How to convince the world that vaccines are the ultimate evil. Step one: Buy yourself a Congressman

What do you do if you’re in desperate need of some sort of validation about your misguided, uninformed, fraud-driven beliefs about vaccines? Do you fund more research into vaccine technology and how to make it “safer”? Do you use your money to fund autism programs that look to make the lives of autistics better at all levels? Or do you find a Congressman who will believe your drivel and give you some sort of credibility and pour money into his coffer?

If you’re a reasonable person, and you have a lot of money, and you’re worried about autistics, you would be inclined to fund organizations and programs that look to advocate for autistics (and other people with developmental disabilities). You might contact your representatives in Congress, maybe even the President, but you would know better than to give them any money directly. After all, you’re always going to have an elected representative. There is always going to be someone to answer the phone when you call Congress. So why give money to them? Let them get their own money.

Ah, but if you’re not a reasonable person, you believe in all sorts of conspiracies, and people are making fun of you over your delusions about vaccines and autism, well, then you need to buy yourself a Congressman. How do you do that? By paying between $500 and $1,500 just to meet and greet the person who is most likely to give you a sympathetic ear in congress. Lately, that person has been Representative Bill Posey from the Florida 8th Congressional District.

Allow me to step back for a moment. Look at the situation. If you want to meet and greet the person who owes you his current job in Congress, you have to pay a minimum of $500. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can call up their office and get an appointment. Regular folks don’t get that usually. Maybe if you’re from a relatively small district. Maybe if you know people who know people. Most of the time you’ll end up just talking to staffers, because money.

Now, let’s go back to the anti-vaccination activists who are trying to buy themselves a Congressman. How much do you think they’ve “invested” in buying Rep. Bill Posey? One thousand? Two thousand? Three thousand dollars? According to the Federal Elections Commission, the following people have given money to him:

Jennifer Larson, who sits on the board of the “Autism Recovery Foundation” and is a big anti-vaccine activist who seemingly loves to defend Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, gave $1,000 to Bill Posey. I could be wrong, but Ms. Larson doesn’t live in Florida’s 8th. So you do the math on why she’s giving him what to a family with a special needs child would be a windfall.

Mark Blaxill, who is not a scientist and not a journalist, also donated $1,000 to Representative Bill Posey. Why if not to win favor with Representative Bill Posey?

J. B. Handley also gave $1,000. Mr. Handley is a very wealthy man who seems to be convinced that vaccines and nothing but vaccines caused autism in his child. He is so convinced that he is happy to see public health in the United States on the decline.

And then there is Barry Segal, who also gave $1,000. He sits on the board of Focus Autism, the organization which funded the hilariously inept “study” (more like back-of-the-napkin miscalculations of numbers) by BS Hooker, who also sits on that board.

Wait a goddamned minute! Did two board members of an anti-vaccine organization look at each other and decided to fund and conduct a study on vaccines and autism and come out with findings that vaccines cause autism? I’m shocked!

And don’t waste your time trying to say that Focus Autism is not anti-vaccine. Their own “vaccine” page is filled with anti-vaccine tropes.

This is just the donations that we know of from “autism advocates.” There could be more, but the federal election donation laws are so murky that it is impossible to tell how much people gave to what congressperson or political action committee. At the very least, they gave $4,000 to a man who already has received over a million dollars in donations and has plenty of cash on hand to spend. That is $4,000 that could have gone toward something meaningful for autistics. Instead, it goes to a wealthy congressman from Florida who is in no way threatened to lose his seat.

But those are the priorities of people who think that there are monsters under the bed, who saw that their children are autistic and deemed those children to be lost, stolen, or worse.

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14 thoughts on “How to convince the world that vaccines are the ultimate evil. Step one: Buy yourself a Congressman

  1. What’s the going rate for the Senate Republicans to vote for confirmation of the United States’ Surgeon General?

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1412890?query=featured_home

    “….President Barack Obama nominated a highly qualified candidate, Vivek Murthy, to be the nation’s next Surgeon General, but the nomination was not advanced to a confirmation vote in the Senate because conservative lawmakers and the National Rifle Association found his very reasonable views on firearm regulation unacceptable. A highly respected physician with impressive credentials who would have been an outstanding Surgeon General was turned away solely for political reasons.

    That was in March, and nothing has happened since. Although we believe that Vivek Murthy would bring much to the job, the harsh political environment in Washington is unlikely to allow his confirmation. Given this impasse, and in these critical times, the Obama administration should select another candidate to be the nation’s public health leader. Although the Acting Surgeon General, Boris Lushniak, is well qualified, he has not been confirmed and lacks the authority to actively pursue a public health agenda for the nation. We have heard little from him during the Ebola outbreak. Now, more than ever, we need a confirmed Surgeon General who can speak to the public with authority….”

  2. Pingback: Forget about Ebola in the United States. Focus on Africa. | Epidemiological

  3. Ugh. This makes me want to be ill. Thankfully, I’ve had my vaccines, so I won’t be. This is a little off topic, but I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I had a few people post on my FB timeline a RealFarmacy (real bullshit) article about dear Dr. Doshi. Being the FB police, as I am, I Googled Dr. Doshi and the results led me to your awesome blog. I was able to refute their article with a link to yours, so yay for truth. Keep doing what you are doing, and I’ll keep spreading the word.

  4. Add to this “Dr. Gary”, who donated $5k to Darryl Issa on top of the $40k that Jennifer Larson gave. And has donated to Posey. And made donations to Governor Crist…and free use of a private jet…in return for access to the Florida state medicaid database so that Brian Hooker and the Geiers could spend a lot of time going, “dang, that’s a lot of data.”

  5. Haven’t so far come across any similar sorts of funding irregularities here in Australia, though we do have our fair share of anti-vaxx nuts. One of whom is spouting the nonsense that “shaken baby syndrome” is somehow a cover-up for vaccine injury and doesn’t really exist.
    Another group has had to change its name as it was called the Australian Vaccination Network, which gives the appearance of being impartial regarding vaccines, when all they do is spout rubbish that their fellow cultists from around the world are spewing forth.

      • @Reuben – the amount of money these folks spend tilting at windmills really makes me angry, thinking about what else, constructively, this money could have been spent on.

        • If and when I get enough time (probably over Christmas), I’ll track down as much as I can and reveal their crazy spending ways.

          • Yeah, the amount they spend on wooing congresscritters and slapping together some videos and waging frivolous lawsuits could do so much to provide services and fund research to make the world better.

  6. Given how little people trust congresscritters nowadays, the avx crowd’s generosity could backfire on them.

    (One hopes).

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