Action Item from CU Indivisible: Rodney Davis’ Hypocrisy on the Opioid Crisis

From C-U Indivisible’s Emily Rodriguez:

Rep. Davis has spent a considerable amount of time talking about the opioid epidemic recently. For many CUI members, including me, it’s a deeply personal issue. Deaths due to opioid overdoses in Illinois increased by 82% between 2013 and 2016. Between 2013 and 2017, more than 7,802 Illinoisans died from opioid overdoses. My partner of 4 years is among those taken. He died from an overdose 5 months ago.

I knew better than to take Rep. Davis at his word, so when I felt ready, I took a closer look at his record. What I found in his FEC filings left me angry. Opioid manufacturers and distributors are among Davis’ most generous and reliable benefactors. I found our Congress person has pocketed $95,000 in donations from opioid manufacturers and distributors over the course of his career. However, the real bombshell came when I discovered that 3 of the companies responsible for the majority of his donations have been sued for the predatory marketing practices and corporate greed that started the opioid epidemic. These are the very companies my partner and I hoped would be brought to justice. This connection is all the more disturbing when compared to deaths from opioid overdose (see: below graph).

We’ve issued a press release to the media to give reporters the tools they need to hold Rep. Davis accountable. To honor the lives lost, we ask you to amplify this research too:

Please join us in calling on Rep. Davis to return the money he accepted from the corporations responsible for the epidemic– $11 per life lost in Illinois. Compared to the loss of life felt by his constituents, we believe is a small action Rep. Davis can take to honor our grief.

If you’re on twitter, please RT our thread on this topic:
and be sure to tag your favorite reporter to ensure this gets coverage.

>>> Here are the facts<<<<
Rodney Davis is bought and paid for by corporations responsible for the loss of so many lives. Over the course of his career, Rodney Davis has collected $95,000 in donations from opioid manufacturers and distributors. These companies have been sued for worsening the epidemic of overdoses and profiting from it.

— As the opioid epidemic exploded across the country, Rep. Davis unapologetically accepted $21,000 from AbbVie pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Vicodin, a company that has been sued by Illinois’ St. Clair and Cook counties for deceptive marketing of their opioid products.

— Davis also accepted $22,500 from the McKesson Corporation, who have been sued by multiple states for knowingly distributing huge amounts of opioids beyond legal limits to vulnerable communities and hotbeds of illegal resale.

— Representative Rodney Davis also accepted $3,000 from AmerisourceBergen, another company named in hundreds of lawsuits from municipalities for their role in the epidemic, including one case that involved sending millions of doses to a single pharmacy in West Virginia.

— Davis also voted to reward large drug companies with $200 billion in tax breaks while voting more than 50 times to make rehabilitation from drug addiction even harder by slashing ACA and Medicaid coverage of drug rehabilitation programs.

I’ve spoken to CUI members who are carrying grief related to an overdose. I know how it feels speak of your loss only to get a template letter from Rep. Davis in response. I know speaking out can feel like an added burden on top of an already unbearable load of pain, and I also feel the impulse to protect the memory of my loved one. I won’t ask you to make your pain public. My partner was active in his AA community and open about his sobriety. For me, I know my partner would want me to say something.

I know Rep. Davis will accuse me of politicizing the epidemic. My pain and anger is political because my partner’s addiction and death were caused by corporate greed and congressional inaction. Rep. Davis has never had to deliver a eulogy for the person they love most– if he had, he’d know I don’t have a choice. I see Rep. Davis pocketing tens of thousands of dollars from the corporations responsible for my grief, and I can’t stay silent.

Thanks for your help.