(Headline USA) Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who is running for U.S. Senate, accepted campaign donations from drug distributors alleged to be responsible for the opioid crisis, according to a report.
AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Dublin, and Cardinal Health — the three biggest drug distribution companies in the U.S. — have been donating to Ryan since 2007. The companies donated to his campaign as recently as August of this year.
Cardinal Health Inc., a multinational healthcare services company headquartered in Ohio, has given Ryan $21,000 since 2007, including $5,000 this August. McKesson’s PAC gave him $5,000 in 2012, and Amerisource Bergen gave him $1,000 in 2019.
The donations might not seem like much, but they stand in stark contrast to Ryan’s campaign pitch, in which he has blasted his Republican opponent J.D. Vance for not doing enough to fight the opioid epidemic in Ohio.
Ryan specifically claimed Vance’s nonprofit Our Ohio Renewal was a “sham” that “didn’t fund a single addiction program” to fight the opioid crisis, but rather backed efforts that “made it worse.”
When pressed about why Ryan would accept the donations, spokeswoman Izzi Levy claimed the companies bring important jobs to the state and again pointed the finger at Vance.
Vance has spent more on “political polling and consultant fees to his top political advisor — when it wasn’t promoting a Purdue Pharma-linked doctor with a reputation for downplaying the deadly threat of Oxycontin,” Levy claimed.
Vance’s campaign, however, blasted Ryan for his “shameless hypocrisy,” as did other Republicans.
Ryan and Vance are in a tight race that is leaning Republican, according to polls. Ryan has tried to gain ground in recent weeks by distancing himself from his own party’s leadership. He told Fox News this week that he has no plans to invite President Joe Biden to campaign on his behalf, and tried to draw a distinction between himself and the president.
“I’ve disagreed with Biden on the student loan. I’ve disagreed with Biden on a lot of other issues, Title 42 and these other issues, been very clear,” he said.
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