From American Democracy Scorecard <[email protected]>
Subject American Democracy Scorecard News
Date October 24, 2022 7:00 PM
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Spotlighting bad actors that are helping to undermine our democracy amid a full-scale assault on our fundamental rights, beginning with Big Pharma.

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Big Pharma Is Poisoning Our Democracy

Accountable.US is spotlighting bad actors that are helping to undermine our democracy amid a full-scale assault on our fundamental rights, beginning with Big Pharma. This newsletter series is part of Accountable.US’ American Democracy Scorecard ([link removed]) project that graded all Fortune 100 companies on their behavior involving critical democracy issues – and found two-thirds are failing to do their part.

As threats to voting rights and fair elections continue to grow, Americans are asking ([link removed]) corporations to help heal our democracy – not poison it.

Yet, among the Fortune 100 companies scored by Accountable.US’ American Democracy Scorecard ([link removed]) , pharmaceutical companies ranked as some of the worst offenders when it comes to damaging the health of our democracy. All twelve companies – including Pfizer, AbbVie, and CVS Health – earned a failing grade.

Why are their scores in such poor health? To start, during the 2022 election cycle, the Pharma giants collectively donated $2,429,500 ([link removed]) to federal lawmakers who opposed federal voting rights legislation and $634,500 ([link removed]) to members of Congress who objected to certifying the results of the 2020 election. Meanwhile, at the state level ([link removed]) , they donated thousands to boost the war chests of local lawmakers that have pushed voter suppression legislation disproportionately targeting people of color.

With every dollar they donate to anti-democratic voices and interests, Big Pharma is helping to erode our democratic foundations. The choice is theirs: will they start helping to cure our democracy – or continue to leave a bad taste in the mouth of consumers, prospective employees, and shareholders that overwhelmingly support companies that share their democratic ideals?

** CEO Spotlight: Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer

After the harrowing events of January 6th, Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla responded by proclaiming, “we all have a role to play in making this democracy work,” ([link removed]) – but it's clear he misunderstood his own assignment.

Bourla has been the CEO of Pfizer since 2019 ([link removed]) and last year made over $24.3 million ([link removed]) in compensation – 262 ([link removed]) times more than an average Pfizer employee. Where did he spend his paychecks? Padding the campaign contributions of Senator John Thune of South Dakota, an opponent of federal voting rights legislation, with $5,800. ([link removed])

Bourla’s wishy-washy commitment to democracy didn’t stop with his personal contributions. Following the events on January 6th, Pfizer paused “giving to the 147 Republicans who voted against certifying the election for the first half of 2021.” ([link removed]) Today, Pfizer is the lowest-scoring pharmaceutical company on the American Democracy Scorecard after resuming ([link removed]) contributions to those same election objectors to the tune of over $100,000.

Meanwhile, despite Bourla’s touting of Pfizer’s commitment to“environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, ([link removed]) ” under his leadership, the company and its key staff have given over $539,000 ([link removed]) to federal and state anti-democracy legislators.
Businesses can help ensure “better days” ([link removed]) ahead for our democracy – but only if CEOs like Bourla are brave enough to ensure their corporations live up to their stated values.

** By The Numbers
* During the 2022 election cycle, Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies have contributed:
+ $2,429,500 ([link removed]) to members of Congress who opposed federal voting rights legislation.
+ $634,500 ([link removed]) to the members of Congress who objected to certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
* Key members of pharmaceutical companies' staff have contributed $169,911.50 to anti-democracy federal legislators, with $17,400 from the pockets of the CEOs. The executive donations include:
+ $2,900 ([link removed]) from Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio
+ $8,700 ([link removed]) from Elevance Health CEO Gail Boudreaux
+ and $5,800 ([link removed]) from Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.
* On average, pharmaceutical companies received an abysmal 37 out of 100 score in the American Democracy Scorecard:

** In The News

CNBC ([link removed]) | Some corporate titans are coming up short on supporting voting and democracy, watchdog report says

Click on Detroit ([link removed]) | Where Michigan’s biggest companies rank in supporting pro-democracy policies

Fierce Pharma ([link removed]) | Since Biden took over, Big Pharma has spent $205 million to protect drug price status quo, analysis finds

Capital & Main ([link removed]) | A THOUSAND CUTS: DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK

Fierce Pharma ([link removed]) | Merck, Pfizer, Lilly and J&J restored funding to legislators who stoked Jan. 6 Capitol attack, watchdog says

Atlanta Journal-Constitution ([link removed]) | US drug pricing reforms raise questions for big pharma

** Take Action

The American Democracy Scorecard ([link removed]) website provides a wealth of information about what America’s pharmaceutical companies are doing to uphold or undermine democracy, as well as tools for sharing this information and making your voice heard.

Tell Pfizer’s ([link removed]) CEO and other corporate leaders what you think about their commitment to democracy.
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EMAIL (mailto:[email protected])
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