The New York Times has learned that Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drugmaker Roche, was able to get an estimated 42 House members from both sides of the aisle to use their exact talking points, written by their lobbyist, Matthew L. Berzok, in the congressional record of the health care debate. And the Genentech folks are the ones who provided that estimate! Proudly! The most depressing part of this investigation is that nobody is even denying it:
"Asked about the Congressional statements, a lobbyist close to Genentech said: “This happens all the time. There was nothing nefarious about it.”
We're not being naive idealists here -- it's impossible to read this entire article without getting a little depressed. We all know our lawmakers are ventriloquist dummies for big corporations, but we'd like to think it's a little less literal than this.
In House, Many Spoke with One Voice: Lobbyist's [NYT]