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Pharma Lobbyist, Billionaire Donate To Defense Fund For Senator Richard Burr

By News Creatives Authors , in Billionaires , at January 1, 1970

Facing an insider-trading investigation from the Department of Justice, Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) raised money for his defense fund from private-industry donors, including a lobbyist who used to be employed at Purdue Pharma and a billionaire named Jimmy Haslam, according to disclosures filed with the secretary of the senate.  

Burr had come under scrutiny for stock-trades he made at the outset of the pandemic. The Department of Justice closed its investigation without filing charges in January.  

Along with his wife Dee, Haslam donated $10,000 in April. Burt Rosen, a longtime lobbyist for opiod giant Purdue Pharma who’s launched his own firm and is repping other pharmaceuticals, contributed $2,500 in May.  

Three executives at investment firms handed over a total of $22,500 to the defense fund for Burr, who sits on the Senate finance committee. Four senior executives at the utility-infrastructure construction firm Pike also made contributions. 

In the first half of 2020, Burr raised a total of $433,000, just shy of the $490,000 that his defense fund paid the law firm Latham & Watkins. 

The Pike officials, Rosen, and Haslams did not respond to requests for comment.  

Forbes previously reported on 37 lawmakers who pitched in to Burr’s defense fund.  

Clarification: A previous version of this story referred to Burt Rosen as a “Purdue Pharma lobbyist.” Rosen ended his employment there in April 2020.

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I took an unusual route to get here. In a past life, I worked as a travel and food writer, which is how I got the assignment in 2016 to cover the grand opening of the

I took an unusual route to get here. In a past life, I worked as a travel and food writer, which is how I got the assignment in 2016 to cover the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., just a couple miles from my home. When Trump won the election and refused to divest his business, I stayed on the story, starting a newsletter called 1100 Pennsylvania (named after the hotel’s address) and contributed to Vanity Fair, Politico and NBC News. I’m still interested in Trump, but I’ve broadened my focus to follow the money connected to other politicians as well—both Republicans and Democrats.

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