Congressman Bright claims no connection to recent television ad

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - New ads running on television support some political leaders around the state--including District Two Congressman Bobby Bright.

The ad starts out with the statement, "He's [Bobby Bright] always fought to put people ahead of politics."

For Bright, the ad only helps.

"The positive thing is that it was good," he says.

Call it free publicity.  Bright says he had nothing to do with creating the ad and it comes from a source he never expected.

"It surprised me quite frankly when I saw the ad come out."

The support ad is paid for by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA.

It's also paid for by the Healthcare Leadership Council.

They're two big lobbying groups Bobby Bright was up against just years ago.

As mayor of Montgomery Bright fought hard setting up a program for city employees to buy prescription drugs from Canada.

It ultimately took money away from big pharmaceutical companies that are part of PhRMA.

"The pharmaceutical industry really did not appreciate that, and told me so," says Bright.

So why the sudden change of heart when the ad encourages people to call Bobby Bright and thank him for his efforts in Washington?

Bright says he's stunned they're supporting him because he's a democrat.

"They've always in years gone by been very Republican friendly."

Bright says he believes it's a way to get support from conservative democrats like himself now that congress has a democratic majority.

"They may be reaching across the lines to pick and choose candidates based on their individual records rather than their party affiliation," Bright says.

But regardless of motive, he appreciates the free pat on the back.

"You never challenge somebody who wants to do something positive for you."

Bobby Bright isn't the only political figure PhRMA is supporting.   Congressman Parker Griffith also received the support.   He says he appreciates it but no one in his office is associated with the ads either.

PhRMA was unavailable for a comment.

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