The Center for Public Integrity has issued an update to a story they published yesterday about drug industry campaign donations. Previously, the Center for Public Integrity had reported that the drug company lobby “PhRMA” provided the primary financial support for TEA Party Sen. Jason Priest’s “Montana Growth Network.”
Late Friday afternoon, the Center for Public Integrity issued a new story saying that their previous report was incorrect. I had blogged about the old report here. This post has been updated to reflect that correction. The Center for Public Integrity had previously reported that $500,000 in PhRMA cash went to Jason Priest’s “Montana Growth Network.”
In fact, the money actually went to an organization called “Montana Growth” which CPI reports is linked to a PR firm called Hilltop Public Solutions. That group has an office in Billings, MT.
When contacted about the money, Hilltop refused to answer questions:
When the Center for Public Integrity called the D.C. office of Hilltop Public Solutions to inquire about Montana Growth, an intern who answered the phone said, “We don’t take calls for that group here.”
Schuyler, via email, directed the Center to “firstname.lastname@example.org” — bigskygrowth.org is a Web domain name that was created Friday, shortly after the public relations firm was contacted by the Center, according to a website registry report.
An unattributed reply came back that stated: “Thank you for your questions. It is the organization’s policy to not publicly comment on its advocacy or budget.”
In 2010 the group, formerly known as “Economy Forward” spent $175,000 on television ads for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.