Matt Potter 7 p.m., Feb. 22
Bilbray Aide Briefs Doctors on Biomedical Bills, Gets Free Lodging
It's no secret that GOP congressman Brian Bilbray has been a major political beneficiary of the bio-tech industry.
According to the Sunlight Foundation's Influence Explorer website, Bilbray's top campaign contributors from 1993 through last year included Health Professionals ($362,000) and Pharmaceuticals/Health Products industries ($303,861). Individual donors included the American Medical Association ($53,000).
And so far this year, pharmaceutical interests have sponsored two Bilbray fundraisers: A "BioTech Fundraiser" at the Capitol Hill Club on March 17 and a "Pharmaceutical Lunch at Associated General Contractors of America Townhouse" on April 13.
Then in May, Bilbray senior advisor Gary J. Kline was put up in a nice hotel to the tune of $630.62, thanks to the American Association of Immunologists' Immunology 2011 meeting in San Francisco, from May 13 through May 15.
(According to his official trip disclosure report, Kline paid for his own food and transportation to the event and extended the trip at his own expenses from May 15 to the 18. )
Kline's May 14 luncheon speech topic:
"Got Funding? Why Your Voice is Needed on Capitol Hill."
According to the group's website: "the discussion will focus on the importance of scientists-as-advocates in advancing biomedical research and address key policy issues, visiting Capitol Hill, and ways to get involved with AAI public affairs activities.
"Participants will have the opportunity to meet informally with AAI leaders, members of the AAI Committee on Public Affairs, and the AAI public affairs staff. Open to all AAI members. Space is limited, and an application to attend is required."
Afterwards, the travel report says, Kline briefed convention-goers "on the status of legislation affecting biomedical research."
Here is Kline's travel report for the San Francisco bio-tech appearance:
And Bilbray's political money summary thanks to Influence Explorer:
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