San Francisco Chronicle Examines Willie Brown’s Work on Yes on 78 Campaign
Lawyer, television pundit and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (D) has been paid $450,000 by the pharmaceutical industry for work including strategy development for the Yes on 78-No on 79 campaign, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Matier/Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6).
Proposition 78 would establish a voluntary prescription drug discount plan for state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. The measure is supported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Proposition 79, a measure supported by Health Access California and a coalition of labor groups, would require drug makers to participate in a prescription drug discount program or face exclusion from the Medi-Cal formulary in some cases. To qualify, state residents' annual incomes could not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. State residents who spend more than 5% of their annual income on health care also would be eligible to participate in Proposition 79's drug discount program. In addition, people could sue a pharmaceutical company if they believe it is participating in illegal pricing practices (California Healthline, 11/4).
Since March, Brown has been "plot[ting] strategy" for the campaign, including the negotiation of "a truce between the drug companies and the state's trial lawyers to keep the lawyers out of the initiative battle," the Chronicle reports.
In addition, the Chronicle reports that Brown has "advised the campaign on notable minorities who should be brought on board" as supporters of Proposition 78, such as campaign co-chair and Assembly member Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton), California State Conference of the NAACP President Alice Huffman and public relations consultant Jose Hermocillo (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6).