Taking up where we left off last Thursday…
The Committee for Research, Treatments and Cures is now up to $907,500 in campaign contributions.
Since Thursday, the committee reported four contributions totaling $127,500, to augment the $780,000 that the committee had reported previously.
(Contributions of $5,000 or more must be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission within 48 hours of receipt.)
If you will recall, there had been no contributions of less than $10,000. Now, there’s one: The law firm Stinson Morrison Hecker gave $7,500. Cheapskates.
Other recent contributions:
St. Luke’s Foundation, $10,000
Children’s Mercy Hospital, $100,000
William Gautreaux, a top officer at Inergy LP, $10,000.
Inergy’s chairman and c.e.o., John G. Sherman, gave $100,000 earlier.
(For your convenience, I have listed all the earlier contributions at the bottom of this post.)
Of course, St. Luke’s Health System and Children’s Mercy are two of the establishments — along with UMKC — that would reap hundreds of millions of dollars from the proposed half-cent sales tax for “translational medical research.” Election Day is Nov. 5.
It makes perfect sense that St. Luke’s and Children’s Mercy would put up tens of thousands now to ensure millions later. The capper would be if UMKC, a state-funded school, somehow weighed in with a contribution.
You have to ask yourself what some of these companies and individuals expect to get in return for their deep-pocketed support of the tax proposal.
Allow me to hazard a couple of educated guesses:
:: The new Translational Medicine Institute of Jackson County would have its home on Hospital Hill, and the Hall Family Foundation, along with individual family members, has pledged $75 million to build it (provided that voters approve the tax). Some company is going to have to construct the building, right? Hmmmm…I wonder which construction firm that would be? Oh, yeah, JE Dunn, which, as you can see below, has given $100,000 to the campaign committee. (The institute would be run by Board of Directors that would not have to award projects to the “lowest and best” bidders.)
:: At least three other boards would be involved in overseeing the institute or keeping an eye on the Board of Directors, so, naturally, a lot of legal contracts and ongoing representation would be needed. Who might the board turn to? Why, I’m sure they’d consider Wagstaff & Cartmell, Husch Blackwell and the Polsinelli firm to be fine, fine candidates. (And none of those law firms should worry; there’ll be plenty of business to go around.)
:: I would think these “rock star” researchers that are to be hired would need a lot of insurance, just in case, say, they came up with some treatments that ended up harming people…Well, hey, hey, lookie here! We have Lockton insurance to provide coverage. (The armada of lawyers also would jump into action, of course.)
Oh, my…All the money and all the possibilities make my head spin.
But, wait a minute, are any of these wheeler dealers thinking about the thousands of Jackson County residents who are not making enough money to qualify for Medicaid coverage but who would have to pay an extra $5 or so each month in sales taxes?
Oh, and thanks so much to the Missouri General Assembly for refusing in this year’s session to expand Medicaid, even though the federal government would have picked up the tab.
If the legislature had voted to expand Medicaid, many of those who are not making enough money to qualify would, indeed, be picked up by Medicaid.
It all makes me reflect on the quote that the Rev. John Wandless, a member of our Committee to Stop a Bad Cure, gave me recently:
“The one percent is always ready to tax poor people.”
Here are the earlier contributions to the Committee for Research Treatment and Cures:
– Wagstaff & Cartmell law firm, $10,000
– Husch Blackwell law firm, $10,000
– Irvine O. Hockaday Jr., former Hallmark Cards c.e.o., two contributions of $10,000 each
– Robert Kipp, former Kansas City city manager and former Crown Center Development president, $50,000.
– Tom McDonnell, retired DST c.e.o., $25,000
– Dr. L. Patrick James, board member of the Kansas city Area Life Sciences Institute, $10,000
– St. Luke’s Health System, $10,000
– KCP&L, $25,000
– Polsinelli law firm, $10,000
– John Sherman, chairman and c.e.o. of Inergy LP, $100,000
– Hallmark Global, $100,000
– J.E. Dunn Construction, $100,000
– The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, two contributions of $100,000 each
– Lockton Insurance, $10,000
– Donald Hall, $100,000
Be sure to see the latest post — “KC Area Already Awash in Medical Research Dollars” — on the stopabadcure.org website.
(New posts go up frequently, keeping the presses running almost continuously.)