Gore Names Genentech Lobbyist Beier
Chief Domestic Policy Adviser

(April 9, 1998)  Vice President Al Gore picked David W. Beier to be his new chief domestic policy adviser on April 2.  Beier is a lawyer, former congressional staffer, and Genentech lobbyist, with ample experience in intellectual property issues, taxation, and matters affecting the biotech industry.

Genentech Inc., where Beier has been Vice President for Government Affairs since 1989, is a San Francisco based pharmaceutical firm which develops products based on DNA technology.  Beier's expertise in biotech matters overlaps significantly with issues relevant to computer and internet industry.

Beier replaces Donald Gips, who will become a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

David Beier Bio

Agencies Lobbied by Beier
Source: Clerk of the House,
1996/1997 Lobbying Reports.

  • Executive Office of the President
  • House of Representatives
  • Senate
  • Patent and Trademark Office
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Department of Commerce
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Health and Human Services Dept.
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Department of the Treasury
  • General Services Administration

Beier was born in 1948, went to college at Colgate University in upstate New York, and received his law degree from Albany Law School of Union College.  He was admitted to the New York bar in 1974.  He work in legal services, and then for New York State as Assistant Counsel for the Committee on Sentencing.  He next worked for ten years for former Rep Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), a leading liberal on the House Judiciary Committee who represented a southern Wisconsin district that included Madison.

Genentech's 1997 10-K Form states that: "Mr. Beier joined the Company in March 1989 as Vice President, Government Affairs. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Beier spent 10 years as Counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives where he was responsible for intellectual property and international trade issues."

While the Genentech PAC spreads its money around to politicians of both parties, and all ideologies, Beier's individual contributions go to liberal Democrats.

Genentech Inc.

Genentech is a high tech success story.  It was formed in 1976, went public in 1980, and marketed its first recombinant DNA drug in 1982.  Its early success was based on its development and marketing of recombinant human growth hormones.  It now employs over 3,000 people, and has a market capitalization of $8.7 Billion.  Swiss drug giant Roche Holdings owns about 66%.

Related Pages

White House Press Release.
David Beier Biography.

Genentech (ticker GNE) had $129 Million in earnings on $1,017 Million in revenues in 1997.  Its revenues were concentrated in three product sales: growth hormones ($223.6 Million), Activases (heart attack therapy) ($260.7 Million), and Pulmozyme (cystic fibrosis treatment) ($91.6 Million).  Genentech also received $241 Million in royalties.  Genentech spent $470.9 Million on research and development - 46% of revenues!

Genentech Lobbying

Spending nearly one-half billion dollars per year on R&D, Genentech has a keen interest in the federal R&D tax credit, and related legislation.  It also has focused its lobbying efforts on intellectual property bills, since its main assets are patents on drugs.  Also, depends on the Food and Drug Administration to approve its products.   Genentech's 1997 10-K describes the importance of the FDA:

Government Regulation.  The pharmaceutical industry is subject to stringent regulation with respect to product safety and efficacy by various federal, state and local authorities. Of particular significance are the FDA's requirements covering research and development, testing, manufacturing, quality control, labeling and promotion of drugs for human use. A pharmaceutical product cannot be marketed in the U.S. until it has been approved by the FDA, and then can only be marketed for the indications and claims approved by the FDA.

Not surprisingly, Beier, as well as professional lobbyists hired by Genentech, have lobbied the FDA.  Genentech has spent more on lobbying than most companies.  According to Lobby Disclosure Act reports filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Genentech spent $1,300,000.00 in 1996 and $1,360,000.00 in 1997.

In addition to direct lobbying by David Beier, and another Genentech employee, Genentech hires Washington lobbyists.   In 1997 this included the following:

Genentech also has a PAC to spread more money around.  However, Federal Election Commission reports show that the totals are not large.  It has favored the House over the Senate, and slightly favored Democrats over Republicans.  The table below summarizes its contributions to House and Senate candidates since January, 1993.  The contributions have tended to go to members of committees with jurisdiction over bills of concern to Genentech, persons active on key bills, and persons in leadership positions.  The vast majority of contributions went to incumbents.   Some went to candidates for open seats.  Almost none went to challengers.   This table does not include contributions to party organizations, which was split between both parties, or individual contributions to candidates by Genentech employees, which mostly went to Democrats.

Genentech PAC Contributions
January 1993 - February 1998
Sources: FEC, FEC Info (Raymond).

  Senate House Total
Democrats $37,860   $70,704 $108,564
Republicans $26,500   $59,500   $86,000
Total $64,360 $130,204 $194,564

Gore 2000

Al Gore toured the San Francisco campus of Genentech, including a protein manufacturing plant, on January 29.  Arthur D. Levinson, President and CEO of Genentech, hosted the event.  Other quests included  J. Michael Bishop, M.D., Director, Hooper Foundation; John Hennessy, Dean, School of Engineering, Stanford University; Dexster Smith, President, Pangea Systems, Inc.; and Brook Byers, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  Byers is a KPCB partner of John Doerr, who is politically active in Washington, and close to Gore.