The letter, which was obtained by The New York TimesSinema condemns her continued opposition to backing parts of President Joe Biden’s ambitious $3.5 trillion social policy bill to expand the US safety net, education, climate action and tax plan.
In addition, the vets denounce Sinema’s hostility to crushing the filibuster, a rule that would make it easier to push legislation through Congress with a simple majority vote.
“You have become one of the main obstacles to progress because you are accountable to major donors rather than to your own people,” the letter reads. “We should not be buying a representation from you, and your inability to assist your people and see their urgent needs is alarming,” she added.
Sinema is facing a world of outrage from Democrats (both progressives and moderates) over her recent behavior. Her temperamental communication with her Senate colleagues and her recent trip to Europe to raise money has left her beginning to resent her home state.
And it’s no surprise to anyone, her polls show an unfavorable opinion of her and a real chance that she will lose her seat in 2024.
“Democrats desperately tried to help her win the seat, and now we feel like, what was it for?” Sylvia González Andersh, one of the veterans who signed the letter, told the Time. “Nobody knows what she’s thinking because she doesn’t tell anyone. It’s very sad to think that someone you’ve worked so hard for to get elected isn’t even willing to listen.”
Common Defense posted a seven-figure ad buy to encourage Sinema to get behind the Build Back America bill, and according to the Time, has plans to invest another seven figures for a new place.
“While it is unfortunate that apparent disagreements on individual policy issues led to this decision,” Sinema said in a statement on the letter. She added: “I thank them for their service and will continue to work every day to deliver for the veterans of Arizona who sacrificed so much to keep us safe.”
Her lack of open communication remains a problem for the unfathomable senator.
A video of several activists confronting Sinema in a bathroom recently went viral. The youth organizers of Living United for Change (LUCHA) followed the senator to the bathroom after she refused to speak to them.
LUCHA Communications Manager César Fierros told The Hill via email: “Senator Sinema is ignoring us and all the people who have fought hardest to elect her for years.” He added: “She has declined our requests, ignored our calls and closed her office to her constituents. She hasn’t had a public event or town hall in years. Nobody wants to meet their senator in the toilet. But it seems there is a price tag of several hundred thousand dollars to meet her elsewhere.”
Ultimately, Sinema has some very disturbing relationships. Starting with its supporters, but also with the pharmaceutical industry. And her consistent and recalcitrant opposition to measures to lower drug prices may stem from the hundreds of thousands of dollars she has received from pharmaceutical and health companies over the past five years.
According to Politico reporting, Sinema has raised more money ($1.1 million) in the past three months than any quarter she’s been a senator — and most of it came from the pharmaceutical and financial sectors during the time she’s been on strike, dodging and traveling. .
Her individual donors are some of the big names in the pharmaceutical industry.
Top donors included the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Gilead, Daniel O’Day, who gave $5,000 last quarter. Another $2,900 came in from Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks. Merck’s executive chairman of the board, Kenneth C. Frazier, also gave $2,900, as did Bristol Myers Squibb’s chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio. Genentech CEO Alexander Hardy gave $2,500. Meanwhile, Jennifer Bryant, Senior Vice President for Federal Advocacy Anne Esposito and Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Debra DeShong each gave $1,000.
Sinema campaigned to lower drug prices and boasted on its website about fighting to keep “life-saving drugs” affordable. But now she seems to have taken the money and ran away, leaving those who put her in office out of luck.
“You made us hold the bag and said you were going to do something about Big Pharma,” Andersh told the… Time.