According to Wanda Logan, Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown’s challenger in the 190th state legislative race, Brown has proven herself incapable of making the best decisions for seniors within her district. Logan’s growing concern stems from the recent revelation through a sting operation that Representative Brown was one of five Philadelphia state legislators to accept bribes from a man posing as a lobbyist.
Here is an excerpt from Logan’s prepared remarks for a press conference scheduled today at 11:30 am at Booth Manor, a facility for seniors.
“I feel it is important to call out the incumbent 190th State Representative, Vanessa Lowery Brown, on the personal choices she has made in regards to integrity and its potential effects on the Health Care of Senior Citizens in her district….
…Much attention has been paid in the press to the reports of the $5,000 Vanessa Lowery Brown received from a lobbyist who turned out to be an informant. First, let me say clearly and unequivocally that I condemn her actions and will never accept a French Fry, let alone $5000 from a lobbyist.”
According to reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brown took a trip to Florida for a conference in 2011, paid for by an organization called “Women in Government”. Its assistant executive director shares ties to Astra Zeneca, a key pharmaceutical company, The Women In Government employee worked in Astra Zeneca’s government affairs (read: lobbying) department. After Brown’s trip was financed by the group, she said she was impressed by the presentation by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.
Helen Miller, an Iowa state representative and board chair of Women in Government, told the Inquirer that their perception of the issue is unfair. She clarified that the vendors who attend the event pay a fee directly to her organization, and then that fee is reallocated to pay for the travel arrangements of the legislative attendees, eliminating any inappropriate relationship.
Takeda has never made a direct contribution to Brown’s campaign, which would at least mandate that Brown disclose their business and financial relationship in a public record.
Logan says she plans to announce her public pledge at today’s press conference “vowing never to attend any conference sponsored by any pharmaceutical or healthcare lobbyists.”
We’ve reached out to Representative Brown for comment, but have not yet heard back. We’ll update this article if that changes.