Caremark RX, Phillips 66 keeping Toni Atkins well fed

A convenient set of circumstances

March 23 Phillips66 gave money to Atkins fund. Guess what happened after that.
  • March 23 Phillips66 gave money to Atkins fund. Guess what happened after that.

Caremark RX, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy benefit management subsidiary of drugstore giant CVS, kicked in a total of $6300 on April 4 to the 2020 re-election fund of Democratic California Senate leader Toni Atkins, disclosure filings show. CVS and Caremark have been hit by claims of two labor union health plans that the firms conspired to hide their lowest prices, reports Bloomberg news. Another Caremark case accused the company of “billing the government for prescription drugs at a greater price than it pays to pharmacies,” per a Healthcare Finance account. Caremark has denied the allegations. The same day it got Caremark’s cash, the Atkins fund came up with $5000 for the San Diego County Democratic Party, which is backing one-time Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in a primary race for county supervisor.

Other recent $6300 contributions to the Atkins fund include one on March 23 by Houston, Texas-based Phillips 66. The Texas oil giant has battled residents in the central coast county of San Luis Obispo county over a crude oil train terminal project.

Earlier this year, Napa state senator Bill Dodd introduced a bill to triple penalties that can be levied by air pollution control districts on refineries, including a Phillips 66 plant near Vallejo, which sickened scores due to a petroleum leak in September, 2016. “Dodd’s bill would set the new fine at $30,000, and if refineries are found negligent, the amount would go up to $75,000 per day,” said the senator’s state website. “In instances where a refinery fails to correct a known violation or intentionally violates standards, the violations would be even greater. For serial offenders with multiple serious violations within 36 months, the fines could be as much as $500,000 per day.” But an April 4 hearing was canceled and five days later the bill, SB 1144, was gutted.

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Atkins should just state on her website: "We take VISA and MasterCard."

I don't know what's worse -- State Senator Toni Atkins' enabling Nathan Fletcher's political ambitions or screwing the people of San Luis Obispo and Vallejo who suffer from Phillips 66 presence and oil refinery air pollution. Clearly, Atkins' choices show she has transcended her impoverished Appalachian roots.

The number one job of a politician is to be reelected. Toward that end they must raise money, big money. When you raise big money from big donors then you must do their bidding. Follow the money and you will find who owns and operates the politician regardless of party affiliation. Every once and a while a politician accidentally does something that benefits the average citizen.

The GLTB community must learn that we should NOT vote automatically for GLTB candidates for office. We still need to know about their integrity, honesty, and commitment to the people. Atkins has sold out; shame on her!

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