Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is the top House recipient from the health care industry in the 2010 election cycle, according to an analysis conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics and compiled by the Asbury Park Press newspaper.
The data shows that Pallone, who was instrumental in writing the House’s version of a health care reform bill, received $321,000 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry, through Sept. 30, 2009.
Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group that tracks campaign donations, told the newspaper that the cash indicates Pallone “has an intimately close financial relationship with the very folks who care the most about how this legislation plays out.”
A spokesman for Pallone’s office, Richard McGrath, said insurers’ donations have not led to any special concessions.
“The contribution reports confirm that campaign donations do not influence or affect Congressman Pallone’s policy positions because they show no cause and effect between contributions and policies,” McGrath wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper. “Everyone involved in the health care debate will tell you that the congressman follows his principles, not the wishes of the health care industry.”
Pallone has received more than $2.5 million from the health care industry during his 20-year House career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.