We’re used to these in Illinois, although Gov. Blagojevich hasn’t thwarted the legislative process since last October. Get ready. Change the names, and this may be in your state’s future:
AUSTIN, Texas Feb 2, 2007 (AP) — Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents’ rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans raise their children.
Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade meaning, generally, girls ages 11 and 12 will have to receive Gardasil, Merck & Co.’s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV….
Of course, the quid pro quo:
Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.
Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.
Perry also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.
[Hat tip: Reader Michelle P.]