The Homeland and Lilly Protection Act
Everyone in D.C., it seems, is utterly baffled as to how an ugly little provision shielding pharmaceutical behemoth Eli Lilly from billions in lawsuits filed by the parents of autistic children made its way, in the 12th hour, into, of all things, the 475-page Homeland Security bill.
- "It's a mystery to us," shrugged Eli Lilly spokesman Rob Smith.
- It's a mystery to us, too, echoed spokesmen for the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, and physician-turned-senator-turned-drug-company-shill Bill Frist, who had originally penned the Lilly-friendly provision for a different bill.
- The haphazard lawmaking also proved baffling for pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, and for White House budget director Mitch Daniels, a former Lilly executive, who made a very public show of disavowing any knowledge of the amendment's mystifying genesis.
Perhaps it should have been called "The Homeland and Lilly Protection Act."
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. explains the background behind Lilly's fear of vulnerability in a 30 minute interview on 28 June 2005 about the associations of mercury poisoning, childhood immunizations and autism.
Who inserted the provision? Reporters tried and failed to find out. Lilly's lobbyists (laughably) claim ignorance. No one on Capitol Hill is proud enough of his handiwork to claim it. Democracy requires accountability, so TomPaine.com is offering a $10,000 reward to the first person who proves the identity of the Eli Lilly Bandit
Published 17 December 2002:
The Florence Fund (FF), the nonprofit parent of TomPaine.com (TP.c), is offering a $10,000 reward to the first person who documents, to the satisfaction of the FF/TP.c staff, the identity of the member(s) of Congress who is (are) responsible for inserting into the Homeland Security bill the two-paragraph provision favoring Eli Lilly & Company (as widely reported in the media).
Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:
- FF/TP.c will endeavor to protect the identity of the person(s) who offers the information, but we cannot and do not guarantee that the identity will remain private. The winner will be required to sign a release of all claims and a certificate of eligibility within 10 days of being notified of winning.
- Proof will consist of verifiable documentary evidence - copies of memos, email communications, official documents, audio recordings and the like - and/or the sworn statements of people who will confirm the evidence in interviews with TomPaine.com staff or our designated agents.
- FF/TP.c retains the right to use all possible means to confirm the accuracy and authenticity of the information presented to us. Judgments of the FF/TP.c staff regarding the validity and credibility of any information presented to us is in our sole discretion, and is final and not subject to appeal.
- FF and TP.c staff and board members, and their families, are not eligible for this reward.
- ALL applicants for the reward MUST provide their full name, home address and phone number. The winning applicant must also provide his/her Social Security number.
- Only ONE reward will be made - to the first person (as determined by the postmark on their letter) who offers the information. If more than one accurate submission is postmarked on the same day, FF/TP.c will randomly select one as the winner.
- Void where prohibited.
- Offer expires January 31, 2003.
- The American Prospect, December 30, 2002
- NPR Morning Edition, December 19, 2002
- CBS Evening News, December 12, 2002 reports that
- House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells CBS News he did it to keep vaccine-makers from going out of business under the weight of mounting lawsuits.
- "I did it and I'm proud of it," says Armey, R-Texas.
- "It's a matter of national security," Armey says. "We need their vaccines if the country is attacked with germ weapons."
- The Washington Post, December 9, 2002
- The Brown Daily Herald, December 2, 2002
- The New York Times, November 29, 2002
- The Washington Post, November 28, 2002
- Newsday, November 26, 2002