Legal professionals search to halt Purdue Pharma political contributions

0
26
Lawyers seek to halt Purdue Pharma political contributions

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should not be able to make any more political contributions without a judge’s permission, lawyers for its creditors said in a court filing.

The issue came up this week after it was reported that the company, which has a long history of influencing policymakers, made contributions to national associations representing state attorneys general and governors.

The money was sent after Purdue entered bankruptcy protection last year in an effort to settle thousands of lawsuits accusing it of helping spark an opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has contributed to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S.. State attorneys general are among those trying to negotiate a nationwide settlement.

The committee of creditors that asked for recipients to return the money to Purdue said the contributions represent a conflict.

“The Political Contributions — $185,000 in donations to associations whose members include the very public servants with whom the Debtors are attempting to negotiate a consensual resolution of these cases — are precisely the sort of transaction that demand close scrutiny,” they said in a filing.

Parts of the legal skirmish had been resolved by the time lawyers filed a motion Friday night. The filing asked a federal bankruptcy court judge to require Purdue to seek permission before making more contributions.

Purdue said it would stop giving money to the Democratic and Republican attorney general associations, and both of those groups agreed to return contributions made since late last year. The Republican group said it would send back $60,000, while the Democratic organization said a check was already in the mail to return the $25,000 it received.

The donation to the Democratic Attorneys General Association, along with $50,000 each to the associations representing Democratic and Republican governors, were first reported by The Intercept, an online investigative news outlet. The AP subsequently found the Purdue contribution to the Republican Attorneys General Association.

The governors groups did not respond to messages Friday from The Associated Press and did not publicly commit to returning the money.

Ed Neiger, a lawyer who represents people with opioid addictions and their families in the case, said the contributions are a big problem.

“I’m not sure that can be interpreted as anything other than a bribe,” he said in an interview.

Purdue defended the payments, describing them as “memberships,” although the only members of the organizations are the elected attorneys general and governors.

“We have maintained long-standing membership in organizations that allow us to follow key industry-related issues that are relevant to our wide range of products and pipeline,” the company said in a statement. “These memberships are completely proper and in line with payments Purdue and hundreds of other companies have made for years.”

The company noted that when it filed for bankruptcy, it stopped making contributions to individual candidates and closed its political action committee.

In 2016, an investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that Purdue and other companies in the opioid industry, along with the advocacy groups largely funded by the industry, spent more than $880 million from 2006 through 2015 to influence state and local governments. Those efforts helped fight off restrictions on drug prescriptions, although many states later adopted limits.

Purdue contributed $260,000 to party election committees in 2018, according to an Associated Press analysis of data gathered by Political MoneyLine.

At least 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000 have been connected to overdoses from opioids, a category of drug that includes prescription pills such as Oxycontin and Vicodin along with illicit drugs such as heroin and illegally made fentanyl.

rn//Load jQuery library using plain JavaScriptrn(function(){rn var newscript = document.createElement(‘script’);rn newscript.type = ‘text/javascript’;rn newscript.async = true;rn newscript.src = ‘https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.1.0.min.js’;rn (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)(0)||document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)(0)).appendChild(newscript);rnvar newscript2 = document.createElement(‘script’);rn newscript2.type = ‘text/javascript’;rn newscript2.async = true;rn newscript2.src = ‘https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/js-cookie/2.1.3/js.cookie.min.js’;rn (document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)(0)||document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)(0)).appendChild(newscript2);rn})();rn/********TEST CODE for METER SNOW PLOW ANALYTiCS*******************/rnvar meter = {};rn$(document).ready(function(){rn // console.log(“this loads well”);rn $(‘.js-optimizely-click-goal’).click(function(){rn // console.log(this);rn meter(‘type’) = $(“input(name=’offer’)”).val();rn if(meter(‘type’) = 131){meter(‘type’) = “Premium Digital Access”;}rn else if(meter(‘type’) = 130){meter(‘type’) = “Sunday Print + Digital”;}rn else if(meter(‘type’) = 129){meter(‘type’) = “7-Day Print + Digital”;}rn else if(meter(‘type’) = 128){meter(‘type’) = “Sunday Print”;}rn meter(‘date’) = new Date().toLocaleString();rn // console.log(meter(‘type’));rn // console.log(meter(‘date’));rn var json_meter_cookie = JSON.stringify(meter);rn Cookies.set(‘meter_sign_up’, json_meter_cookie); rn rn });rn});rn/************************************************************************/rn // FACEBOOK TRACKING PIXEL #1rn !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)rn {if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?rn n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};rn if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′;rn n.queue=();t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;rn t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)(0);rn s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,’script’,rn ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’);rn fbq(‘init’, ‘590074241155998’); rn fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);rn rnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start”},{“id”:”limit-signup”,”count”:12,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“template”:”{% extends “grid” %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start”},{“id”:”meter-desktop-331″,”count”:10,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:false,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start”},{“id”:”PDA991499opt”,”count”:9,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start”},{“id”:”limit”,”count”:8,”action”:”inject”,”mute”:false,”action_config”:{“template”:”rn.o-overlay,rn.o-overlay * {rn display: block;rn box-sizing: border-box;rn}rnrn.o-overlay {rn position: fixed;rn top: 0;rn left: 0;rn width: 100%;rn height: 100%;rn font-size:14px;rn background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);rn z-index: 999999;rn opacity:1;rn transition:all .01s;rn}rn.o-overlay h1 {rn font-family:popular-bold, ‘Popular’;rn font-size:28px;rn}rnrn.o-modal {rn width: 100%;rn max-height: 100vh;rn overflow: auto;rn position: absolute;rn top: 50%;rn left: 0;rn -webkit-transform: translateY(-50%);rn transform: translateY(-50%);rn}rn.o-modal-middle {rn padding:5px 5px;rn position:relative;rn background:#F6E463;rn text-align:center;rn border-top:1px solid rgb(246, 228, 99);rn -webkit-box-shadow:0px 0px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0);rn box-shadow:0px 0px 0px rgba(0,0,0,0);rn}rn.o-modal-inner {rn background: #ffffff;rn margin: 0 auto;rn width: 100%;rn max-width: 600px;rn position: relative;rn}rnrn.o-button {rn display: inline-block;rn font: bold 18px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rn margin: 0;rn padding: 0;rn border: none;rn text-decoration: none;rn color: #fff;rn background: #00824A;rn padding: 15px 20px;rn border-radius: 4px;rn border: 2px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);rn -webkit-transition: all .1s;rn transition: all .1s;rn cursor: pointer;rn text-shadow: 0 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);rn}rn.o-button:hover {rn text-decoration: none;rn color: #fff;rn border-color: transparent;rn background: #00824A;rn opacity:0.9;rn}rn.o-cta {rntfont:bold 38px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rntcolor:#00824A;rntpadding:5px 0px;rntdisplay:block;rnttext-align:center;rntoverflow:hidden;rntcursor:defaultrn}rn.o-block {rn text-align: center;rn font-family:’Whitney’,sans-serif;rn}rn.o-block img {rn width: 150px;rn height: auto;rn display: block;rn margin: 0 auto 10px;rn}rn.o-block .text-left {rn text-align:left;rn}rn.o-block.pad {rn padding: 10px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-top {rn padding-top: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-right {rn padding-right: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-bottom {rn padding-bottom: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.pad-left {rn padding-left: 30px;rn}rn.o-block.shadow-out {rn box-shadow: 0 0 7px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);rn}rn.o-block.shadow-in {rn box-shadow: inset 0 0 7px 0 rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);rn}rnrn.o-small {rn color: #010101;rn font: italic normal 13px/1 Whitney, sans-serif;rn margin: 10px 0;rn}rn.o-small:first-child {rn margin-top: 0;rn}rn.o-small:last-child {rn margin-bottom: 0;rn}rn.o-small.left {rn text-align: left;rn}rnrn.o-small a {rn display: inline-block;rn color: inherit;rn text-decoration: underline;rn}rn.o-small a:hover {rn color: black;rn text-decoration: underline;rn}rnrn.o-bg-green {rn background:#86cff2;rn color:#ffffff;rn}rnrn.o-info {rn display:inline-block;rn position:absolute;rn bottom:20px;rn right:20px;rn overflow:visible;rn z-index:1;rn}rn.o-info:hover {rn padding-left:2em;rn padding-top:2em;rn}rn.o-info:hover div {rn display:block;rn}rn.o-info button {rn width:1.5em;rn height:1.5em;rn border-radius:100%;rn font-weight:bold;rn line-height:1.5em;rn padding:0;rn margin:0;rn border:0;rn text-align:center;rn font-size:1em;rn tbackground:#F6E463;rn}rn.o-info div {rn background:#F5F5F5;rn position:absolute;rn right:1.5em;rn bottom:1.5em;rn box-shadow:0 0 10px rgba(0,0,0,.5);rn padding:20px;rn font-size:12px;rn line-height:1.3;rn display:none;rn width:300px;rn border-radius:7px 7px 0 7pxrn}rn.o-info div a {rn text-decoration:underline;rn color:#005776;rn}rn }rnrnrnrnrnrn rn rn rn Premium Digital Access
starting at 99u00a2 rn trn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn rn All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern rn ?rn rn rn rn rnrn”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start”},{“id”:”nag”,”count”:7,”action”:”lightbox”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“height”:null,”width”:”630px”,”redirect_on_close”:null,”template”:”{% extends “shell” %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rnrn .nag {rn padding:0;rn }rn .nag-inner {rn padding:0 20px 50px;rn }rn .nag img {rn width:auto;rn margin:0 auto;rn }rn .nag h1 {rn margin-top:-20px;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn color:#61bf1a;rn text-align:center;rn font:normal 26px/1 ‘Popular bold’, serif;rn }rn .nag h2 {rn font:bold 28px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn font-style:italic;rn text-align:center;rn }rn .nag-status {rn text-align:left;rn background:#f5f5f5 url(“{{ static_url(‘img-icon-warning.png’) }}”) 12px 10px no-repeat;rn padding:12px 35px 10px;rn margin-bottom:65px;rn }rn .nag-status p {rn display:inline-block;rn margin-bottom:0;rn font:normal 14px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn font-style:italic;rn }rn .nag-status p:first-child {rn color:#ff8200;rn font-weight:bold;rn }rn .nag-status p:last-child {rn color:#ccc;rn float:right;rn }rn .nag-status .btn-link {rn color:#61bf1a;rn }rn .nag-divider {rn border-top:1px solid #e7e7e7;rn text-align:center;rn width:100%;rn max-width:500px;rn margin:40px auto 20px;rn }rn .nag-logo {rn display:inline-block;rn background:#fff;rn padding:10px;rn margin-top:-24px;rn }rn .nag-btn {rn display:block;rn font-size:24px;rn padding:20px;rn border-radius:5px;rn margin:20px auto 0;rn }rn .log-in {rn margin:-40px auto 30px;rn max-width:400px;rn }rnrn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit – count – 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘firstSlide’}, null, null, ‘_top’) }}rn {{ form.btn(‘Save Now’) }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrnrn {{ form.get_general_error_messages((‘authenticate’)) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘login’}, (‘authenticate’), ‘login-form’, ‘_top’) }}rn rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrnrnKeep reading rnu2022 Log inrnrnrnrn#}rnrn rn

You have {{ limit – count – 1 }} articles leftrn

rn Keep readingrn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn Log inrn rn rn rn rn {{ form.get_general_error_messages((‘authenticate’)) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘login’}, (‘authenticate’), ‘login-form’, ‘_top’) }}rn rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!rn rn rn Star Tribunern rn rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeksrn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: ‘firstSlide’}, null, null, ‘_top’) }}rn {{ form.button(‘Save Now’, ‘btn nag-btn’) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn rnrn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start”},{“id”:”x”,”count”:4,”action”:”ignore”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:false,”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start”},{“id”:”multi-start”,”count”:3,”action”:”fly_in”,”mute”:true,”action_config”:{“location”:”bottom_left”,”slide_direction”:”bottom”,”group_id”:null,”display_delay”:”0″,”collapse_delay”:”10″,”template”:”rn.fly-in-group,rn.fly-in-group *,rn.fly-in-group *:before,rn.fly-in-group *:after {rn box-sizing:border-box;rn -moz-box-sizing:border-box;rn -webkit-box-sizing:border-box;rn box-sizing:border-box;rn -webkit-text-size-adjust:none;rn margin:0;rn padding:0;rn}rn.fly-in-group {rn position:relative;rn width:300px;rn background:#484848;rn box-shadow:0 0 10px rgba(0,0,0,.3);rn}rn.fly-in-header {rn width:300px;rn height:70px;rn}rn.fly-in-collapse {rn background:#333333 url(“https://users.startribune.com/static/flow_group/14/slide/1531/1624710778/img-nag-savemoretoday.gif”) center center no-repeat;rn width:300px;rn height:70px;rn cursor:pointer;rn}rn.fly-in-close {rn position:absolute;rn top:0;rn right:0;rn height:20px;rn width:20px;rn display:block;rn color:#FFF;rn font-size:20px;rn line-height:1;rn text-decoration:none;rn cursor:pointer;rn text-align:center;rn}rn.fly-in-close:hover {rn color:#E0E0E0;rn}rn.fly-in-body {rn text-align:center;rn}rn.fly-in-body p {rn color:white;rn font:bold 14px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn margin:30px 0 7px 0;rn text-align:center;rn font-style:italic;rn}rn.fly-in-body h2 {rn color:#fff;rn font:bold 25px/1 ‘Benton Sans’, sans-serif;rn text-align:center;rn font-style:italic;rn}rn.fly-in-body h2 span {rn color: #A4A4A4;rn text-decoration:line-through;rn}rn.fly-in-start-btn {rn color:white;rn background:#61bf1a;rn font-family:”Benton Sans”,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;rn font-weight:bold;rn line-height:1;rn text-decoration:none;rn text-transform:uppercase;rn border:none;rn -webkit-appearance:none;rn cursor:pointer;rn padding:15px 0 12px;rn display:block;rn margin:10px auto 30px;rn width:130px;rn border-radius:5px;rn font-size:16px;rn}rn.fly-in-footer {rn background:#333 url(“https://users.startribune.com/static/flow_group/14/slide/1533/2757847127/img-logo-st-sm-darkgrey.png”) center center no-repeat;rn height:35px;rn}rnrnrn rn rn u00d7rn rn rn

From justrn

$3.79 99u00a2 a weekrn Save nowrn rn rn”},”start”:”https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start”})};