"The Walgreen's saga symbolizes Dick Durbin's 32-year career in Washington. His bullying of Walgreen's was a political stunt designed to help only one person: Dick Durbin," Oberweis said in a statement Wednesday.
"It didn't create any jobs. It didn't reform our job-killing tax code. Like in the IRS scandal, Dick Durbin was using government power to achieve partisan political gain. Instead of praise, Dick Durbin deserves our scorn."
DEERFIELD - The national Walgreens stores based in Deerfield Illinois hinted they were looking to move their headquarters out of Illinois and out of the U.S. They weren't moving their stores, just their headquarters, by buying majority shares in a British drugstore chain, allowing Walgreens to set up world headquarters in England.
But the suggestion Walgreens might exit the U.S. to save $4 Billion in taxes over the next five years set off a firestorm. Not only did Illinois Governor Pat Quinn criticize the plans, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wrote a testy letter to Gregory Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO.
"Is 'the corner of happy and healthy' somewhere in the Swiss Alps?" Durbin wrote. "I strongly urge you and the board of directors to reconsider your decision to move the company's domicile overseas to avoid U.S. taxes."
Walgreens' possible defection was stinging, especially since just the week before another big Illinois company, AbbVie Inc., said it was acquiring a British firm so they can move their headquarters and cut their corporate tax rate from 22 percent to 13 percent.
But what's a private drug company like Walgreens to do when they're working in partnership with the government? Walgreens gets some of its revenue through government-funded programs.
Durbin suggested Walgreen's customers would abandon their local stores and go to competitors. The pressure was on from the highest levels in government and it would be unrelenting.
So Wednesday, Walgreens announced they would stay in the U.S.
"The company also was mindful of the ongoing public reaction to a potential inversion and Walgreens unique role as an iconic American consumer retail company with a major portion of its revenues derived from government-funded reimbursement programs," Walgreen Co. said in a statement.
Quinn put out a statement commending the nation’s largest drugstore chain. He said their decision respects the company’s “thousands of workers, managers and customers” who call Illinois home.
Durbin told the AP he's pleased with Walgreens' decision, and wants to see more pressure put on other American companies considering the same corporate move.