Democratic congressional candidate Andy Kim wants Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) to return campaign contributions from drug companies who are beings sued for their role in the opioid crisis.
“This is another example of MacArthur acting purely in the interest of his campaign and its donors, not New Jersey families. Sadly, this is a pattern for MacArthur, who accepted $400,000 from prescription drug and insurance companies and authored the bill to raise prescription drug prices, jack up premiums for older Americans, and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition,” said Kim spokesman Forrest Rilling. “MacArthur has time and again put corporate interests ahead of South Jersey families. He should return this money—anything less will show he stands with pharma, not people.”
The Kim campaign says that MacArthur, a second-term Republican congressman, received $37,500 in PAC donations from drug companies that have been sued for contributing to the opioid crisis. That number includes nearly $20,000 from companies being sued by government entities in New Jersey.
Among the companies that have contributed to MacArthur is Express Scripts, which faces litigation in Texas for contributing to the crisis. The congressman visited an Express Scripts pharmacy in Florence last month.
The Ocean County Republican also took $12,000 from New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, which is being sued by Paterson.
MacArthur’s 2017 vote against a bill that would require association health plans to offer coverage for opioid abuse treatment has also emerged as an issue in his campaign against Kim, a former White House staffer in Barack Obama’ administration.
A strategist for the MacArthur campaign accused Kim of “trying to change the subject from lying in his TV ad about his inflated resume, again.”
“If he wants to talk about returning money, Andy Kim can start with sending back all the cash he’s taken from radical politicians that want to abolish ICE and then money he raised alongside Elizabeth Warren, who repeatedly voted to shut down projects that sustain Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and the tens of thousands of local jobs that depend on it,” said GOP consultant Chris Russell.
(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include comment from the MacArthur campaign.)