AG Phil Weiser Needs a Refresher Course on Honesty

Greenwood Village, Colorado. – Attorney General Phil Weiser and AG candidate District Attorney John Kellner met for their second debate Tuesday evening in Aurora.

During a heated exchange, Weiser claimed that the millions he got in settlement funds for Colorado was more than any other state because “no state got more money.” This is provably false.

In fact, 19 states have received more money in opioid settlements than Colorado, including states with significantly smaller populations and states with far fewer opioid-related deaths. Phil Weiser brags that he was one of the lead negotiators on the opioid settlement with Johnson and Johnson, and yet, of the 17 lead negotiators and AGs who made statements, only five received less money than Colorado.

As John Kellner explained during the debate, just before the major opioid settlement for Colorado was finalized, Phil Weiser took a donor trip to Hawaii, funded by Big Pharma — and some of the same opioid companies he was actively suing. During his Hawaii trip, Weiser was courted by these same opioid lobbyists, and he returned to Colorado to put his rubber stamp on a settlement that is much less than Colorado should have received.

In addition to the Hawaii trip, Phil Weiser is also the Chair of the Attorney General Alliance, which is funded by these same Big Pharma, opioid companies. John Kellner stated, “There’s only one person on this stage that can commit to you that as the Attorney General, I will not be taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the same companies that I am actively suing. And apparently, that is something that Mr. Weiser cannot commit to you.”

Link to the FULL DEBATE. DA Kellner’s exchange with AG Weiser can be found from 46:37-50:52.

Here are the 19 states who received more money than Colorado in the biggest opioid settlement. Multiple states also received an equal or larger settlement than Colorado with the Sackler family – the other settlement Phil Weiser likes to tout as an accomplishment.

  • Arizona $542 million
  • California $2.05 billion
  • Florida $299 million plus $1.3 billion
  • Georgia $636 million
  • Illinois $760 million
  • Indiana $507 million
  • Kentucky $483 million
  • Maryland $395 million
  • Massachusetts $525 million
  • Michigan $776 million
  • Missouri $458 million
  • New Jersey $641 million
  • North Carolina $750 million
  • Ohio $808 million
  • Pennsylvania $1.07 billion
  • Tennessee $600 million
  • Texas $268 million plus $1.167 billion
  • Virginia $530 million
  • Wisconsin $400 million

** Washington and New York were part of trials rather than the settlement, but still got more money than Colorado.