Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rick Perry Has Far More Financial Ties to Merck, Maker of HPV Vaccine, Than He Admits

Last night at the CNN Republican debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was forced to defend his executive order to administer the vaccine Gardasil to young women in his state. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in particular said the effort was an example of “crony capitalism,” and that Perry was too cosy with the drug company poised to benefit from the decision. Perry dismissed the comment, stating: “The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raised about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”

Regardless of the debate over administering the vaccine, there is no doubt that Perry grossly misrepresented the influence of Merck in his administration. For one thing, Perry has actually accepted $29,500 from the company’s PAC, and the Republican Governor Association, under Perry’s watch, took in $350,000 from Merck since 2006. Moreover, Mike Toomey, an Austin lobbyist that represented Merck during the Gardasil decision, has promised to raise $55 million to back Perry’s presidential bid using an independent so-called SuperPAC.

The Merck connections don’t end there.READ MORE

No comments: