For Joe Manchin, Corruption and Greed Are a Family Affair

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Politics & Corruption

Former Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch and her parents, Joe and Gayle Manchin.

For Joe Manchin, Corruption and Greed Are a Family Affair

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Politics & Corruption

Former Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch and her parents, Joe and Gayle Manchin.
Joe Manchin's opposition to the environmental aspects of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill has some connection to the fact that he is heavily invested in coal and a considerable portion of his personal wealth is based on it.

Joe Manchin has moved into the position of doing Mitch McConnell’s job by obstructing forward motion on the long overdue social investment needed to move the country back from the abyss of the effects of the “trickle down economics.” (As a quick refresher, “trickle down” is the fake economic theory originated in the Reagan era that basically says if we make rich people and corporations richer, they will pull us all up. In a word, bullshit.)

It has been proven in the decades since that the money that flows upward stays there. This economic theory has gutted middle class America, made the idea of a one-breadwinner household a thing of the past and magnified environmental destruction while exploding military spending, medical costs and drug prices to name a few.

So what has this got to do with Joe Manchin? Everything. He has personal profit motivations to oppose efforts to remedy this situation. And, as the headline states, so does his family.

Let’s start with Joe. His opposition to the environmental aspects of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure investment being crafted is based on long-discredited opinions that reducing and eliminating the use of coal energy will not help. But the real deal is that he is heavily invested in coal and a considerable portion of his personal wealth is based on it.

According to Vice.com,

For decades, Manchin has profited from a series of coal companies that he founded during the 1980s. His son, Joe Manchin IV, has since assumed leadership roles in the firms, and the senator says his ownership is held in a blind trust. Yet between the time he joined the Senate and today, Manchin has personally grossed more than $4.5 million from those firms, according to financial disclosures. He also holds stock options in Enersystems Inc., the larger of the two firms, valued between $1 and $5 million.

Another factor in the Manchin family mix is his daughter, Heather Bresch. She retired last year from her position as CEO of Mylan, the pharma company that bought the rights to the EpiPen. Bresch led the way in jacking up the prices of EpiPens to the nose-bleed levels they sell at today—in some cases as much as ten times what they sell for in other countries. Bresch presided over not only this, but also the complicated strategy of what is called a tax inversion, by merging with Abbot Labs and thus moved the company and its tax base to The Netherlands to avoid corporate taxes in the US.

This connects back to Joe Manchin in a couple of ways. A Washington Post article from 2016 details how Bresch got hired at Mylan in the first place. Joe got her the interview that led to her hiring. Factually, she started literally in the basement and rose the corporate ladder. A controversial MBA probably helped–controversial in that it was granted despite her being 22 credits short and was later rescinded. As the referenced articles note, Joe Manchin was Governor of West Virginia at the time.

One of the components of the “human infrastructure” package being crafted by Congress is the expansion of Medicare. And this will finally include a restoration of the ability to directly negotiate drug prices. The current law outsources the negotiations to PMBs or Pharmacy Benefits Management companies—also known as the Pharma Benefits Mafia. The largest of these is CVS with a 32 percent share of the drug market in the US. If the Medicare expansion were to pass and the Medicare administration to regain direct negotiating power for drug prices, it could end the price-gouging gravy train drug companies like Mylan have been enjoying. And this would affect Joe Manchin’s daughter’s wallet.

We have covered Joe and Heather’s connections that seem to link directly to Joe’s opposition to the infrastructure package. There’s one more person in the mix: Joe’s wife, Gayle Manchin. Where does she fit in?

In 2016, USA Today ran a piece about Gayle Manchin. At the time she was on the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), having been appointed by Joe when he was Governor of West Virginia.

After Gayle Manchin took over the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2012, she spearheaded an unprecedented effort that encouraged states to require schools to purchase medical devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions.

The association’s move helped pave the way for Mylan Specialty, maker of EpiPens, to develop a near monopoly in school nurses’ offices. Eleven states drafted laws requiring epinephrine auto-injectors. Nearly every other state recommended schools stock them after what the White House called the “EpiPen Law” in 2013 gave funding preference to those that did.

Keeping it in the family takes on very specific and direct meaning with the Manchins. And Joe has demonstrated the ability to cast a blind eye to factors that negatively affect those outside the family circle. DemocracyNow posted a story earlier this year that gives major weight to this statement.

More than 1,400 workers in West Virginia are set to lose their jobs this week when the Viatris pharmaceuticals plant in Morgantown shuts down and moves operations overseas to India and Australia. Workers say they’ve had no response to their urgent requests for help from their Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, who is often called the most powerful man in Washington. Viatris was formed through a merger between two pharmaceutical companies, Mylan and Upjohn. Mylan’s chief executive, Manchin’s daughter Heather Bresch, got a $31 million payout as a result of the corporate consolidation before the new company set about cutting costs, including the closure of the Morgantown plant.

Lead, follow or get out of the way—the last is what Joe needs to do now. The information in this article took about 20 minutes to research. One wonders what would turn up with a comprehensive investigation.

1 Comment

  1. douglas weaver

    I Truly Believe the Democrat Caucus should be discussing Election budgets with these factors in mind. We do not need Manchin. Better to nominate someone else.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Nov 26 2022

Early Voting Starts Today in Georgia Despite Republican Efforts to Block It

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against the Republican Party attempts to block local election officials from conducting advanced voting the Saturday after...
Nov 24 2022

Huh? Herschel Walker’s Primary Residence Is in Texas?

The question of the day, “How can Herschel Walker represent Georgians when he doesn’t claim Georgia as his primary residence?”
Nov 20 2022

Why Conservative Parents Are Trying to Take Over School Boards

Hundreds of parents hoping to “take back” public education ran for school board seats in the midterms. What’s the actual job that awaits those who win?
Nov 16 2022

Some “Do’s and Don’ts” of How the News Media Should Responsibly Cover Trump’s New Circus

When it comes to Trump, journalists—if they are to serve the public interest—must realize they are reporting on a politician who regularly defies democratic norms and...
Nov 12 2022

Georgia Senate Candidates Back on the Campaign Trail as Trump Factor Could Again Aid Warnock

Trump has been blamed for helping Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff win in 2021 when he spent the time before the January runoff telling Georgians the state’s election system...
Nov 10 2022

How Can Congressional Insurrectionists Be Removed from Office Under the 14th Amendment?

There is no question that certain sitting members or newly reelected members of Congress do not qualify for office under 14th Amendment. The real question is whose job...
Nov 07 2022

Billionaires Have Spent Almost a Billion Dollars Trying to Buy the Midterm Election Cycle

According to an analysis released last week by Americans for Tax Fairness, U.S. billionaires who have seen their wealth skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic have...
Nov 05 2022

New Report Confirms Corporations Use Inflation as an Excuse for Price Gouging and Profiteering

Under the guise of inflation, certain corporations excessively hiked prices far beyond what their costs necessitated, further driving inflation.
Nov 02 2022

What is “Christian Nationalism” and Why Has It Gotten So Loud

Christian nationalism is more than religiosity and patriotism. It is a worldview that guides how people believe the nation should be structured and who belongs...
Nov 01 2022

Dr. Oz Employs Jan. 6 Insurrectionists as Campaign Staff

One could get the idea that Dr. Oz might not actually qualify for the Senate since by hiring insurrectionists he has given “aid and comfort” to enemies of...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This