Despite Claims Otherwise, Kamala Harris Took Thousands From Big Pharma Executives This Year

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the AARP and The Des Moines Register Iowa Presidential Candidate Forum on July 16, 2019 in Bettendorf, Iowa.
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Kamala Harris’ campaign assured the public that it would not be influenced by private industry interests following the release of Harris’ new healthcare proposal, which supports private insurance companies within a larger system. Her proposal also supports a transition to a system — similar to Sanders’ Medicare for All — over a 10-year period instead of Sanders’ proposed four-year period.

But The Intercept reports that Federal Election Commission campaign finance records show that Harris received thousands in donation dollars from pharmaceutical company executives this year, and most of those funds have not been returned.

For example, Ted Love, the president and chief executive of Global Blood Therapeutics, gave $2,800; Therese Meaney, a vice president at Endo Pharmaceuticals, donated $1,250; Damian Wilmot, an executive at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, gave $1,000; Jeffrey Stein, the chief executive of Cidara Therapeutics also gave $1,000; and J. Dana Hughes, a vice president at Pfizer, gave $250.

Although records show Harris returned some donations, such as $2,700 from John Guthrie, an executive at Pharmaceutics International Inc., it’s unclear why some were returned while others were not.

Ian Sams, the national press secretary for the Harris campaign, claims that Harris isn’t taking money from pharmaceutical executives, and says that the campaign returned the donations from Meaney and Stein — although he didn’t say when — and is planning to return the donation from Global Blood Therapeutics’ executive. But The Intercept reports that many of the donations, such as the ones by Meaney and Hughes, were made earlier this year and weren’t refunded in the first or second quarter filings.

Per The Inquisitr, Harris, along with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, has raked in the most Wall Street donations thus far. Federal Election Commission records reveal that combined, the trio has received contributions from at least 15 bank executives from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup.

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Harris was reportedly a favorite of many Wall Street Democrats that attended a dinner party in April. New York Magazine reports that her favorability was at least due in part to her decision to pass on prosecuting OneWest and its CEO, Steven Mnuchin — now Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury — while she was California’s attorney general. Harris also headlined a fundraiser by LionTree CEO Aryeh Bourkoff and has been reaching out to Wall Street for advice and networking.

But it’s early in the race, and Wall Street is still looking for its favorite candidate.

“People are generally in search of a candidate who has the right set of views, has the right character, but also can win,” said investor Steven Rattner. “Right now, it is very hard to see who checks all three boxes.”