Pharma lobbyist Evan Morris helped Jersey Dems but also helped himself
The must-read story for the political class this week is “The Rise and Fall of a K Street Renegade” from the Wall Street Journal. In brutal, delicious detail—the $2,000 bottles of wine (buy one and the second is free!), the $300,000 mahogany speedboat called Mulligan (a golf term to go with the eight private golf club memberships)—Brody Mullins details the spectacular rise and tragic fall of pharma lobbyist Evan Morris. Morris lived a life that would make Jack Abramoff blush and the article suggests that consultants who participated in the kickback scheme could face “fraud or other charges,” with federal prosecutors already showing evidence to a grand jury.
The lobbyist himself, however, won’t be facing any charges. Morris, just 38 and with a bottle of Petrus by his side, shot himself in July 2015, just as Roche lawyers finally noticed massive amounts of money being paid to consultants who seemed to be lining Morris’ pockets in return.
Naturally, for a political story this juicy, there’s a Jersey angle. The story includes a passage in which Morris helps the Washington trade group Biotechnology Innovation Organization hire former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for its 2014 convention. She received $335,000 for her appearance and he arranged additional six-figure donations to the Clinton Foundation. But that largesse was simply a continuation of earlier Clinton-reflected glory, which brings us to Hudson County.