Pharmaceutical exec gives $1 million to pro-West super PACby George Bennett | October 16th, 2012
A super PAC helping U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, got $1 million from a New Jersey pharmaceutical executive, new Federal Election Commission reports show.
The Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition was formed in July and started running ads in September slamming West’s Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy. The PAC’s first report, filed Monday, shows Mutual Pharmacy Co. senior adviser Richard Roberts contributed $1 million on Sept. 2. The PAC got only $81,000 in other contributions.
According to the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, which tracks campaign spending, Roberts was chairman and CEO of URL Pharmaceuticals, also known as Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., until the company was sold to Japanese firm Takeda in June for $800 million.
Murphy’s camp labeled Roberts a “millionaire drug profiteer” and said his contribution shows that West “puts the interests of Big Pharma over the interests of his constituents.”
The West-Murphy race is one of the costliest in the nation, with West spending $12.1 million through Sept. 30 and Murphy spending $2.9 million. On top of that, outside groups have poured more than $3.2 million into the West-Murphy race, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
The Democratic House Majority PAC has spent more than $1 million on ads supporting Murphy and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent about $270,000. American Sunrise, a PAC financed primarily by Murphy’s father, Coastal Construction CEO Thomas P. Murphy Jr., has spent about $350,000.
The biggest outside groups helping West, according to the Sunlight Foundation, are the Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition, which spent $990,393 through Sept. 30, the Republican YG Action Fund ($227,030) and conservative FreedomWorks ($170,473).