The Timeline on the HPV Vaccine

by Katrina Trinko

When Michele Bachmann lobbed the crony capitalism charge at Rick Perry, he said that the lobbyist who had impacted him was 31-year-old Heather Burcham.

“I got lobbied on this issue,” Perry said. “I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office. She talked to me about this program.”

Perry, however, did not meet Burcham until after he had signed the executive order mandating the HPV vaccine.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner denies that Perry spoke disingenuously about Burcham’s role in the process, but concedes that Perry did not meet Burcham until after signing the executive order.

Miner says Perry’s comment was “not at all” misleading.

“When you’re talking about legislation, when you’re going through the legislative process, you have people come in all the time,” Miner says. “This was someone who really had a personal, human story to tell on this. They hit it off. And the governor really kept in touch with her, visited her in the hospital, visited her throughout her long ordeal, really had a personal impact on him.”

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