Peter Rost, who burst onto the business news landscape a few years ago as a Pfizer [PFE 25.32 -0.13 (-0.51%) ]
whistleblower and the subject of a piece on CBS' "60 Minutes", is enjoying a new career as a blogger and a reporter for Brandweek.
And late yesterday he blitzed some of his reporter contacts with this item about the apparent 180-degree change in presidential politics at the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. The former Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Hank McKinnell, was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and one of President Bush's "Rangers"--no, not a player on the baseball team he used to own, but someone who brought in six-figures to the Bush campaigns.
And while the industry knows it has to play both sides of the aisle these days, it's conventional political wisdom that big pharma, in general, is friendlier with the GOP than the Dems.
But based on the campaign contribution record of the new Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Jeff Kindler, it appears he likes the Dems better. You can check it out here.
For example, last April, Kindler gave $2,300 to Senator Hillary Clinton. Over the past few years, he's written checks worth several thousand dollars for Virginia Democratic Governor Mark Warner. Last year he contributed more than $4,000 to the campaign of a Democratic Congressional candidate in his homestate of Connecticut.
And earlier this year, he also supported Connecticut Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd to the tune of $2,300. You have to go back to 2003 to find a contribution to a Republican--$1,000 to Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
I've got emails and voicemails into Pfizer's top spokespeople requesting a comment on Rost's report. I will update this entry if/when I hear back, even if it's a "no comment".