollars.”

Background on Ohio Ballot Issue 2

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign is a broad-based, bi-partisan coalition. More than 200,000 Ohio voters signed petitions to put an amendment on the ballot in November that will lower drug prices for over 4 million Ohioans, including 164,000 children, save taxpayers $400 million annually, reduce healthcare costs for everyone and teach greedy drug companies and their CEOs a lesson.

You can learn more by visiting or following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Paid for by Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices

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Business Wire

Last updated on: 01/11/2017

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