Lobbyists Knew Optimal Time to Introduce SB277
Lobbyists Knew Optimal Time to Introduce SB277
Jeffry John AufderheideNovember 17 2015
- On June 30th, after the passage of California State Bill SB277, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan publicly thanked grassroots group Vaccinate California and the California PTA for their efforts to eliminate the personal choice vaccine exemption for parents. 
- Several unnamed groups also were heavily involved behind the scenes. A marketing campaign entitled “I Heart Immunity” was created after the Disneyland measles outbreak and used as a vehicle to persuade public opinion to support Pan’s bill.
- Analysis showed lobbyists were connected to Senator Richard Pan and the California Medical Association. These key relationships assisted in the passing of SB277.
On the surface, it appears that a group of passionate parents spontaneously rallied together to support the passage of Senator Richard Pan’s California State Bill SB277 – a bill that takes away the choice of parents to exempt their child from being vaccinated. 
Analysis revealed groups and individuals who are well-connected to pharmaceutical companies assisted in an opportunistic marketing campaign which promoted the passage of this bill.
A news release by the California Medical Association announced that:
“The California Medical Association (CMA), American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAPCA), California Immunization Coalition (CIC), Vaccinate California and Health Officers Association of California (HOAC) have joined forces to launch the “I Heart Immunity” campaign in an ongoing effort to promote the importance of vaccines and Senate Bill 277 (Pan/Allen).” 
The impact so far has been limited to the state of California. You should be aware of pharmaceutical companies using organizations, and in this case a state official, that seek to influence local laws in their own state, removing your choice to vaccinate.
Lobbying for the Right Plan at the Right Time
Knowing the groups mentioned above and how they are connected is one critical component to understand how this bill was passed.
Legislation deadlines exist for state bills to be approved within a specific window of time in California.  No person understands the bill approval lifecycle process more than registered lobbyist and Executive Director for the Health Officers Association of California, Katherine (Kat) De Burgh. [5,6]
Katherine DeBurgh – Screenshot from the California State Lobbyist Directory
As a matter of fact, Ms. De Burgh is named in two documents hosted on the California government website. Both documents detail explicitly the optimal time for introducing bills. [7,8]
The first screenshot was authored, according to the document timestamp, in April 2014.
If you recall, one of the main justifications for the introduction of the SB277 bill was because of the measles outbreak at Disneyland in late December of 2014. SB277 was introduced on February 19, several days prior to the deadline.
Kat DeBurgh is also a frequent presenter for the California Immunization Coalition, in addition to supporting and assisting Richard Pan in passing other bills such as AB2109.
Connections to California Medical Association Lobbyists
Two more important connections you should know about were discussed back in April by journalist Jefferey Jaxen. He wrote,
“After passing the Sacramento Health Committee vote, the bill was delayed as committee chair Senator Carol Liu wisely told the bill’s author Richard Pan “If I were you, I would not take a vote today.” At the conclusion of the vote, Liu asked Senator Pan point blank how he wanted to proceed. To this, Pan, appearing to have no power to make the decision, turned to lobbyist Jodi Hicks and Janus Norman for advice.”
“Hicks currently is a founding member of the independent Sacramento lobbying firm DiMare, Brown, Hicks, and Kessler (DBHK). She is also the former chief lobbyist of the California Medical Association (CMA) who Pan, under her direction, was an active member as a lobbyist for doctors before becoming Senator.” 
Interview with Jefferey Jaxen
More Lobbyists that Helped Richard Pan
Jodi Hicks – Screenshot from the California State Lobbyist Directory 
Janus Norman – Screenshot from the California State Lobbyist Directory 
Looking at the corporations that fund the California Medical Association reveals deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry – which should concern most parents.
California Medical Association Corporate Sponsors
Recall the press release by the CMA regarding the groups involved with the “I Heart Immunity” campaign. The inference is the CMA is representing the interests of those who fund them. According to their webpage and annual reports, some corporate sponsors [12-14] for the CMA include:
- Eli Lilly
- Kaiser Permanente
- California Endowment
Analysis shows a well-coordinated marketing campaign consisting of the same groups involved in a previous state bill eroding parental rights regarding vaccinations. These groups included tightly knit insiders, lobbyists, and individuals with strong associations to pharmaceutical companies.
Stay tuned for further articles which will reveal associations to other important groups.
- GREEN Line = Financial Support
- BLUE Line = Direct Relationship
- GREY Line = Temporal Relation