September 25, 2011
Do you remember when Presidential candidate Rick Perry said to competing Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann “If you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended”? That happened during the GOP Presidential debate back on September 12 in Tampa, Florida. Well, “uh-oh” Mr. Perry.
Gardasil was the vaccine in question at the debate. And Merck pharmaceutical is the maker of Gardasil. So with that in mind, here, as they say, is the rest of the story.
The day after the debate — the very next day, mind you — Perry kicked off his Washington fundraising tour. And exactly who was one of the hosts for that fundraiser? None other than longtime Merck lobbyist Jeff MacKinnon.
So what about that $5,000 Perry admitted to? Well, it was just a wee bit more — like 6 times more. Perry has received $29,500 from Merck PAC’s since 2000. On top of that Merck has contributed more than $380,000 to the Republican Governors Association.
In addition to Perry’s ties to MacKinnon, he has strong ties to another Merck lobbyist: Mike Toomey. Toomey “represented Merck during the Gardasil decision”, and has now promised to raise $55 million for the Perry Presidential campaign.
So in way, I suppose one could say Perry didn’t lie; it certainly takes more than $5,000 to buy Rick Perry!