FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAN FAROUGH
FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2008 517.999.3646
Special-Interest Justice Cozies Up to Deep-Pocket Donors at Fundraiser
Billionaire Forbes lends support to Taylor, who has record of putting special interests before people
JACKSON – Citizens watchdog group Progress Michigan today criticized a big-dollar fundraiser for Supreme Court Justice Cliff Taylor, a staunch ally of the special interest lobby in Lansing with a bias record of protecting corporate profits instead people, ranging from the drug lobby to the insurance industry.
"Cliff Taylor's idea of justice is siding with the drug industry instead of people who have been harmed or killed by dangerous drugs like Rezulin, Bextra and Vioxx," Progress Michigan Executive Director Dan Farough said. "This big-money fundraiser is an outrage to every family who has lost a loved one to dangerous drugs and shows that Taylor is unfair and bias. Michigan citizens need leaders in all branches of government who will listen to all sides of an argument, not continually side with drug industry profits and special interests."
The fundraiser was held at a private residence in Jackson. The cost for the event was $3,400 per couple seated at tables for dinner, and $500 per person for a reception. Billionaire Steve Forbes was the headliner at the event. Among the hosts of the event is Dennis Muchmore, who is married to Deb Muchmore, a Lansing lobbyist for the Nestle Corp. that is trying to sell Michigan's freshwater resources.
"While Clifford Taylor is wining and dining his powerful friends, people who have been injured by dangerous drugs or lost a loved one, remain muzzled in Michigan, with no way to hold the drug lobby accountable," Farough said. "Cliff Taylor, special interests and Steve Forbes do not represent freedom and justice – they represent special interests and the widening gap between the privileged few and the people who struggle every day in today's economy."
Taylor has a bias history of siding with large corporations and against people. In 2003, for example, Taylor upheld Michigan's one-of-a-kind law giving drug companies absolute immunity when their products kill. Taylor's position reverses a long line of legal precedence that found drug industry immunity unconstitutional.
Michigan's 1996 law is the only one of its kind that gives drug companies total immunity when they sell drugs that injure or kill. Under the law signed by then-Gov. John Engler and which Taylor upheld in Taylor v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., Michigan consumers cannot hold the drug industry accountable when it sells dangerous drugs like Vioxx, Rezulin and Bextra.