Medical and labor groups have poured tens of thousands of dollars into fighting the recall of a state senator who carried California’s controversial vaccination bill.
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a pediatrician by training, reaped significant support from unions and medical organizations during an enormously expensive Senate run last year. Those groups have come to Pan’s defense as he faces a recall election effort spearheaded by opponents of a bill mandating vaccinations for almost all students enrolled in California schools.
While Senate Bill 277 ignited fervent opposition from a small but vocal contingent, prominent medical and educational groups backed the measure. Among them was the California Medical Association, which assisted in drafting the bill and has contributed $10,000 to a committee fighting the recall. The committee reported the donation Tuesday.
“This issue has been repeatedly asked and answered by an overwhelming majority of voters both in polls and a bipartisan bill that was signed by Governor Brown,” CMA spokeswoman Molly Weedn said in an email. “The physician community continues to stand by proven, scientific facts – vaccines work and keep communities safe.”
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Also plunking down money were organizations representing building and construction industry unions ($10,000) and school employees ($5,000).
Recall proponents have until the end of the year to collect 35,926 signatures if they want Pan’s fate to go before voters in 2016. Their ballot committee had not registered any contributions as of Wednesday afternoon.