Fun_People Archive
12 Apr
Shakedown by Prosecutors

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 100 18:03:00 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Shakedown by Prosecutors

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Richard Lamson, MD"

Republican state attorneys general are soliciting large contributions from
corporations that are embroiled in--or are seeking to avert--lawsuits by

Membership in RAGA [The Republican Attorneys General Association] costs
anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, with increasing levels of access to the
attorneys general depending on the donation. Microsoft Corp., which is
being sued by 19 states that have joined a Justice Department antitrust
lawsuit, contributed $10,000 last year, according to company spokesman Rick
Miller.  Telecommunications giant SBC Communications Inc., whose acquisition
of Ameritech Corp. was facing review by state officials, says it contributed

Officials of the Republican National Committee said RAGA raised $100,000
last year, but they declined to identify where the money came from. The
donations are used for state attorney general races.

"I am proud to support [RAGA], and it does not create a conflict of
interest," said Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, who founded the group
last year.  [Texas AG] Cornyn said it was "outrageous" to suggest he would
be influenced by contributions to RAGA. "As attorney general, I will always
take action against those who have broken the law," he said in a statement.
"No exceptions. No excuses."

[BTW, Cornyn just settled with Aetna in a suit that was hailed as a "triumph
for consumers" -- Aetna just agreed not to pay doctors bonuses to encourage
them not to order tests or other care.  However, most analysts including
within Aetna say this change won't make any difference in the way Aetna
operates its HMO business.  In exchange, Texas agreed not to sue Aetna for
actual damages resulting from poor HMO care, and seems to have taken the
wind out of the sails of folks who were gathering a class-action suit
against Aetna and other HMO vendors.]

[So, how much did Aetna pay, er... I mean, donate, to RAGA?  -psl]

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