Hugin gets a shake. The company you keep …
The PAC army is coming for Bob Hugin, raising legitimate questions about the only thing the Republican nominee has to sell in his U.S. Senate race against Sen. Bob Menendez – his record as CEO of Celgene. Three ads, from two PACs, Patients for Affordable Drugs Action and Leadership Alliance.
Hey, hey, Delaware. Hugin is the self-funding, first-time candidate who is running his campaign mostly off the $15.5M he loaned his campaign, most of it being spent on TV ads attacking Menendez. He earned that money as CEO of Celgene, the biotech giant with HQ in Summit, NJ, but incorporated in Delaware – presumably to avoid paying New Jersey taxes. Now, I know Hugin didn’t found Celgene, and I know lots of companies incorporate in Delaware for exactly that reason, to dodge taxes. But not everyone then goes to run for federal office using the money they made from the company that doesn’t pay its share of taxes to the state they want to be elected U.S. Senator from. But I digress.
Hugin doesn’t have much (besides money) to go on against Sen. Menendez. His campaign’s still trying to convince low-information voters that Menendez is sexually inappropriate with young women [The lie: Menendez paid for sex with underage prostitutes in Central America. The truth: Dominican police report 3 women were paid to lie that they had sex with the senator, by a lawyer with shadowy political connections]. Hugin’s way vulnerable on women himself, so that’s a bad move. The ethics cloud still hanging over the senator, however, is an area of vulnerability for the Democrats in this campaign, especially since he’s at the top of the ticket. But it turns out, Hugin’s record at Celgene raises some big ethics questions too. And by cancer patients. We all know somebody with cancer. Voters will give a damn. So here are the ads:
Ad #1“Get Rich”: This one’s really damning IMO. Walks you through Hugin’s biotech career – a ‘lavish lifestyle off the backs of cancer patients,’ charge $700 per pill for a med that costs 65-cents to make [that math is theirs], pay lobbyists to stop generics on that drug – hey, Celgene – then pocket tons of cash and buy a U.S. Senate seat. From Leadership Alliance. 30-seconds.
Ad #2 “Gulay’s Story”: We hear from a woman who has multiple myeloma and needs Celgene’s Revlimid ‘to stay alive’. That’s the drug Celgene doubled the price of under Hugin – and maybe because the company is dependent on Revlimid for a whopping 63% of their total net product sales. Even so, with Revlimid sales at $8.19 Billion, you’d think there’d be some consideration for cancer patients put in a financial bind when Celgene jacks up the price for even more profit. “Gulay’s Story” is just 15-seconds. Enough time to draw in the viewer? You tell me. These next two ads, both from Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, are talking about the same Celgene med – Revlimid – as the ad above.
Ad #3 ‘Bob Keller’s story”: With a Parsippany resident talking about how Hugin doesn’t have an understanding of the ‘average guy’. 30-seconds: