EXCLUSIVE: Pharma Bro And CD8

Earlier today, I - quite gleefully - reported on the arrest of “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, and later even threw in some perp walk pictures. That was fun.

In the immortal words of late night pitchman Ron Popeil, “but wait, there’s more!”

This afternoon, I received an anonymous email suggesting I “should Follow Will Jawando money from Shkreli.” Intrigued, I went to the FEC website to look. And yes, there was “more.”

In this case, the picture tells the story.

Now, before the shit starts to fly, let me be clear. There’s no suggestion that these contributions are illegal. Or unethical. And to be fair, although Shkreli was notorious in the pharma field for a good while - at least as far back as 2014, as noted here - and had been fired by Retrophin, the company whose lawsuit ultimately got Shkreli arrested today, the “Pharma Bro” story that made Martin Shkreli the face of pharmaceutical industry greed didn’t appear in print anywhere until September 17, following which it went viral quickly. But all 14 contributions were made between August 26 and September 15, prior to the story becoming national news.

But there are 14 contributions from Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli’s new firm, including a full $5,400 donation from Shkreli himself, and that is news. A total of $28,300 was contributed by Turing employees - four for $5,400 each, two for $2,000, and one $2,700. That’s a lot, especially for a company with no obvious ties to either the candidate or to the CD8 race. And Shkreli’s arrest today makes the issue even more newsworthy.

As for me, as I suggested in a prior unrelated post, I’m just bringing up the issue. I don’t have an opinion, nor an axe to grind. I have no favored candidate in CD8, and I haven’t even begun to decide who will get my vote. But one of my main goals here is to be informative.

Consider yourself informed.

UPDATE: Curse my parental responsibilities! John Fritze of the Sun also has the story, along with Will Jawando’s statement that he intends to donate the TuringShkreli contributions to a local charity. Jawando stated: “I met Mr. Shkreli one time and he decided to support my campaign after hearing me speak.”

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