February 20, 2004
GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Bill Tauzin
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Listen to the GOPHOTW HERE.
Welcome back to the BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite of the Week.
If you think that lots of drugs and millions of dollars are only seen at rock star parties or in movies by Quentin Tarantino, thing again. Think Republican. Think Congressional Republican, like that good ol' corporate contribution back slapper from Louisiana, Billy Tauzin.
Tauzin, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, oversaw the Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry. He was one of a handful of Republican lawmakers who secretly finalized the poison pill Medicare legislation that pretends to offer prescription drug benefits for seniors. You know the one, the bill that shafted the elderly, despite what they're saying in the $10 million dollar taxpayer-funded advertising campaign.
According to the Washington Post, after giving the finger to old folks, Tauzin stuck his hand out and accepted a $2 million a year gig as head of the the drug industry trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, that stands to make billions on the Medicare prescription drug legislation Tauzin just finished writing. What a coincidence.
But here's the most striking thing about Tauzin's reported new career as the chief D.C. lobbyist for an industry he just presented with a gold bullion government contract: Republicans don't see any conflict of interest if he accepts the position. As far as they are concerned, how can there ever be a conflict of interest when money is involved, especially when it's lots of money?
Being ethical in Republican circles, it seems, is a major faux pas.
Tauzin recently announced he'd be resigning from his seat at the end of this term. So, in honor of his departure and in keeping with his cajun heritage, we'd like to share with you a little recipe someone sent us from that famous cookbook, Cooking for GOP Dummies. It's called Hypocrisy Gumbo:
Start with a roux of seniors. Use a cup of Medicare drug bill to screw them over a low flame. Add six cups of benefits for drug companies, an assortment of finely chopped campaign contributions, and, when all that comes to a boil, gently ladle in $2 million a year as the head of Washington's most lethal lobbying group, Big PhRMA. Pour a couple of spoonfuls over a serving of rice and you've got yourself a "Cash Cow Tauzin Hypocrisy Gumbo Ya Ya" you can soak your french bread in. That is, if Republicans weren't so afraid of everything French.
As they say in New Orleans, "Laissez les bon temps roulez." And as they say in GOP political circles "Hypocrisy be damned, watch me line my pockets with dirty political money."
Until next week, just remember our motto at BuzzFlash.com: So many Republican hypocrites, so little time.
Catch up with you soon.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Also See: "PhRMA Follies", Washington Post
otherwise noted, all original