FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2020
As Shaheen Portrays Herself as Fighting the Opioid Crisis, Lawyer Husband Represents Opioid Maker Fined this Week by DOJ
Campaign Contributions from Big Pharma and Other Conflicts of Interest Related to NH Opioid Crisis also Worrisome, says Messner
Contact: Carmelle Druchniak at [email protected]
BEDFORD, NH – As U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen portrayed herself as a champion in the opioid crisis in New Hampshire, her attorney husband’s law firm represented OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, which this week reached an $8 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department that includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical company.
Shaheen & Gordon represented Purdue Pharma when it was sued by the city of Nashua in 2017. The State of New Hampshire and the City of Manchester also filed suit against the pharmaceutical company for its role in fueling the opioid crisis.
“While Senator Shaheen claimed she was doing all she could to help New Hampshire deal with this crisis, her husband was working for the company that caused it,” says Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bryant “Corky” Messner. “Her first television ad in this campaign was about the opioid battle, yet she has long accepted campaign donations from other ‘big pharma’ companies.
“Considering that she portrays herself as an ally in the battle against opioids, you’d think she might at least have rejected those contributions, or been honest about the fact her husband was fighting for the other side.”
Shaheen has received more than $83,000 in campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies since 2007, and in 2016 she also worked to speed payments by the Veterans Administration to another pharmaceutical company represented by Bill Shaheen’s law firm, a company also criticized for its role in the opioid abuse crisis.
“These are serious conflicts of interest,” says Messner. “We should be asking hard questions on the propriety of our Senator being personally connected to a company being blamed for that crisis, and her efforts to get government payments to another company that has also been the target of complaints.
“Jeanne Shaheen will claim that she has nothing to do with her husband’s law practice or his clients, but what does it say about our Senator that she cannot see the obvious problems with her husband, a prominent political player as Democrat National Committeeman, defending a company responsible for so much pain and personal tragedy here in New Hampshire?” asks Messner.
About Bryant “Corky” Messner
Raised in a blue-collar family in Altoona, PA, Bryant “Corky” Messner attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he played football and prepared for military service. Upon earning the Army Ranger tab and graduating in 1979, he served in West Germany, witnessing firsthand the specter of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Following his military service, he attended University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and went on to found the law firm Messner Reeves LLP, which today includes more than 100 lawyers, 200 employees and offices in nine cities.
Messner is a strong conservative, and remains passionate about giving back to the country that has offered him the opportunity to live the American Dream. His continued public service includes involvement with various non-profit organizations, including the Wentworth Watershed Association, the Army West Point Athletic Association, the Rise School Denver, and the Messner Foundation, which works to cultivate the next generation of business and community leaders.
A father of three, Messner’s two sons are West Point Cadets and his daughter is preparing to attend medical school. He resides in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.