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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Conflict of Interest? Dodd's Wife Is on Medical Company Boards While Dodd Pushes Healthcare Reform

There is no chance of collusion here.

The wife of a senator playing a lead role on a national health care overhaul sits on the boards of three health care companies, one of several examples of lawmakers with ties to the medical industry.

Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of Sen. Chris Dodd, serves on the boards of Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cardiome Pharma Corp., and Brookdale Senior Living, their Securities and Exchange Commission filings and Web sites show.

Sen. Dodd, D-Conn., is filling in for ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will soon start work on a health care bill.

If his work with the mortgage industry is any indication, we should expect the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and other watchdog groups are to be very busy over the next few months:

A complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, led the Senate Ethics Committee to begin looking at mortgages that Dodd and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., received from Countrywide Financial Corp.

The controversy involved a Countrywide "VIP" program for "friends of Angelo," Countrywide's then-chief executive Angelo Mozilo. The SEC filed a lawsuit this month accusing Mozilo of civil fraud and illegal insider trading.

Let's also not forget about his relationship with AIG.

While there are other committee members as well, shouldn't they have chosen someone that doesn't have such a long history of corruption? It is just inviting scandals into the healthcare reform process.

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