(Drops out of race - 8-13-07)


HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson Will Explore a 2008 Presidential Bid

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 16, 2006


Washington, DC ( -- Add former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to the list of potential Republican presidential candidates in 2008. The pro-life former Wisconsin governor told a group of Iowa activists that he plans to file his papers to establish a formal exploratory committee after the first of the year.

Thompson served 16 years as the governor of Wisconsin, and, if he is the Republican nominee, would give the party a real shot at winning a state that has gone Democrat in the last few presidential elections.

He also served as the HHS secretary during President George W. Bush's first term in office.

"The times are right for my ideas," Thompson told The Associated Press on Wednesday and said that health care would be one of his top issues as president. He said he wants to shift funding from treatment to prevention.

During his tenure with the Bush administration, Thompson defended President Bush's strong positions in favor of funding abstinence education and against using taxpayer dollars to back any new embryonic stem cell research.

The Bush administration spent $190 million on adult stem cell research and put in place a policy preventing the use of taxpayer funds for any new embryonic stem cell research.

In a July 2004 letter, Thompson also defended the president's position against taxpayer funding for new embryonic stem cell research.

"Before anyone can argue that the stem cell policy should be broadened, we must first exhaust the potential" of currently available embryonic stem cell lines, he wrote.

In addition to abstinence and stem cell research, Thompson frequently touched on high profile pro-life issues while at the HHS department helm:

In March 2002, the National Cancer Institute's web site contained misleading information alleging that researchers found evidence of report bias in studies showing the abortion-breast cancer link. Upon learning of the error, Thompson directed the agency to remove the information. NCI later adopted a position claiming no abortion-breast cancer link exists.

In 2002, Thompson unveiled a new Bush administration policy allowing unborn children to be covered under the federal-state CHIP program that provides health insurance coverage for children in poor families. Pro-life groups hailed the decision as another way to help pregnant mothers and reduce the financial factors that compel some women to have abortions.

"Prenatal care is crucial to the health of both mother and child, and this change will allow [states] to offer prenatal care to thousands of additional pregnant mothers and their unborn children," Secretary Thompson said. "Vital services during pregnancy can be a life-long determinant of health and we should do everything possible to make this care available to everyone."

Thompson launched an investigation in August 2003 to determine whether Advocates for Youth, a sexual education organization, used federal dollars to lobby against abstinence-only education.

Thompson also pulled the plug on a federal agency's plan to support an international conference that is backing abortion.

In August 2004, Thompson told the Alabama Health Department that it was not required to distribute the morning-after pill that sometimes causes abortions.

As Wisconsin's governor, Thompson signed an unborn victims bill into law that made it a separate crime to injure or kill an unborn child during a crime against the mother, protecting the unborn child throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.

November 16, 2006

Election Bid Raises Specter of RFID Implant Threat

Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson is considering a run for president in 2008, a move that should spark alarm among those familiar with Thompson's calls for widespread RFID chipping of Americans. The authors of "Spychips," Dr. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, who closely monitor the RFID industry, caution that his position on the Board of the VeriChip Corporation and his stock options in the company make Thompson one of the most dangerous figures in American politics today.

As head of Health of Health and Human Services, Thompson oversaw the scandal-ridden FDA when it approved the VeriChip as a medical device. Shortly after leaving his cabinet post, he joined the board of the VeriChip Corporation and wasted no time in using his clout to promote the company's glass encapsulated RFID tags. These tags are injected into human flesh to uniquely number and identify people.

In public appearances, Thompson has suggested implanting the microchips into Americans to link to their electronic medical records. "It's very beneficial and it's going to be extremely helpful and it's a giant step forward to getting what we call an electronic medical record for all Americans," he told CBS MarketWatch in July 2005. He also suggested implanting military personnel with the chips to replace dog tags.

Thompson's desire to run for president is not mere speculation. Media outlets in his home state of Wisconsin, where he served four terms as governor, have confirmed Thompson is laying the foundation for a presidential bid. His wife Sue Ann has told reporters that the family
has discussed his candidacy and that "He should give it a try. He's got a lot of good ideas." Thompson himself has stated, "There's no question I'm interested."

Thompson is considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination, but his influence shouldn't be discounted, says McIntyre. "Despite his
folksy manner, he's a savvy politician whose Washington connections run deep, and he's got a vested interest in chipping America." She points out that Thompson has an option on more than 150,000 shares of VeriChip stock.

Right now those options aren't worth much. Security flaws and public squeamishness have hurt the company's sales, resulting in losses of millions of dollars.

"It will take a considerable shift in public perception to chip enough Americans to turn all that red ink to black," Albrecht observes. "It
concerns us that Thompson would have a financial interest in having people roll up their sleeves while aiming for such an influential

Ironically, Thompson himself has not yet received a microchip implant despite what must be extraordinary pressure from the VeriChip
Corporation. He made a promise to do so on national television over a year ago.

"Given the unpopularity of the VeriChip and people's concern it could be abused, Thompson has been wise to avoid getting chipped himself," says Albrecht. "Getting chipped would would be political suicide for any politician. Even if he remains chip-free as we hope, the American people should still be wary of him."


"Spychips" is the winner of the 2006 Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty and has received wide critical
acclaim. Authored by recent Harvard graduate Dr. Katherine Albrecht and former bank examiner Liz McIntyre, the book is meticulously researched, drawing on patent documents, corporate source materials, conference proceedings, and firsthand interviews to paint a convincing -- and frightening -- picture of the threat posed by RFID.

Despite its hundreds of footnotes and academic-level accuracy, the book remains lively and readable according to critics, who have called it a "techno-thriller" and "a masterpiece of technocriticism."

"Spychips" is now available in a newly-released paperback version from Penguin/Plume (October 2006).


CASPIAN: Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering
Opposing supermarket loyalty cards and other retail surveillance
schemes since 1999

You're welcome to duplicate and distribute this message to others who may find it of interest.

Tommy Thompson Drops Presidential Bid

Aug 13, 11:36 AM (ET)


(AP) Republican presidential hopeful and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson speaks in Bedford, N.H....
Full Image
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said Sunday he is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination after finishing sixth in an Iowa straw poll.

"I have no regrets about running," he said in a statement released Sunday evening by his campaign.

"I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as president, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America."

The statement was issued several hours after WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported that Thompson, 65, told one of its reporters he was withdrawing.

"I have very much enjoyed my years in public service and I am comforted by the fact that I think I made a difference for people during that time," Thompson said in the campaign announcement. "I hope to continue working to serve others over the next few years."

The statement said Thompson intends to take some time off before returning to the private sector and his nonprofit work.

He had said before the Iowa event that he would drop out of the race unless he finished first or second.

The statement didn't say whether he would endorse another candidate.

A veteran of four successful campaigns for governor of Wisconsin, had a good track record of winning elections.

He quit during his fourth term as governor to serve as President Bush's secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 to the end of 2004.

He was first elected in 1966 at age 24 to the Wisconsin State Assembly, not long after he graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Twenty years later, he won his first term as governor.

As governor, he earned a national reputation for policies that moved many Wisconsin families from welfare to work, gave minority families more options on where they could send children to school by giving religious and private schools up to $5,000 per student and expanded health care to include thousands of the working poor who had not previously qualified for current government programs. He pushed for changes in welfare laws before President Clinton and Congress took up the issue on the national level.

Critics, however, charged the primary aim of Thompson's welfare reforms was merely to get people off Wisconsin's rolls and not necessarily to lift families out of poverty

Born in Elroy, Wis., Thompson boasted about his small-town background. His father ran a gas station and a country grocery store.

Thompson's time heading the Department of Health and Human Services was marked by anthrax attacks, a flu vaccine shortage and passage of the Medicare prescription law. Thompson was a key player in Bush's AIDS initiative, a commitment of $15 billion over five years for treatment and prevention of the disease that was rapidly spreading overseas. Thompson traveled frequently to Africa during his Cabinet service.

A fan of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson, Thompson has long taken an annual motorcycle trip with lawmakers, motorcycle enthusiasts and campaign supporters.

He touted his background as a Midwest governor and former HHS secretary as valuable credentials for a presidential candidate.