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Letters: Critique of Rep. Paul Gosar

February 13, 2020

I am compelled to respond to Dr. David Watson, ADPAC chair, who addressed Dr. David Lurye’s concerns in an editor’s note regarding Dr. Paul Gosar and ADPAC’s support of the congressman in a letter to the editor that was published in the Jan. 20 ADA News.

Dr. Watson noted that ADPAC focuses on the Tooth Party, not on partisan politics. Unfortunately, his letter does not demonstrate an understanding of why Dr. Gosar’s words and actions have outraged myself, Dr. Lurye and so many other dentists across the nation.

This is not about politics. This is about professionalism. That is why it is unacceptable that only Arizona’s dentists should determine whether or not Dr. Gosar receives support from ADPAC. When my patients ask me, “What is wrong with that dentist in Arizona?” my profession suffers and I also suffer, but I am left with no recourse.
I completely agree that our profession’s political action committee should use its resources to promote oral health to the benefit of the citizens of our nation. But of the five dentists that we helped elect or re-elect to Congress in 2018, there is only one who repeatedly steps outside the lane of our Tooth Party.

How does it serve public health to accuse a Jewish survivor of Nazi occupation for the deadly Charlottesville riot? How does it elevate our profession to speak of a Muslim scourge while addressing the extremist English Defence League? Why would ADPAC donate a single dollar to a man who accused a former president of the United States of murdering a convicted sex offender?

The ADA’s Principles of Ethics includes both justice and veracity while prohibiting discriminatory behavior, dishonesty and the abandonment of intellectual integrity. Every member is expected to “treat people fairly” and “communicate truthfully.” If we hold our members to these noble standards, then why don’t we do the same for those who would receive ADPAC’s support?

Unfortunately, none of us can control Dr. Gosar, but we can reform ADPAC. For the good of our profession, one to which I have devoted my entire adult life, I say the time to do so is now.

Scott A. McKinzie, D.M.D.
Oakland, California

Editor’s note from Dr. David Watson, ADPAC chair: ADPAC is a bipartisan political action committee that does not involve itself in issues and comments made by elected officials outside the lane of our “Tooth Party,” or outside the scope of issues affecting a dentist’s patients, practice or profession. ADPAC does not control what any of the dentist members of Congress say or do. According to our ADPAC rules, support for any candidate is determined by the dentists within the state the member of Congress represents.