The Congressional Record shows that Missouri Rep. Blaine Luketemeyer (R-9th) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina), among others, made some nearly identical statements during the debate over health care. The comments in question were in support of protecting U.S. biotechnology companies from foreign competition. The similarity is not surprising since, as the New York Times reports:
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.
What’s notable about these crib sheets is that they seem to represent a rare example bipartisanship since Gennetech distributed separate but equal statements for Democrats and for Republicans to put on the record.
The Times notes that there was no real intention to influence the legislation since it was already a done deal by the time the statements were added to CR, but adds:
In recent years, Genentech’s political action committee and lobbyists for Roche and Genentech have made campaign contributions to many House members, including some who filed statements in the Congressional Record. And company employees have been among the hosts at fund-raisers for some of those lawmakers.
Not to worry though:
Evan L. Morris, head of Genentech’s Washington office, said, “There was no connection between the contributions and the statements.
Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’m really relieved to learn that our boy Blaine was just following his conscience when he had Genentech’s script inserted into the Congressional Record.