Musings —06.21.2011 06:38 AM—
Higher drug prices, among other things.
…this column is a look back at the battle of 2010 for the hearts and minds of voters on a controversial government proposal — and the corporate interests that tried to counter it: The generic drugs law brought in by the Liberals just over a year ago aimed to curb excessively high bills for medicine in Ontario pharmacies — and sparked an unprecedented campaign-style conflict. The lessons learned will be studied by both the Tories and Liberals in the coming campaign.
When the chain drug stores and independent pharmacists banded together for a no-holds barred fight against the government, they went to Crestview Strategies Inc., a consulting firm well known for its focus on opinion research — and opinion change.
Crestview’s founder, Mark Spiro, is now the campaign manager for the provincial Tories. A Crestview partner, Chad Rogers, is the PCs’ volunteer campaign secretary overseeing research, messaging and advertising. Neither would agree to be interviewed for this column, citing their corporate policy that prevents them from confirming or discussing any work they do for clients.
Further glimpses into that firm’s approach, and the Ontario PC’s priorities, here and here: “Rothmans also hired Crestview Public Affairs, a lobby company founded in 2004 by Mark Spiro, a Conservative insider and former campaign manager for Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. Around the time the health minister told her provincial counterparts she was quashing the new labelling initiative, Crestview Public Affairs made a flurry of new registrations on tobacco-related topics.”