The Clarion-Ledger, 10/15/7

An e-mail from a staffer of 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson last month suggesting congressional aides get immunized for several diseases before heading south into NASCAR country to conduct research at a pair of races has drawn Republican criticism.

The reaction illustrates just how valuable candidates for elected office consider the votes of NASCAR fans who pack grandstands by the thousands every weekend and the donations of business leaders who spend millions to sponsor the sport.

An official with the House Committee on Homeland Security suggested that staff aides get immunizations before visiting health facilities at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway and North Carolina’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where the Bank of America 500 was run Saturday.