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Monday, June 21, 2004

Jeb Bush Goes After Drug Re-Importers in Florida

Posted by DavidNYC

Florida Governor Jeb Bush is cracking down on drug re-importers in Florida. As you probably know, most prescription drugs are much cheaper in Canada. Lots of firms (especially on the Internet) have sprung up to re-import these drugs back to the US at a cost that is much lower than what you'll find at your local pharmacy. Obviously, Big Pharma hates drug re-importers. Hilariously, the industry's defenders claim that American consumers might be endangered by re-importation - because, you know, all those Canadians taking Lipitor and Prozac are just dying by droves.

Anyhow, whether or not the practice of drug re-importation is legal according to Florida law, this strikes me as a major political loser for the state GOP. I know that in my mind, Jeb Bush is permanently wedded to George - and I'd imagine most people automatically link the two as well. So it would seem that Florida's considerable senior citizen population would get mighty pissed both at Jeb and, by extension, at Dubya, whose administration also opposes drug re-importation.

John Kerry - who supports re-importation - should use this opportunity to take to the airwaves on this specific issue & blast away at the Bush boys. I think this topic works in other states with large senior populations, too. Florida, of course, has the highest percentage of residents over 65 - 17.6% as of the 2000 census. But important swing states PA, WV and IA are second through fourth, and several other bigs (like Ohio and Missouri) are in the top twenty. (The Palm Beach Post article linked above mentions that there have been crackdowns in other states as well.)

Like Yucca Mountain, I think this issue is solid gold for Kerry. I also think any ad on this subject could be structured very nicely: Start out hammering Bush for not supporting re-importation, then put Kerry on-screen talking about how he's in favor of it. So you get to work in an attack, but you don't leave viewers with a bad taste in their mouths because the ad ends on a positive note: "I'm John Kerry, and I approve this message because I want to make sure our seniors have affordable access to prescription drugs." You get the idea.

I think this is also a pretty good issue because it's a promise that Kerry can actually carry through on (at least partially), even without a Democratic Congress. That's because much of the law governing re-importation involves FDA rule-making, which essentially lies in the hands of the executive branch. If Kerry can loosen the restrictions on re-importation via the FDA when he takes office, it'll be a concrete success he can point to, to help ward off the inevitable media whore stories about the "failed Kerry presidency." (And yes, those will appear almost immediately after Kerry takes office.)

(Thanks to torch.)

UPDATE: I should have done a little more research before penning this piece. It turns out that the Media Fund is already running an ad on this topic - I think it's rather good. I'd still like to see an ad modeled the way I suggest, which illustrates Kerry's positive plan.

(Thanks to Luke, of course.)

Posted at 12:46 AM in Florida | Technorati


John Kerry supports reimportation?

So that's this week's position, eh?

Posted by: Tucker at June 22, 2004 03:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow, the SSP nearly just crashed! You see, we aren't used to have so much snark around here.

Posted by: DavidNYC at June 22, 2004 04:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Dear David,
I can appreciate your quite expensive efforts to defeat Bush in November. But have you noticed how Bush still seems to be confident even though his poll numbers are way down? Have you considered why the Republicans are not spending as much money on ads. It is not due to lack of access to money, but because they have a back-up plan in the Unverifiable Electronic Voting Machines (UEVMs).

Our efforts to defeat Bush will be wasted if we do not also plan against UEVMs. The Bush camp will attempt to steal the election (again) through manipulation of UEVMs if he is otherwise loosing the election.

Please allow me to suggest that your media ads should be applied toward pressing Congress to pass H.R. 2239 and S.B. 1980 that would stop UEVMs, but time is getting short. (These bills are intentionally being bogged down in Congressional committees.) If it is too late to pass this legislation for November implementation, then your ads should be dedicated (at least partially) to public awareness of how UEVMs will threaten the election. The ads should even assert that Bush will AGAIN try to steal the election with the use of UEVMs (as he will).

I believe that these types of public messages will raise emotion and alarm in voters, as well cast very negative images of Bush, to the extent of pressing the Republicans to pass the legislation to stop UEVMs. What do you think?

Again, otherwise I believe that you are wasting your money, since Bush intends to use the UEVMs to steal the election.

The clearing house website for UEVMs is: VerifiedVoting.org. Please work with VerifiedVoting.org and convey these dire concerns with your sister ad groups.

Thank you.

Daniel Cobble, The Patriot

P.S. The stakes are too high to leave UEVMs as a loose end.

Posted by: Daniel at June 23, 2004 03:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You thought that ad was good? I thought it was fairly absurd, with the froggy old man saying he'd rather go to jail, which seemed a ridiculous claim. Also, if that's really a good line to end on, which it isn't, you shouldn't fade the audio out before he's done talking. We can do better.

Posted by: Happy Harry at June 25, 2004 08:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hmm, well, I thought the production values were pretty good - and it seemed to me that the old man was not an actor, though I could have been fooled. I agree, though, that that's not the right way to end the ad - that's why I like my Kerry positive-style finish idea better. (I think the audio crapped out at the end because of the online nature of the video.)

Posted by: DavidNYC at June 25, 2004 11:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I suggest tying the UEVMs up in court like California and Ohio have done. Even with a paper trail (i.e.: "paper receipt"), they can be rigged. Once a computer gets into the mix, the election is a fraud. Better to outlaw them or at least get an injunction to prevent their usage in November. bush will try to steal the election in the swing states. If the UEVMs are used in those states, I suggest you go after those first. There are other ways to steal an election, but the Diebold computer voting machines are the most likely vehicle to accomplish this task.

Posted by: Doug Starfield at July 23, 2004 03:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment