News & Politics

Pharma Bad Boy Martin Shkreli Is a Big Democrat Donor

Pharma Bad Boy Martin Shkreli Is a Big Democrat Donor
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former company's decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Martin Shkreli, the disgraced pharmaceutical executive who pleaded the Fifth and then smirked and fidgeted his way through a congressional hearing yesterday, is a big Democrat donor.

Democrats have castigated Shkreli for hiking the price of a potentially lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, berated Shkreli during the hearing: “I call this money blood money … coming out of the pockets of hardworking Americans,” he said indignantly.

Cummings might be interested to know that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign in July 2015 took $33,400 of Shkreli’s “blood money.” The Progressive Midwesterner noticed this back in September:

When I was looking on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website about political donations that Martin Shkreli made, I managed to find one political donation that I am 100% certain is of Turing Pharmaceuticals’s Martin Shkreli, and that is a $33,400 donation that Shkreli made to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) on July 18th of this year.


While politicians on both sides of the aisle have harshly criticized Shkreli, including Democrat presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the so-called “Pharma Bro” has endorsed Sanders. But Sanders at least had the decency last October to reject Shkreli’s $2,700 donation, saying he would give a donation of the same amount to a health clinic. Shkreli subsequently tweeted:

The DSCC should follow Bernie’s example and return Shkreli’s “blood money.”

As the Progressive Midwesterner wrote, “the fact that the DSCC is taking money from people as odious as Martin Shkreli is disgusting and not in line with the progressive values that the Democratic Party should stand for.” Well, it’s disgusting all right, but I would dispute the notion that taking donations from rich and corrupt fat cats is not a “progressive value.” 

…if you factor in all the indirect benefits the Democrat Party gets from the non-profit sector, left-wing activism, public and private sector unions, Wall Street banks, universities, and superfund contributors, it has been estimated by Dr. David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin in their book The New Leviathan that the Republican Party is outspent in politics by a factor of 7-to-1.

However, it’s an election year and Democrats probably don’t want their hands dirtied with the blood money of “America’s least favorite CEO.”