In 2007 Rick Perry signed an executive order in Texas requiring all public school girls to get the vaccine Gardasil, which protects against the sexually transmitted disease HPV. The decision caused outrage on all sides of the political spectrum and Perry later had to rescind the order.
Gardasil is manufactured by Merck. During Monday night’s Republican debate, Michele Bachmann went after Perry over the executive order and tied it to money Perry had received from Merck. Perry claimed that he only received $5,000 from the drug maker, but it turns out that’s not the whole story:
As for the claim that Merck has given a $5,000 dollar contribution to the governor's campaign, that is true, but not the whole story.
Perry also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during a different re-election campaign.
Texas Ethics Commission records show he has accepted $29,500 from the Merck PAC during his entire tenure as governor, $22,000 of it prior to his 2007 order.
There’s also the story of Mike Toomey, Perry’s chief of staff. Toomey was the chief lobbyist for Merck and a state legislature before working for Perry. He also gives big to his buddy:
Toomey himself, has contributed more than $48,000 to Texans for Rick Perry during his decade in office.