McKee to Donate Opioid Tainted Campaign Money - Raimondo Continues to Refuse

Thursday, July 19, 2018

 

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Lt. Governor Dan McKee is donating opioid-backed donations -- while Governor Gina Raimondo has refused to give up the money she has received.

Lt. Governor Dan McKee has said he will give $4,000 he received in donations from Purdue Pharma executive Jonathan Sackler and his wife to recovery organizations in Rhode Island, following a GoLocal article which uncovered that Governor Gina Raimondo has received thousands from oxycontin scion Sackler and now even more from his wife — and refuses to return them. 

"These donations are from years ago, and I am donating them to recovery organizations here in Rhode Island. My record in fighting the opiate crisis is crystal clear — I led the efforts of 28 Rhode Island cities and towns in suing the Big Pharma companies that lied about the addictiveness of their products and illegally profited off the misery of addiction," said McKee. "I am confident that our cities and towns will prevail in the lawsuit I introduced them to, and that the funds will be used to fight the opioid epidemic."

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have died in the past few years as a result of opioid addiction. The state of Rhode Island recently announced it is suing a number of drug companies tied to the marketing of opioids for aggressively marketing the drugs and creating a cycle of dependency.

As GoLocal reported:

A top executive of the most notorious company — the company who invented oxycontin — has donated repeatedly to Governor Gina Raimondo and she is not returning any of the donations.

The company, Purdue Pharma, has been the focus of a number of exposés, including a major New Yorker investigation entitled, “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain."

"The Sackler dynasty’s ruthless marketing of painkillers has generated billions of dollars—and millions of addicts," wrote Patrick Radden Keefe for the publication. 

Jonathan Sackler, the Purdue Pharma scion, has donated seven $1,000 contributions to Raimondo. And, Raimondo's political action committee, Gina PAC, collected another $1,000 from Sackler.

Raimondo claims that Sackler’s have no impact on her policies. “Campaign donations have no impact on Governor Raimondo's decision making,” said Emily Samsel, spokesperson for Raimondo’s re-election campaign.

Now, GoLocal has learned that Raimondo received $5,000 from Sackler’s wife Mary Corson, upping the total amount to $12,000.

McKee in Focus

McKee’s campaign spoke to the next steps, after McKee in the past received $3,000 from Sackler and $1,000 from Corson.

“The Lieutenant Governor is aware of the good work being done at organizations such as RICARES, Providence Rescue Mission and the non-profit that is producing the addiction-based play “Four Legs to Stand On.” He will be making donations to these organizations in the coming weeks. Dan has a history of supporting organizations like these and is currently looking into additional recovery organizations for donations,” said Jakob Frenette with the campaign. 

 
 

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