The Washington Post exposed conflicts of interest among incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Gus Bilirakis, involving the drug industry. Bilirakis and a small group of other incumbents sponsored legislation that benefited the opioid industry, making it easier and more lucrative to sell prescription opioids. In a story published May 13, reporters detailed the amount of campaign money Bilirakis and others received from the drug industry. Reporters also documented the personal financial holdings Bilirakis and others have in drug companies. As the Washington Post reported,
Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.) is another co-sponsor. He held between $4,000 and $60,000 in Rite Aid stock, financial disclosures show, and accepted $77,500 from drug distribution and pharmacy companies.
Chris Hunter is a first-time candidate vying for the Democratic nomination to face Bilirakis in the fall. He is a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor who is hitting hard at Bilirakis’s support of the legislation.
“He sold out his constituents in exchange for campaign money from the prescription opioid industry that literally made it easier for them to push their pills on the street,” Hunter said.
Bilirakis declined an interview request.
Read the full story here https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/why-i-chose-to-run-congressional-challengers-use-bill-backed-by-drug-companies-against-incumbents/2018/05/13/b171594e-4d8f-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html?utm_term=.4336db3172d1