Not surprisingly, The Neptune Nudniks let Pallone spin the stroy
By Art Gallagher
The Asbury Park Press has finally reported Congressman Frank Pallone’s interference with the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of a campaign donor.
After receiving campaign contributions from ReGen Biologics, a Hackensack based medical device manufacturer, and its executives in 2008, Pallone, Congressman Steven Rothman and Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menedez , the four legislators pressured the FDA into approving ReGen’s Menaflex knee patch. Menaflex had previously been rejected twice. This week the FDA reversed the decision and announced it was rescinding the approval.
Pallone told the Asbury Park Press that what he did was routine, what he would do for any constituent.
ReGen is in Hackensack which is not in the 6th congressional district. ReGen CEO Gerald Bisbee, who along with his wife Linda contributed $32,000 of the over $50,000 contributed to the legislators and the Democratic party, lives in Connecticut. John Dichiara, the company’s government affairs director, wrote checks for $20,800. He lives in New York.
Pallone told the APP that he has three staffers who help residents who are having trouble with government red tape.
Patrick Donohue hasn’t given any money to Pallone either. Maybe that is why Frank won’t release H. Con Res. 198, a resolution recognizing Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury as the leading cause of death and disability in the United States for children and young adults from birth until 25 years of age and endorsing the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan, from the committee he chairs.
Pallone told the APP that the FDA has mismanaged the project from the beginning. He said that the product is approved in Europe and that, “This is a product that could have helped people. It could have saved people a lot of pain.”
That’s not what Pallone was saying in May of 2009. He, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak signed a 16 page letter to the FDA raising questions about the ReGen Menaflex approval and asking them to review it. That hardly seems routine. I guess the APP fact checkers missed that.
During his Red Bank town hall meeting in August of 2009, Pallone said “Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman are the two finest people I know in Washington.”
Let’s summarize what we know of Pallone’s involvement with ReGen and the FDA so far.
1) In 2008 Pallone received campaign contributions from ReGen executives and then he joined his NJ colleagues Rothman, Lautenberg and Menedez in applying pressue to the FDA to approve the ReGen product.
2) In 2009, Pallone reversed course. He joined Waxman, “one of the finest people he knows in Washington” in raising questions about the ReGen product’s approval and asking the FDA to review it. He did so in a 16 page letter with a signature larger than John Hancock’s.
3) In 2010, while in the midst of the tightest election he has ever faced in his career, Pallone flips again. He tells the Asbury Park Press that what he did was routine, like what he would do for anybody. He said the FDA mismanaged the process from the beginning and that the product could help a lot of people.
THAT’S WHY WE CALL HIM PHONEY PALLONEY!