Dreaming Big: A Republican Congressman ….. for Boulder?
In Peter Schweizer’s new book “Throw Them All Out,” Colorado Congressman Jared Polis is one of the front-and-center exhibits of what is wrong in the scandal of crony capitalist/congressional insider trading abuse. Polis, the Congressman representing Colorado’s 2nd District (Boulder), invested heavily in BridgeHealth, a medical tourism company at the same time he was sitting on two committees working on the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act, betting that medical tourism will go up under the new plan. His votes coincided with the work in the committee, leveraging his insider information for profits. He also used insider information to buy biotech stocks in coordination with his closed-door committee work, just as it was inserting a 12-year production exclusivity clause for new biotech drugs, as opposed to the usual 5-year limit before generic production can begin. That’s a huge windfall for investments like PowerShares Dynamic Biotech and Genome ETF, which Polis made simultaneously with the bill moving forward.
Moving from a 5-year to a 12-year generic regime adds enormous costs to consumers, literally billions of dollars, most of which will be borne by seniors. But hey, Jared got a sweet play out of the deal, all while blubbering that he cares about the health care costs for poor people and old people and middle class people.
The fact of Polis’ multiple insider-trading plays may make him even more vulnerable than he was already becoming. With the once-a-decade redistricting, he now has an increased number of Republican precincts in his district, including all of center-right Larimer County. With the whiff of corruption, added Republicans in the district, and the sheen coming off the green in Polis-promised “New Energy,” it wouldn’t be impossible to see the 2nd District flip GOP in 2012.
It would still require a serious uphill battle, but with the right candidate and a lot of hard work, it just might happen.