Bad Medicine for Bill White

Conservatives won't let Mayor White "inject" this election with his voting drive "bug." (See, what we're doing here is playing off the immunization theme...)

Score one for local Republicans...

Today, GOP/conservative patriots helped put a stop to what's clearly a liberal plot to woo senior citizens by dangling flu shots in front of them.

Stymied, Mayor Bill White halted a drive to offer immunizations at early voting sites in primarily Hispanic and black neighborhoods.

The City of Houston and Amerigroup Foundation secured 3,000 doses of flu vaccine with funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic, health care group. (If that ain't code for "bleeding heart liberal," I don't know what is.)

But conservatives cried foul and planned a press conference earlier today. There has also been talk of a lawsuit. Mayor White, who wouldn't specify who threatened the suit, opted to bow out at a morning press conference:

"I don't want to have to spend more money in defending a baseless lawsuit than we're giving away in vaccine — or allow anybody to question the integrity of the political process."

I spoke to Frank Michel, communications director for the Mayor's Office, to see if he could speak to his boss's nefarious plan. Michel did his best Tony Snow, as you can plainly see. -- Steven Devadanam

Steven Devadanam: So if this really isn't a voting scheme that Republicans have uncovered, why is the mayor pulling the plug on this program?

Frank Michel: It should be noted that Beverly Kaufman, county clerk and a Republican, had no problem with this program. So close to the election, people obviously want to paint a picture of impropriety. We don't want to contribute to any such impression, nor did we want to spend $20,000 or $30,000 defending a baseless lawsuit.

Baseless? Why, because it caught Democrats trying to lure seniors into voting for them?

FM: No one has to vote. This program targeted senior citizens, who are more likely to get the flu, and more likely to be low-income. Many of these seniors have trouble with transportation. The idea was to make this more convenient for them. The shots are administered in completely separate rooms. The nurses are trained to give medical and public health service.

And they're trained to stump for area Democrats. Just say it.

FM: Um, no. The nurses are trained to give medical services and public health services.

What happens to the shots now?

FM: We will keep whatever shots are left over after today and put them in a health clinic. They money left over will be sent to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Wait, after today? The shots weren't confiscated immediately? How many voters have been swayed to the left while you've dragged your feet?

FM: I doubt any.

Mmm-hmm. Any final thoughts about voting schemes and flu shots?

FM: Well, I think it's clear that we've created no vaccine for political folly.


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