Supporters of a referendum campaign in California to repeal Senate Bill 277 are calling shenanigans on their inability to garner the necessary number of signatures to add the referendum to next year’s ballot. According to published reports, anti-vaccine activists failed to collect the necessary 365,880 signatures they needed to get by October 1st, collecting only 233,758 signatures. “We’re a little upset,” said Dim Tonnelly, one of the main organizers of the signature drive. “But we have it on good authority that the remaining signatures were destroyed by the CDC.”
When asked to explain what he meant, Tonnelly said that Dr. Bill Thompson, an epidemiologist at CDC, told him in a secretly recorded and publicly posted telephone conversation that Thompson was a witness to signature destruction by CDC staff. “He told me that they brought in a trash can and then went through each signature, one by one, and threw the ones that didn’t seem legit into the trash,” he explained.
In the recording, Thompson can be heard describing the scene himself:
“It was late at night and they gathered all of us up at the CDC in Atlanta. They said we needed to pull out the signatures collected and go through them, tossing the ones in the trash that would best help our case. It’s a travesty,” he said. “So we just shredded signatures all night long until we came down to the 233,758 number that was asked of us.”
“Why that number specifically?” a voice on the recording asks Thompson.
“It’s a nice, round number divisible by 283.”
“Ah,” the interviewer says.
“Indeed,” Thompson replies. “It makes sense to you now, don’t it?”
When asked what was next for the campaign to overturn SB277, Tonnelly said that they were weighing their options. “If we can get ten celebrities to sign on to our campaign, it will be worth more than all of those signatures combined,” he said. “So we’re lobbying the monkey from Outbreak pretty hard,” he added.