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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Anti-Vax Stalkers

Jeremy B. White reports at The Sacramento Bee:
The California Medical Association has sent a letter warning a California Chiropractic Association official who they say encouraged opponents of a mandatory vaccination bill to stalk lobbyists advocating for the legislation.

The emotional debate over Senate Bill 277, which would make vaccinations compulsory for California schoolchildren and passed the Senate last week, has taken a personal turn in recent weeks. Lobbyists championing the bill on behalf of the California Medical Association and the California Academy of Family Physicians have attracted the attention of bill opponents, who have begun sharing information on the lobbyists and disseminating photos of their locations on social media.
California Chiropractic Association President Brian Stenzler has spurred them on, according to a letter signed by California Medical Association CEO Dustin Corcoran, with a video in which Stenzler tells an SB 277 opponent who asks about the two lobbyists to follow them “all day long – follow them to a T.”
Also at The Bee, Shawn Hubler picks up the story:
[Stenzler] says now that he meant “follow the money.” But the video, posted on Facebook (and recently removed), sent the campaign against Hicks, a 43-year-old mother of three, into warp speed.
“Hey, Jodi!” someone yelled as she crossed the street. When she turned, a bevy of red-shirted “No on SB 277” women snapped her picture. Moments later, it was up on Twitter.
“#wheresJodi,” the caption sneered. “#DevilWithTheBlueDress.”
“There’s a special place in hell for you, just waiting,” warned the mean tweets.
“People were on blogs saying, if somebody shoots my kids with needles, maybe we should shoot these lobbyists,” said Hicks’ understandably distraught husband, Paul Mitchell. “And here’s the president of this association, actually inciting people to stalk my wife.”