PhRMA Thanks Reid

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association is co-sponsoring ads in Nevada thanking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his efforts to create jobs in Nevada.  As the Wall Street Journal editorializes, this is a fairly transparent effort to  repay Reid for pushing through health care reform.  PhRMA invested heavily in trying to pass health care reform, and the bill contained lots of goodies for pharmaceutical companies — here’s one of my favorites.  Helping Reid get re-elected could also blunt Republican efforts to scale-back the reforms.

As Politico‘s Ben Smith comments,”This isn’t lobbying, technically, but from PhRMA’s perspective, it’s an interesting way to reward a powerful legislator for furthering your corporate interest.”  I think the ad also suggests that analysts should not be so quick to assume that Citizens United will benefit Republicans more than Democrats.  Heavily regulated industries have tremendous incentives to curry favor with their regulators (and those who hold the regulators’ purse strings), so one should not assume that corporate political spending will tilt right.