The pharmaceutical drug lobby is among the donors to a secretive nonprofit group that is backing the presidential bid of Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, according to a new tax filing obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, donated $50,000 last year to America Next, a think tank formed by Jindal and his allies in the fall of 2013 and used to support his 2016 presidential bid.
Such nonprofit groups that support a single political candidate are becoming increasingly prominent in elections since the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision — doing everything from helping develop policy to sponsoring advertising blitzes. Unlike candidates’ own campaign committees, political parties or super PACs, they are generally not required to publicly reveal their donors.
Tax filings offer a rare glimpse of the money flowing into these groups because the donor groups must disclose the grants they make.
Sid Wolfe, senior adviser at the consumer group Public Citizen’s health research project, said PhRMA likely made the contribution to the pro-Jindal America Next nonprofit because they “think they are going to get their money’s worth.”
“You don’t give away money because you don’t think it’s going to have any influence,” he continued.
Neither representatives of PhRMA nor America Next immediately responded to requests for comment.
For its part, America Next — which is organized as a "social welfare" nonprofit under sec. 501(c)(4) of the tax code — raised $2.4 million during its first year of existence.
The group was used to develop policy proposals regarding education, defense, energy and health care issues. Jindal is now promoting those same proposals on the website of his official presidential campaign.