by Tamara Lush and Mike Schneider, Associated Press
A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups spent more than $3.8 million on campaign contributions and lobbying over the past decade in Florida as they worked to influence state and federal policies. The groups have an array of political interests that include opioid advocacy, and their spending was eight times that of the gun lobby during the same period.
…According to data analyzed by The Associated Press, drugmakers that produce opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups gave more than $500,000 to Florida candidates in 2010. The only higher year in the past decade was in 2008 when they gave almost $705,000.
Florida’s Republicans, including the state party, received more than 2.5 times the campaign contributions that Democratic candidates and the Florida Democratic Party received from companies that make opioids and other groups that participate in the Pain Care Forum.
Republicans received nearly $2.9 million from the industry from 2006 through 2015. Democrats received $997,180 during the same time period. Independents received $31,800.
To be sure, Republicans control the state’s congressional delegation and also leadership in the legislature.
Gov. Rick Scott received $10,000 in contributions from forum participants. [READ MORE]