First, a brief foray into the wayback machine:
Gov. Perry Establishes HPV Vaccination Program for Young Women
Vaccine will save lives of Texas women by preventing cervical cancer caused by HPV
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued an executive order directing the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to adopt rules requiring all girls age 11 and 12 to receive the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prior to entering sixth grade, effective September 2008. The executive order also directs HHSC and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to make the vaccine immediately available to eligible young females through the Texas Vaccines for Children program for young women ages 9 to 18, and through Medicaid for women ages 19 to 21.
Well, OK, that certainly sounds compassionate and pro-active and all that, but it's a bit weird since, well, Perry is about as hard-right as you can get and you can kind of predict the backlash from his normal, Bible-whomping supporters:
Gov Perry's HPV vaccination order angers pro-family group
By Jim Brown
February 6, 2007
(AgapePress) -- A Texas pro-family group says Governor Rick Perry's executive order mandating HPV shots for schoolgirls entering sixth-grade not only usurps the authority of the State Legislature, but also the rights of parents. In addition, the American College of Pediatricians has recommended against the vaccine for young girls.
A conservative group in Texas is raising strong objections to Republican Governor Rick Perry's executive order mandating HPV shots for 11- and 12-year-old female students.
I mean, really, it's not like you couldn't see that reaction coming a mile away. So, why this sudden, rather uncharacteristic (and notably pricey) neo-con obsession with preventing HPV? Oh ... riiiiiiiight:
Then, after the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, passed an executive order mandating vaccination for all girls entering sixth grade, Canavan learned something that shocked the former director of the State Ethics Commission: She discovered that [Women in Government] had taken funding from Merck.
On March 2nd, Canavan resigned from WIG. "An organization that stands to profit, like a pharmaceutical company, shouldn't be driving the health agenda in public realm," said Canavan. "You see so many front organizations, I'm not going to say Women in Government is one, but it matters who's funding them. My early training emphasized doing the right thing and being guided by conscience."
What Boland and Canavan had come to realize was that the Florida conference presentations had been part of a state-by-state lobbying campaign spearheaded by WIG to support Merck's efforts to make Gardasil mandatory. WIG members were well placed to promote bills in state legislatures or help convince governors to promote that agenda. But revelations of money trails and the rush to make a new vaccine mandatory created a backlash and forced Merck, on February 20th, to publicly abort its lobbying campaign for mandatory vaccination of school girls.
Y'all know where this is going, don't you? Yes, you do. From worthless hack and sleazy propagandist Sandy Crux's list of Stephen Harper's "accomplishments" (and by "accomplishments," we mean stuff he hasn't actually done yet), we read:
To offer Cervical cancer protection — $300 million allocated to protect women from cancer of the cervix; (Link)
Wait ... wait ... wait ... ah, there we go:
Merck Lobbyist Tied To Canadian PM, Who Agrees To Pay For Gardasil
First Texas, now Canada.
A lobbyist who until 2004 worked as senior policy advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was hired last month by Merck, which stands to benefit from $300 million in newly announced federal funding for a vaccination program to prevent - that’s right - cervical cancer. Merck, for those who somehow can’t recall, sells the Gardasil HPV vaccine.
Ken Boessenkool last month registered to lobby the federal government on immunization policy on behalf of Merck Frosst Canada. And on Monday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced in his budget statement that Canada will make $300 million available to provinces and territories to pay for the costs of vaccinating girls and young women against HPV. Is this a coincidence?
Not to toot my own horn but that is some damned fine detective work, if I do say so myself. Admittedly, it's not as ground-breaking as poking around in Cindy Sheehan's snatch, but I do what I can.
BONUS TRACK: Of course, I'm not the first person who's written on this topic. Here's the Ottawa Petfinder from last year:
A lobbyist with past ties to Prime Minister Stephen Harper was retained last month by the drug company that stands to benefit from a newly announced $300 million in federal funding for a vaccination program to prevent cervical cancer.
Ken Boessenkool, who served as Mr. Harper's senior policy adviser until 2004, registered to lobby the federal government on immunization policy on behalf of Merck Frosst Canada.
And, from that same article, we once again have staunch wingnut supporters and normally loyal Harperoids wondering what the fuck is going on here because, once again, it just doesn't make any sense:
The Harper government's decision to fund the HPV vaccination surprised some observers, particularly with the negative response from some conservative groups against Merck's efforts to win support for the vaccine in the U.S. Faced with a strong backlash, the company recently suspended its U.S. lobbying efforts.
Well, now you know.