Campaign 2010

Oct 30, 2008

Cassidy Breaks Ethics Rules to Shill for Big Drug Companies, Misleads Voters About Special Interest

Republican Candidate Bill Cassidy (LA-06) claims that he received the necessary approval for the dozens of trips he took that were paid for by pharmaceutical companies while working as a public doctor, even stating that "LSU approved everything." Cassidy also claimed this week that he stopped shilling for Big Drug companies in 2006. 


Yet, records obtained from LSU show that Cassidy failed to request permission for dozens of trips taken on the Big Drug Companies' dime, and only reported acting as a consultant for one pharmaceutical company, Merck.  Cassidy also attended a conference funded by several big drug companies in April, 2008.  Cassidy did admit on WRKF this week that he was paid by a drug companies to travel to France, and said "it is nice."


"Bill Cassidy continues to mislead the voters about his backing by special interests and his long history of shilling for Big Drug companies," said Kyra Jennings, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the DCCC.  "Now Cassidy is even lying about getting approval from LSU for his Drug Company junkets, and hiding a trip he took just this year.  Bill Cassidy is bought and paid for by the special interests and the voters of Louisiana deserve better."






  • During an interview yesterday on WRKF's Jim Engster Show, Cassidy admitted  that he went to a Drug Company paid trip in France, although he refused to admit it was in the French Riviera:


Jim Engster: Did you go to the French Riviera?


Bill Cassidy: Ah, you know I did give a talk at a scientific meeting in France.


Jim Engster: That's nice.


Bill Cassidy: It is nice.  [The Jim Engster Show <> , 10/28/08, 25:34]



  • At the recent Baton Rouge Press Club Forum, Cassidy stated that "LSU approved everything." [Baton Rouge Press Club forum, 10/13/08]



  • Cassidy requested an advisory opinion from the Louisiana Board of Ethics, which found on April 18, 2006 that Cassidy could not receive honoraria or travel expenses, but could act as a paid consultant as long as he obtained prior, written approval. [Ethics Board Docket No. 2006-247]


  • After receiving the ethics opinion in 2006, Cassidy submitted three "Disclosure of Outside Employment" forms for his activities with Merck. Requests as Merck consultant include:
    • Giving a talk on Hepatitis A in Memphis, Tennessee for Merck. 
    • Giving a talk on Hepatitis A in Tyler, Texas for Merck.
    • Doing training programs over the phone on hepatitis for Merck.  [LSU FOIA]