Ugh, this isn’t good at all.
He also forced state health officials to make the vaccine available “free” to girls ages 9 to 18. The drug, promoted by manufacturer Merck as an effective shield against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital warts, as well as cervical cancer, had only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration eight months prior to Perry’s edict.
Gardasil’s wear-off time and long-term side effects have yet to be determined. “Serious questions” remain about its “overall effectiveness,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Even the chair of the federal panel that recommended Gardasil for children opposes mandating it as a condition of school enrollment. Young girls and boys are simply not at an increased risk of contracting HPV in the classroom the way they are at risk of contracting measles or other school-age communicable diseases.
Perry defenders pointed to a bogus “opt-out” provision in his mandate “to protect the right of parents to be the final authority on their children’s health care.” But requiring parents to seek the government’s permission to keep an untested drug out of their kids’ veins is a plain usurpation of their authority. Translation: Ask your bureaucratic overlord to determine if a Gardasil waiver is right for you.
Libertarians and social conservatives alike slammed Perry’s reckless disregard for parental rights and individual liberty. The Republican-dominated legislature also balked. In May 2007, both chambers passed bills overturning the governor’s unilaterally imposed health order.
Now, Perry is lamely trying to excuse this huge blotch on his record by saying that “he didn’t do his research well enough”:
Well, Malkin did her research:
Perry’s former chief of staff Mike Toomey is a top Merck lobbyist. Toomey’s mother-in-law headed a Merck-funded front group pushing vaccination mandates. Merck’s political action committee pitched in $6,000 to Perry’s re-election campaign in 2007 and Merck discussed the vaccine with Perry staff on the day they donated.
And that’s just one of many examples of Perry’s crony capitalism. Left Coast Rebel lists a few more:
The file on Perry’s abuses of power, insider deals with cronies and tax and spend policies is thick, but for a start here are what Texas RLC members voted as the top five Perry scandals which GOP primary voters need to know more about:
- 1.Business Slush Funds:
- Perry made heavy use of business incentive “slush funds” which used taxpayer dollars to subsidize selected businesses, many of them run by his major campaign contributors. Just two of these funds, the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Growth fund, spent over $700 million to subsidize businesses to move to Texas or expand operations in Texas, with little evidence that these handouts of taxpayer money produced job or revenue growth anywhere near sufficient to justify the expense. In fact, many of these businesses eventually downsized or relocated long before they had earned the money Perry gave them, or even went bankrupt with $25 million fund dollars like Countrywide Financial.
- 2.Toll Roads and Land Seizures:
- Perry has never met a toll road project he wasn’t willing to seize huge amounts of private land for and then give the exclusive management contracts to foreign corporations. Perry’s time in office has set records for eminent domain land seizures – over a million acres have been seized. His toll road projects have confiscated family farms and torn communities apart. Toll roads have been used as a massive off-the-books tax program, taking money from Texas drivers and feeding it to foreign financial interests and management groups which lobbied the governor for special deals which produce much higher tolls and higher profits than are typical in other states.
- 3. Forced Vaccinations:
- In 2007 Perry issued an executive order which would have forcibly vaccinated every girl in Texas entering the sixth grade with Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus. This massive violation of the privacy rights of Texas teenagers and their parents would have come at a cost of $360 in taxpayer money per shot. It would have been a huge windfall for Merck, which had paid Perry’s former Chief of Staff $250,000 to lobby the governor and legislature to promote the forced vaccination program.
- 4. The Job-killing Franchise Tax:
- Knowing that it would be impossible to pass an income tax against popular opposition in Texas, Perry promoted the idea of a special business tax called the “Franchise Tax” which taxes businesses at different arbitrary rates set by the government. This tax expands business taxes to types of businesses which are not taxed in most states and in many cases taxes small businesses more than large corporations they compete with. For example it taxes small car repair shops at double the rate it taxes large dealerships for car repairs. It’s a small business and job killer.
5. Scuttled the anti-TSA Bill:
When Rep. David Simpson led the Texas legislature towards passage of an enormously popular bill (HB1938) to hold the TSA accountable for intrusive searches of airline passengers, Perry played a key role in making sure that the bill was not passed. When the TSA and the Justice Department began pressuring him, although Perry had promised to submit the bill to the special legislative session, he delayed submitting the bill until it was so late in the session that it was virtually impossible to hold the constitutionally mandated votes necessary for passage. That way he could score points with the public for submitting the popular bill while at the same time making sure that it wouldn’t pass. It’s a classic example of Perry’s insincere pandering.
I remember that TX anti-TSA bill, and was pretty excited about it. Ugh. I’ve been waiting for a candidate to come out forcefully against the TSA’s grope and grab policies, and here we have someone, who when he had the power to do something about it, he caved to pressure from Obama’s corrupt TSA and DOJ? Ugh.
No thank you on Rick Perry.
I’m still hearing that Ryan and Christie may enter the race…..
And another (former) Republican Governor, who spent her time in office fighting the type of crony capitalism we see coming out of Rick Perry’s Texas, still may enter the race.
I’m open to any explanations Perry defenders have on any or all of these examples of what appears to be crony capitalism. In fact I’d like to hear his side of the story.
An even-handed report by Doug Ross: The Truth About Rick Perry, Cliff Notes Version
For those interested in an overview of PeskyTruth‘s two masterful articles describing the pros and cons of Rick Perry (“Want to know more about Rick Perry?” and “Seventeen (17) things that critics are saying about Rick Perry“), please consider the following “Cliff’s Notes” version.
CounterContempt: Debunking the Rick Perry Pro-Sharia School Curriculum Myth
Chuck DeVore: Big Government: Governor Perry, the Trans-Texas Corridor & Eminent Domain: Do Limited Government Conservatives Need to Worry? No!