Tag Archives: Patti Carroll

American Citizens for Health Choice: Canary Party’s Fundraising Arm?

healthchoicecan

By Jake Crosby

There is supposedly a new group on the horizon that calls itself the American Citizens for Health Choice (ACHC). However, it appears to be a new incarnation of a political organization founded in 2011 that effectively caused the collapse of the congressional autism hearings: Canary Party.

All four board members listed on the ACHC website are either former or current heads of Canary Party, although only two mention their affiliations. Jennifer Larson lists her position as president and co-founder of Canary Party and Patti Carroll says she is executive director of Canary Party. Despite also being co-founder as well as chairman of Canary Party, however, Mark Blaxill lists no affiliation with Canary Party in his bio on the ACHC website, simply saying he is editor-at-large for the (Canary Party-sponsored) blog Age of Autism as well as a director of SafeMinds, although he publicly stepped down from the latter organization’s board of directors last year. Meanwhile, the fourth board member of ACHC, Ginger Taylor, lists no past affiliation with Canary Party despite having been its previous executive director and then its vice president before announcing her departure from the latter position and autism advocacy in general on New Year’s Day.

ACHC may try to make itself look like a unique organization but appears to be nothing more than Canary Party’s fundraising arm. An anonymous source informed me that several Canary Party parents got together to start this new fundraising organization founded on the same premises as the Canary Party’s –  fighting chronic disease and promoting individual choice. The mission statements on the homepage of each group’s website are also similar.

Here is the  Canary Party homepage description:

“The Canary Party is a movement created to stand up for the victims of medical injury, environmental toxins and industrial foods by restoring balance to our free and civil society and empowering consumers to make health and nutrition decisions that promote wellness.”

And here is the ACHC homepage description:

“Our group was formed in response to a study published in Academic Pediatrics that represented 43% of children (32 million) in the US suffers from a chronic health condition. It is our belief that these rates will continue to increase if parents are not aware of the unhealthy choices in their lifestyle such as industrial processed foods, side effects of vaccine choices, and other environmental and lifestyle factors.”

Although the premise as well as the leaders of the two organizations are the same, it is obvious from their websites that they are trying to look like independent organizations when they are anything but. Since Canary Party is not a non-profit and ACHC is, it would appear that the purpose of the latter organization is to act as a fundraising arm of the former organization. With only $687.12 in the bank by the end of 2013, Canary Party is in need of some new cash. Apparently, ACHC’s purpose is to fulfill that need. ACHC first started filing 990 forms in 2012, but it has yet to publicly announce its existence.

Addendum: As of the date of this post, the link to americancitizensforhealthchoice.org now re-directs to a website with the URL that simply reads healthchoice.org along with the following notification: “This site is down for maintenance. Please check back again soon.” However, the americancitizensforhealthchoice.org homepage can still be found archived.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Canary Party’s False Promises Led To Congressional Hearing Collapse

Hooker-Larson comment

(Click to enlarge)

By Jake Crosby

Above is a screenshot dated March 23rd of a Facebook post from Dr. Brian Hooker asking for people to call congressional staff and ask that the Congressional Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (COGR) specifically investigate data fraud committed by CDC to cover up the vaccine-autism link. Commenting beneath his Facebook post is none other than Jennifer Larson – President of the Canary Party:

“We are on it! Thanks Brian Hooker!”

But after weeks of planning a Canary Party Action Alert that was intended to support Brian Hooker’s investigation, suddenly Canary Party sent out an alert that did not represent what was promised to him:

“Chairman Issa stated there is nothing that is off-limits for what the OGR committee will continue to explore. Ask him to promptly schedule the next hearing to investigate government malfeasance in covering up the vaccine/autism connection including, as examples, the following areas:

• Evidence in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program showing clearly that vaccines can and do cause autism

• CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection

• CDC’s suppression of evidence of the autism epidemic”

This Action Alert reveals Canary Party’s strategy to shift the topic away from CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection. In the first bullet point, the Canary Party introduces NVICP as evidence that vaccines cause autism. Somehow, NVICP as evidence of vaccines’ link to autism later morphed into NVICP reform – the new topic for the next congressional hearing. But what happened to the topic promised to Dr. Hooker?

Not only was the CDC cover-up of thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic buried in the middle of the Action Alert, but the wording was clearly favorable to the entirely different topic of NVICP. In fact, that was exactly what Canary Party’s Executive Director Patti Carroll asked for in a long letter she posted on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s Facebook page. And now, Canary Party claims NVICP was Issa’s idea all along, even though we can trace its origin to the above Action Alert.

Brian Hooker was not pleased with this turn of events and wrote on Facebook, “COGR is not ready for that investigation and I’ve been told by their staff many times that they do not yet have energy for the NVICP. We are so close to a CDC investigation. That is why I approached Jennifer about the Action Alert. The message is now confused. I’m very discouraged…”

Regarding the action alert specifically, Dr. Hooker commented:

“not effective… not what I talked to Jennifer about… very discouraged…”

He then expressed regret about the action alert entirely:

“If I would have know [sic] this, I would have withdrawn my request for an action alert.”

Sure enough, the December-scheduled NVICP hearing Canary Party requested (in violation of its promise to Dr. Brian Hooker) was cancelled. Without providing any direct quotes from those who cancelled the hearing , Canary Party immediately shifted blame on everything from interference by the vaccine industry to simply “poor timing”. The below quote from a legal source in direct contact with COGR Chairman Issa’s counsel, previously disclosed on Autism Investigated, tells an entirely different story:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

Certainly it was divisive of Canary Party to promise one thing and then suddenly deliver something else that aims to avoid the CDC’s suppression of evidence thimerosal causes autism. Similarly, it was divisive of Canary Party to misrepresent a vaccine-injured child’s case at its congressional briefing and then when her mother complained in the comments of the Canary Party-sponsored/edited Age of Autism blog, approve a barrage of anonymous attacks from commenters including one from an organizer of the briefing. Put them both together and the result is an overly divisive issue Congress is reluctant to touch.

At least three questions remain unanswered: Why did Canary Party introduce a new hearing topic when Brian Hooker was so close to exposing CDC malfeasance that legislators were grilling a top CDC official about vaccine safety? Why did Canary Party instead push for a topic that COGR has stated many times it is not ready to pursue? Lastly, why are members of the autism community still following the Canary Party?

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.