Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson’s post-public service history as a fat-cat Washington, D.C. lobbyist is well-documented. After leaving public service, Thompson made millions upon millions of dollars as a lobbyist for an assortment of companies of questionable repute, and during his U.S. Senate campaign some rather “interesting” investments Thompson has made have come to light, such as his investments in Iran.
However, one association that hasn’t been talked about much is Tommy Thompson’s connection to C.R. Bard, a medical supplies company that is the subject of a number of lawsuits relating to transvaginal mesh patches produced by CR Bard that have been linked to many serious and even irreversible complications. Many of the plaintiffs in those lawsuits against C.R. Bard claim the company was negligent in the Avaulta products’ design and in failing to warn patients of the devices’ risks.
What’s more, C.R. Bard recently agreed to pay $184 million to resolve 2,600 lawsuits filed by patients who said a Bard mesh hernia patch – a device surgically implanted – caused a variety of serious problems, including bowel perforations and abdominal abscesses.
Tommy Thompson’s connections to C.R. Bard are extensive, with Thompson having acquired direct ownership of 1,200 shares of common stock in C.R. Bard on October 1, 2012 at a price of $0.00, bringing his total holdings in C.R. Bard to 7363 shares. At the closing of the New York Stock Exchange on October 1, 2012, the price of C.R. Bard common stock was $104.98, making Thompson’s newly acquired shares worth $125,976.
Shortly after Tommy Thompson acquired his additional 1,200 shares of C.R. Bard stock, the company announced it has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share on Bard’s common stock, making Tommy Thompson’s stock holdings in C.R. Bard worth a dividend of just over $1,472.
But Tommy Thompson’s investments in C.R. Bard paid dividends in more ways than one, as the C.R. Bard political action committee made a $5,000 contribution to Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign on September 21, 2012.
Now here’s where things get even more interesting. According to federal elections laws, campaigns are required to report contributions within 10 days of receipt.
“All receipts by a political committee shall be deposited in account(s) established pursuant to 11 CFR 103.2, except that any contribution may be, within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt, returned to the contributor without being deposited. The treasurer of the committee shall be responsible for making such deposits. All deposits shall be made within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt.”
While Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $5,000 contribution from C.R. Bard’s political action committee, that contribution wasn’t reported by Thompson’s campaign until October 30, 2012, more than a month after his campaign received the contribution.
Thompson 48 Hr Report – CR Bard
So here’s where we’re at: we’ve got Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson cashing in on connections he made during his time as Secretary of Health & Human Services and as a high-priced Washington, D.C. lobbyist, and then benefiting from those connections by not only lining his own personal pockets, but by padding his campaign coffers as well.
While Tommy Thompson’s certainly entitled make a few bucks to put in his pocket, the way in which he’s chosen to do so says a lot about the kind of U.S. Senator he’d be, and Wisconsin would be far better off without a profiteer like Tommy Thompson in the United States Senate. Wisconsin deserves better – Wisconsin deserves Tammy Baldwin.