Senator’s Investments Suggest Opioid Conflict
My opponent, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., has blood on his hands and drug money in his pockets.
At the height of the opioid crisis, and notwithstanding hundreds of deaths in Rhode Island every year and thousands nationwide, Whitehouse sponsored legislation that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to block the flood of these addictive drugs. He has accepted campaign contributions from Big Pharma and he and his family members have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Big Pharma companies. Countless Rhode Islanders are fed up with this D.C. double-talk and double-dealing.
Senator Whitehouse has recorded stock holdings of between $95,000 and $250,000 in one large pharmaceutical firm. His family has multiple accounts that actively traded thousands of dollars worth of stock in other drug companies, such as Gilead, Abbott, Biogen and McKesson.
Senator Whitehouse’s portfolio of investments in drug companies places him in direct conflict with multiple pieces of legislation he has voted on and sponsored. In the last two years, there have been 629 known opioid-related deaths in Rhode Island. All the while, Whitehouse has taken Big-Pharma money for his campaign and for his own wallet.
The idea that a sitting U.S. senator is profiting from this crisis — both politically and personally — is appalling. It’s time that Senator Whitehouse showed a spine, stood up to the Big Pharma interests that have fostered this crisis, and said: “enough is enough.”
Rhode Island deserves a senator who is focused only on issues that are of the utmost importance to everyday Rhode Islanders — not someone who, when he is not pontificating about climate change, is supporting legislation that enriches himself and his special-interest friends. That’s exactly why I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring.
I vow to crack down on fraud and crime of all kinds, but putting a stop to the opioid epidemic is one of my highest priorities. That’s why I’ve rejected — and will continue to reject — any and all political donations from companies manufacturing and distributing opioids.
I’ve called on Senator Whitehouse to return or donate every penny he’s received from Big Pharma interests, but to no avail. He should be ashamed of himself for pocketing contributions from Big Pharma companies that are being sued for their use of deceptive marketing tactics. He apparently cares more about lining his pockets with their drug money than the health and safety of his own constituents.
Unlike Senator Whitehouse, I’m not a Washington insider. I’m not interested in becoming the paid tool of special interest groups. If I am elected to the Senate, you won’t have to worry about my personal investments creating conflicts of interest with my work as your senator. I will make sure I have no ability to track or direct the investment of my personal assets by using a blind trust (or its equivalent), as other senators do.
It’s time for Senator Whitehouse and his pay-to-play politics to go. An out-of-touch, self-dealing, radical “socialist bordering on communist” (as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., aptly described him) has no business representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate. We deserve a senator who will lead with integrity and bring results, not excuses, back home.
Robert Flanders, of East Greenwich, a former justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, is running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate.FacebookTwitterGoogle +