by Keith Johnson
Following hours of hearing several hundred parents voice their opposition to the controversial SB277, the bill that would remove the personal and religious exemptions and would require mandatory vaccines for children attending public or private schools, was going to fail the Senate Committee Hearing. The State Capitol was flooded with a line of parents that filled the halls and extended out the building doors and into the grounds surrounding the building. One by one people filed in and gave their name, city of residence, and stated their opposition to the proposed bill. The Senate Education Committee held it’s hearing concerning the portion of the bill that would exclude children whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate them from schooling.
The bill by Senator Richard Pan (916) 651-4006 and Senator Ben Allen (916) 651-4026 was facing certain defeat due to lack of votes from committee members. The committee members raised questions about the bill stripping the right to an education to California children because of parents’ decisions concerning inoculations. Despite Pan’s repeated use of a catchy, propagandist phrase “community immunity” and references to the measles incident at Disneyland, the Senators were unconvinced and the bill was going to die in the hearing. I would suggest the extensive line of opposition they had witnessed influenced their decision. Then came the devious twist. Committee Chair, Senator Carol Liu, who supports the bill, threw Pan and Allen a lifesaver and rescued the flailing legislation. What she did was despicable. At the close of the meeting, Liu advised Pan to postpone the vote one week. She, then, asked for a show of hands from the other members. When it was apparent that the bill would not pass the hearing, Pan conceded and stated that he would “take the advice” and rescheduled the vote for April 22. The vote next Wednesday will not have debate or input from citizens. It was clear that Pan and Liu agreed to a “vote only”.
The entire hearing and the multitude of opposition can be viewed here. The atrocity by Senator Liu is in the last three minutes. (Start at 3:38:00)
The frightening part of this bill, besides, the authoritarianism of its nature, is the text at the end of the list of disease covered by this bill.
… it is the intent of the Legislature to provide a means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:
(3)Haemophilus influenzae type b.
(6)Pertussis (whooping cough).
(11)Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department
This would appear to allow the ‘department’ the ability to add any disease it seems necessary and require vaccines that could possibly be dangerous. How many more vaccines do they plan on adding to this list?
To get to the bottom of this legislation, let us follow the money. I prefer to start with campaign financing.
Pan’s campaign contributions come from a who’s who in pharmaceautical corruption. Let’s take a look into the history of Pan’s nafarious donors.
Merck, that attempted to conceal it’s links to many deaths from heart attacks and stroke from Vioxx were running ads and promotions for Nexium that ”caused millions of people to take a drug at inflated high prices”
Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm with 72 lobbyists paid $762 million dollars after pleading guilty to misbranding its anemia drug Aranesp.
These scandals are well documented and widely known. But it doesn’t stop there. Genentech was caught offering secret rebates to eye doctors to persuede them to use Lucentis rather than a less costly alternative.
After Biomarin received exclusive licensing for Firdapse for ten years, it increased the price from under $2000 to almost $70,000! Much worse is the controversy surrounding the death of Chloe Drury. Chloe was refused medication because she was under the age of 18. This did not stop Biomarin from refusing cancer drugs to Andrea Sloan.
Committee Chair Senator Carol Liu is not without her controversies. She received campaign money from the law firm Girardi & Keese. Girardi was implicated in a racketeering scandal that involved bribery and laundering money for judges and attorneys! But, it gets worse. Southern Edison was investigated for prolonged power outages by the California Public Utilities Commission. Not only did Edison contribute more than $35,000 to Liu, her husband is a former Edison executive and chaired the CPUC! Liu did not respond to requests. But, it gets worse. Her husband, Michael Peevey resigned in disgrace after the mayor of San Bruno and others accused PUC officials, including Peevey, of not properly notifying the public of confidential communications with the utility in the case of the San Bruno gas explosion. The disaster killed eight people, injured 66, and destroyed 38 homes. It cannot get worse than that. Or can it? Liu and Peevey’s house was raided and computers were taken in a massive judge-shopping investigation involving Pacific Gas & Electric. Truth is certainly stranger than fiction.
Are we supposed to believe that these morally bankrupt politicans have the right to deny our children an education because we may refuse to inject them with drugs from companies that have paid billions in fines for causing deaths and suffering. If not, you have one week to call the members of the California Education Committee and let your will be known!
Here is a list of committee members and their probable vote on this bill:
EARLY Poll of Senate EDUCATION Committee Members on Sb-277
Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge: YES
Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar: UNDECIDED
Marty Block, D-San Diego: YES
Loni Hancock, D-Oakland: DECLINED TO SAY
Connie Leyva, D-Chino: UNDECIDED
Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia: LEANING YES
Dr. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento: YES
Andy Vidak, R-Hanford: UNDECIDED