Garamendi campaign says mailer misleads about prescription drug bill
A mailer sent by an Republican-affiliated group to addresses in the 3rd Congressional District offers misleading information on a bill in Congress, according to the campaign for US Rep. John Garamendi.
According to the mailer, House Resolution 2190 would add charges to prescription drug suppliers and in turn increase costs for those who participate in Medicare Part D, a benefit added to Medicare in 2006.
The mailer encourages recipients to call a phone number or visit a website to lodge their opposition to the bill, and to encourage Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, not to sign it.
But HR 2190, which was introduced last year, was referred to congressional committees in June, and according to Garamendi's campaign, has little chance of coming up for a full House vote this year.
The bill would require drug manufacturers to pay a rebate to the Department of Health and Human Services or rebate-eligible individuals. US Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, authored the bill.
In a memo to reporters, Garamendi campaign manager Maureen Erwin said the mailer's timing can be called into question, and suggested it's meant to confuse voters about Garamendi's stance and record on Medicare.
"The mailer calls on Congress to 'keep the government's hands off your drug benefits' in the Medicare system," Erwin wrote in the memo. "Someone should inform the group responsible for the mailer that Medicare is a government-run system and has been since it was first created in 1967."
A website listed on the mailer for the NO Medicare TAX Center states it is paid for by the YG Network, which is described on its own website as a nonprofit group aimed at promoting a specific issue, in this case supporting conservative center-right policies and efforts to enact such policies.
By law, such sites cannot coordinate efforts with political campaigns for candidates. A US Supreme Court ruling in 2010 allows such groups to keep their donors private.
"By seeking solutions that create jobs, encourage innovation, instill fiscal discipline, establish a patient-centered health care system and pursue energy security, we can foster the optimal environment for America's businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and flourish," the group's website states.
The site makes no mention of the mailer mentioning Garamendi, and an email requesting further information on the mailer was not returned Tuesday.
It was also not clear how many such mailers were sent or where in the district they were sent to. The 3rd Congressional District, which has a voter-registration advantage for Democrats, stretches from Solano County through Davis to the Yuba-Sutter area.
Garamendi is running for re-election against Republican Kim Vann, a Colusa County supervisor.