State Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the New York Senate Health Committee, and author of the recently passed law that will require all seventh and twelfth graders in the state to get meningitis shots, has been caught with his hand in the pot, according to the New York Daily News: specifically, the pharma pot. And to no small sum, mind you. His investments in pharmaceutical and health companies is at $100,000, while it is also being alleged that he has received more than $400,000 from the same interest groups. Hannon’s investments are a direct conflict of interest and he should be charged criminally. This is an act of using your position to influence and write laws for the sole result of personal gain.
Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County) in 2014 invested in 14 companies that would fall under his committee’s purview.
By comparison, Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) did not report owning any stock in health-related companies. In addition to his investments, Hannon over the past four years also received more than $420,000 from pharmaceutical and other medical interests, records show.
Hannon’s office had no comment. On the part of his 2014 state financial disclosure form dealing with investments, he wrote that sales and purchases were “at sole discretion of the broker.”
If you are representing the interest of the people (which you are if your job title is “Senator), then you have no excuse for this activity. You can’t blame a broker, you know your investments. And even if the broker was given full reign over your financial activity, how could you not explain which investment interest would be direct conflicts with your interest in “helping the people?” This is an excuse and it doesn’t hold water. These investments prove he has a personal interest in passing these laws and that can’t be right. Of course, the caveat is that it is likely technically legal (that’s the crony aspect of politics at work for you).
Back in March, Hannon also secured $65,000 for a hospital with ties to his private firm, again according to the New York Daily News.
Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau County) sponsored a $30,000 state grant in 2007-08 to Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island, according to state records posted online. The money was to help the hospital continue with outreach programs, according to the records.
In 2008-09, Hannon sponsored another $35,000 grant to the hospital that was for “community health,” records show.
Two other grants, totaling $20,000, went to an organization that was working with Winthrop pediatric residents.
In addition to being a senator since 1989, Hannon since the mid 1980s has been a “special counsel” with the Long Island-based Farrell Fritz PC .
The firm has represented Winthrop University Hospital in cases dating back to 1993, and had cases at the time Hannon secured the two grants.
In addition, the firm’s managing partner, Charles Strain. has served as the unpaid chairman the hospital’s board of directors.
Hannon rules the health care industry in New York with a greedy iron fist, without fear of any consequences or repercussions. This is a complete failure of the system, but of course, not completely uncommon. Please put the pressure on by sharing this article or Facebook status, spread the word. No matter how you may or may not feel about vaccines, this is utterly sickening. We can’t allow pharmaceuticals to rule our entire health care system via bribing legislation.
Photo by Teddy Kwok