Yes, that $29,800 donation is going to Congressman Issa too

15 Sep

I recently wrote about what appears to be another hearing by the U.S. congress’ Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. If the internet chatter is to be believed, this hearing will be on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. I also noted that internet chatter was pointing to $40,000 in donations made by one Jennifer Larson to the chair of the Oversight Committee. I could find $40,000 in donations from Ms. Larson this year, but I didn’t see the direct connection of the bulk of that amount ($29,800) to Congressman Issa. As I stated in One year and $40,000 later and another hearing:

I found a total of $40,000 donations to Congressman Issa, his PAC and the Republican National Committee though Ms. Larson and her company Vibrant Technologies (click to enlarge):

Larson-OpenSecrets

The bulk went to the Republican National Committee. I’d love to see what, if any, arrangements the RNC has to support Issa with those funds.

Well, I found out about the donation to the Republican National Committee. The Federal Elections Commission shows that that $29,800 donation was earmarked: JFC ATTRIB: DARRELL ISSA VICTORY FUND

larson RNC

Looks to this observer like those funds are going to support Congressman Issa through the “Darrell Issa Victory Fund“.

So we have funds donated to

Invest in a Strong and Secure America ($5,000) Darryll Issa’s political action committee.

Two donations of $2,600 to Darryll Issa directly

and $29,800 to the Republican National Committee, apparently to be used by the Darryll Issa Victory Fund.

As noted by frequent commenter lilady, Congressman Issa appeared at the AutismOne parent convention this year.

By Matt Carey

24 Responses to “Yes, that $29,800 donation is going to Congressman Issa too”

  1. lilady September 15, 2013 at 22:11 #

    That’s quite a bit of investigative journalism on your part, Matt. Well done.

    I’m wondering which “ethylmercury experts” (Mark Geier and/or David Geier, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., or Brian Hooker), will be scheduled to give testimony?

    • brian September 16, 2013 at 00:37 #

      It will be interesting to see if anyone who testifies will be able to explain how the fact that the prevalence of ASD increased following reductions in exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines in Denmark, Sweden, Quebec, California, etc., somehow implicates vaccines as the driver of that apparent increase–but I’m guessing they’ll just stress that a middle author of one study was a crook, although the conclusions that he and his coauthors reached has been replicated over and over again: exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines decreases, but the prevalence of ASD increases.

      • Lori Harvey September 16, 2013 at 06:30 #

        Aluminum has taken the place of the Thimerosal. Aluminum is a neurotoxin. This is why Autism rates are continuing to rise. It is estimated by 2027 that 1 in 2 boys will be autistic. Those numbers are unacceptable.

      • Julian Frost September 16, 2013 at 07:46 #

        @Lori:

        Aluminum is a neurotoxin. This is why Autism rates are continuing to rise.

        Firstly, there is more aluminium in a single banana than there is in the entire vaccine schedule. That undermines the “potent neurotoxin” part of your claim. Secondly, autism is not brain damage and you are being very offensive to insinuate that it is.

      • Todd W. September 16, 2013 at 15:09 #

        @Lori Harvey

        Also, aluminum did not take the place of thimerosal. Thimerosal is a preservative. It prevents a vaccine from becoming contaminated with fungi or bacteria. Aluminum, in the form of aluminum salts, is an adjuvant. It binds to the antigens in the vaccine to keep them at the site of injection so the immune system can form a more robust response to a smaller dose of antigens.

        If you’re getting your “1 in 2 boys will be autistic by 2027″ number from the same place you got your “thimerosal was replaced by aluminum” nonsense, you may want to question the validity of your source. Why, I saw one anti-vaccine source with a graph showing more than 100% of people will be autistic sometime in the future. The author of that graph didn’t seem able to explain their error, so perhaps you could elucidate how you can get more than 100%.

  2. Lawrence September 16, 2013 at 16:16 #

    More actual aluminum even, as opposed to the “aluminum salts” that are used in vaccines….it really is an apples & bananas situation, but I wouldn’t expect the typical anti-vax individual to understand science – because if they did, they wouldn’t be anti-vax.

  3. lilady September 16, 2013 at 16:42 #

    Ahem, I know where Lori Harvey gets her (mis)information about vaccines and autism.

    (Dr. Stagliano and Dr. Trump)

  4. Science Mom September 16, 2013 at 18:13 #

    Pardon the expression but the next “congressional hearing” is going to be nothing but a wankfest for the mercury/vaccinesdidit ignorati. They are going to ensure that those pesky autistic adult advocates don’t harsh their buzz this time. How pathetic that the AoA/GR/SM/CP crowd (interchangeable) has to buy a congress critter to make hay over their raison d’être. And to think at one time these fools were taken seriously and paid attention to. That’s changed and I suspect it’s becoming more obvious to the fraction of the general public attuned to this issue that it’s never really been about autism and the Canary Party et al. aren’t doing a damn thing for autism. Let them hang themselves and take Issa with them.

  5. Ian MacGregor September 17, 2013 at 01:27 #

    Julian. autism in a great many cases is brain damage. It has robbed a great many of the ability to express themselves, take care of themselves including using the bathroom without assistance, and self-injurios behavior is fairly common.

    None of this is connected in anyway to the vaccine schedule. But that does not mean autism cannot be extremely detrimental. There are people with autism who have not suffered from brain damage. But do not dismiss those with autism whose brains are clearly not functioning at anything close to a normal level.

    Brain damage is not necessarily caused by trauma. In my daughter’s case it has not developed correctly. She is by no means an outlier. Millions have suffering the same fate.

    • Julia September 17, 2013 at 03:00 #

      Of course you fully re-define “brain damage” for your own purposes. The consensus says: “Brain damage” or “Brain Injury” (BI) is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. Brain injuries occur due to a wide range of internal and external factors. A common category with the greatest number of injuries is traumatic brain injury (TBI) following physical trauma or head injury from an outside source, and the term acquired brain injury (ABI) is used in appropriate circles, to differentiate brain injuries occurring after birth, from injury due to a disorder or congenital malady.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_damage At least say “disorder”, guy. Why do you want to use an insult in your new vocabulary? Maybe it’s because you read too many pseudoscience sites?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 17, 2013 at 05:39 #

      Damage or a different development. Pick one. They are not the same thing.

  6. Ian MacGregor September 17, 2013 at 03:50 #

    Julia you write:

    “A common category with the greatest number of injuries is traumatic brain injury (TBI) following physical trauma or head injury from an outside source, and the term acquired brain injury (ABI) is used in appropriate circles, to differentiate brain injuries occurring after birth, from injury due to a disorder or congenital malady.”

    I especially want to draw your attention to “from injury due to a disorder or congenital malady”
    So apparently disorders can cause injury to the brain, but not damage. I fail to see the difference.

    If you read my post you’ll note that I did not say that autism is synonymous with brain damage, nor that everyone with autism has brain damage. However there a considerable number of people for which autism has been extremely detrimental due to improper brain development. Recognizing this should not be an insult to any one.

  7. Ian MacGregor September 17, 2013 at 07:54 #

    Matt, if development of the brain is different enough to disable a person’s ability to function that is damage. It does not matter if the cause was trauma, disease, or a genetic disorder. The result is the same. The damage is done. The result is equally detrimental.

    Does everyone with autism so affected. No, but plenty are! Their lives are a necessary part of any discussion of autism.

    .

    • Science Mom September 17, 2013 at 16:04 #

      However there a considerable number of people for which autism has been extremely detrimental due to improper brain development. Recognizing this should not be an insult to any one.

      You would do well to recognise that the “severity” of the autistic disorder is also not synonymous with “brain damage”. It does not help anyone to categorise it as such. No one here is denying that some autistics are severely affected and in fact are fighting hard to advocate better services for them. What purpose could it posssibly serve to label them “brain damaged” particularly in light of the segment of the autism community that already considers autistic people less than human.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 17, 2013 at 17:43 #

      You are redefining the term damage. Plain and simple. Don’t expect others to agree with your unique definition.

      It’s a nice troll technique to start talking about damage. Those with brain damage (the actual version not your new definition of it) are in my community too and I won’t throw them under the bus to make a distinction between developmental disabilities and acquired disabilities.

  8. Scott Bunkelmann September 17, 2013 at 16:14 #

    What is really happening here is Congressman Issa is using Larson as a very convenient ATM for his campaign funds and his PAC.

    He makes an obligatory appearance at the Autism One conference and for his troubles he withdraws cash from Larson and Vibrant Technologies.

    Now he will schedule another gratuitous Congressional Oversight Committee hearing to regarding “vaccine safety,” and another member of Congress will draft yet another bill requiring the CDC to do unspecified and unwarranted research into vaccine safety (for which they will probably also get some sort of contribution to their campaign or PAC), The bill will be fatally flawed, but that is not a problem because everyone knows the bill will never make it out of committee.

    After last November’s Congressional Oversight Committee Hearing (which was a waste of everyone’s four hours) the anti-vaxers thought they had scored a huge victory. Obviously, the hearing didn’t bring the anti-vaxers what they ultimately desired, so they are willing to put up the money to buy another hearing. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The fools and their money are soon parted.

  9. Ian MacGregor September 18, 2013 at 07:45 #

    How does speaking frankly on how detrimental autism is for many make those people less human? Have we not gotten past that? At one time people who had suffered serious brain damage were referred to as vegetables. Those were dark, dark days. Calling someone a vegetable is dehumanizing, saying they have suffered brain damage is not.

    One hypothesis is that autism is caused by hyper-connectivity in the brain. During development the normal pruning which takes place does not. As our ability to image the brain improves we can better test this. Autism is so diverse, if there is any truth to it, it is doubtful in can be applied universally. If it does turn out to be true, I wonder, if we will be able to correct the problem in such a way that the person can begin to learn at a more normal level, or we can prevent the hyper-connectivity in the first place. What a great day that would be. Perhaps it can never come to pass, but one can dream.

    The problem with autism being so diverse is that no matter how much one states they are talking about one segment of the population, albeit a sizable one, the statement is taken as applying to the entire population

    Now much of the discussion is on the use of the term brain damage. I also think of such damage No one would argue, well I take that back. Most people would not argue that injury to the brain from a blunt force trauma should not be called brain damage. What about injury from drug overdoses. Is there any problem with calling such injuries brain damage? I would not think so. Then damage can be caused chemically. This brings me to development. Is not development controlled chemically? If something happens with those chemical signals causing abnormal development of the brain. How is that different from damage caused by ingestion of a drug. There is the obvious difference that the drug user’s damage is self-inflicted. The person whose brain is damaged by a chemical being present for too long a time, or not all, or at the wrong concentration is totally innocent.
    Both however have suffered chemically induced brain damage. It does the autistic person suffering from this type of damage no good to deny it.

    It is possible but rare that abnormal development is not detrimental, but enhances a useful skill, or gives the person a special capability. Such development though abnormal would not be detrimental

    Much of the time however it is a bittersweet situation. The same process which was advantageous in the area of visual processing, also has made it extremely difficult or even impossible to learn basic life functions.

    In the end I would remind everyone that a change in development which is detrimental does not have to be offset by one that is beneficial. The reverse is true as well.
    However we are the product of a long evolutionary chain. Most of the time mutations to our genetic material produce no effect as they happen in an area which does is not part of ur genetic encoding. However when it does happen on an active site, if that is the case it is very rarely beneficial. As it goes against the honing of that long evolutionary trail.

  10. Ian MacGregor September 18, 2013 at 07:52 #

    I noticed I badly garbled what I wanted to say at the beginning of the fifth paragraph. What I meant to say is that no one would argue that injury to the brain from blunt force trauma cannot be called brain damage. The line before that was an unfinished thought.

    • lilady September 18, 2013 at 17:21 #

      Ian MacGregor, did you happen to notice what the topic of this thread is?

      Have you got, any, um, comments about the funding of Congressman’s Issa’s reelection coffers by a wealthy woman from Minnesota who is associated with the Canary Party and who made the announcement on AoA, that a “vaccine hearing” will take place in November?

      Isn’t it “odd” that Issa didn’t announce the hearing on his own website?

      BTW, I contacted the Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a staffperson confirms that a hearing has been scheduled for November, and the exact date will be announce one week before the hearing takes place.

  11. Ian MacGregor September 19, 2013 at 05:50 #

    I did notice the subject of the thread. Sometimes comments are about other comments. I don’t know the wealth of this person in Minnesota. I doubt she has any where near the assets, nor the lobbyists of the producers of the vaccines. Sometimes money and power is on the side of the truth, which in this case lies squarely with the pharmaceutical corporations.

    I doubt many people are aware of the hearings. I doubt it will get any coverage in the press, or to put it another way, it will get the coverage it deserves.

    • lilady September 19, 2013 at 08:34 #

      “I doubt many people are aware of the hearings. I doubt it will get any coverage in the press, or to put it another way, it will get the coverage it deserves.”

      A whole lot of people are aware of the hearing…just like a whole lot of other people were aware of the sham Autism hearing that took place November, 2012.

      It will “get the coverage it deserves”, because science bloggers will again be listening to what the anti-vaccine, anti-science witnesses’ claims that vaccines are linked to the onset of ASDs.

  12. lilady September 20, 2013 at 17:44 #

    Spammer Alert above.

  13. Neuroskeptic (@Neuro_Skeptic) September 22, 2013 at 10:40 #

    $40,000, what a waste. That could buy thousands of vaccines for poor children around the world, saving lives and not causing autism.

  14. Sally Johnson October 7, 2013 at 19:13 #

    Let’s give Issa a similar website to this one: http://www.antivaccinebodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html

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