What is wrong with these groups? They constantly fail to understand the separation of federal funds and political endorsement. Funding should be yanked immediately for any group that mixes the two.
Lately, stories of politics and flu vaccinations have led newscasts and dominated front pages of newspapers - but now a federally funded group finds itself in a mess after mixing the two.
Carolina Medical Review, a Columbia-based group that gets federal money to promote immunizations, sent bulk mail to six of South Carolina's poorest counties earlier this month promoting its "Vaccinate & Vote" program.
The mailing encourages people to get flu shots on Nov. 2 and says "flu shots will be given in your county on Election Day. ... You don't have to vote to get a vaccine, and you don't have to get a vaccine to vote."
The mailing "borderlines on despicable," state Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson said Tuesday.
The notices went out Oct. 1 to 46,000 Medicare recipients in six rural counties that federal data show have low rates of flu vaccination.
"The insinuation is that 'Come on and vote, and we'll vaccinate you for the flu.' That, in the electoral process, to me, just reeks of irresponsibility and certainly seems politically motivated to me," Dawson said.
John Kirkland, 73, of Bamberg said he received one of the mailings about 10 days ago. He questioned the legality of using vaccinations as an incentive for voting. "I hope somebody is investigating it," he said.
Hat tip: Backcountry Conservative
I didn't see an endorsement in the article anywhere... just the targeted counties could be construed as being going after the tradional Democratic base. Even if it were sent to other counties it could also be a factor in causing people to be ticked off when they show up to the polls and can't get a shot.
Posted by: Jeff on October 21, 2004 12:36 PM