Last summer a reporter I had never heard of from the Portland Press Herald called me about vaccine stuff. I started with my standard, “First of all I am not anti-vaccine. I vaccinated my children and one of them got hurt...” thing. Then he interviewed me for an hour and I got to discuss all the corruption problems at length. Seemed like an OK interview. But as is the reality of our world, the hack, Joe Lawlor, turned out to be a poor man's Mnookin, and “Ginger Taylor, an anti-vaccineadvocate from Brunswick...” Cut to two weeks later and look who is sitting on a dais with Paul Offit at the National Press Club being held out as an example of exactly how to journalize right on vaccination. After writing ONE story on vaccination. (Lawler is the new Offiteer on the beat... will he soar like Seth “I hate my mother' Mnookin to teach science journalism at MIT or become he head of a media strategy group serving Eli Lilly and GSK like Trine “Cupcake” Tsouderos ... stay tuned and find out.)
There have been half a dozen propaganda pieces by Lawlor since then, all working to get people excited about the HUGE new opportunity we have to get rid of measles in Maine by restricting vaccine exemptions. Well, I mean, there hasn't been a measles case in Maine in 18 years, so we are not so much trying to get rid of Measles as much as we hope that removing the rights of parents will help us achieve negative measles in Maine. That way if we still get a few cases of measles, we can still have no measles. You have to stay hyper vigilant, you know. Measles is only a tea cup ride away.
So we had a bit of a heads up that this was coming, but we didn't know it would be national and move through the country like a blitzkrieg. But with Posey announcing the #CDCwhistleblower investigation, clearly we should have expected it.
In December I was reading yet another one of Lawlor's propaganda pieces and thought, “Where's the consumer protection?!” Then ran to my desk and whipped out a bill that I thought would give Mainer's a fighting chance of protecting and helping their vaccine injured and vulnerable kids, will full awareness that I didn't have a clue as to how to write a bill or what the hell I was doing, other than trying to fill the gaps that tens of thousands of our children had fallen into. And keep falling into every day.
Then I began step two... begging the few legislators I knew from the Ron Paul Wars of 2012 to introduce it. Lucky me, I found five of them, and they found someone else. I love Rep. Beth O'Connor, and I am not ashamed to say it.