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Letters: Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S.

April 01, 2021

I am writing to express my deep concerns about the ADA’s political and financial support of U.S. Congressional Representative Paul Gosar, D.D.S., R-Arizona.

While we can and should have differing opinions about policy and how best to govern our country, I believe he has now clearly crossed the line from differing viewpoint to dangerously offensive. 

The ADA needs to, and should continue to, support dentists currently seated as well as those running for Congress to ensure our health care interests are heard and understood.  These representatives should, in turn, represent our profession through their words and actions with integrity, dignity, compassion and understanding; working to solve problems by doing no harm. Exactly like we strive to do in practice for our patients. Such behavior fosters a positive public impression and builds trust among those we care for and about. We dismay at the erosion of public trust in our profession every time the actions of one of our own causes harm to someone and thereby causes us as a whole to be questioned. 

Dr. Gosar is hurting all of us. He no longer represents our profession with the integrity and class we expect and the public deserves. This is not about differences of opinion on policy or a debate on how best to improve our beautiful nation, but a continued, consistent lack of judgement that is embarrassing and destructive. I hope you will ask yourselves, “Is this the face of dentistry that I would be comfortable displaying for my family, friends and patients to see”? One action is excusable as an error in judgement and does not represent the whole. Dr. Gosar has shown a pattern of poor judgement that demonstrates, at best a lack of understanding and at worst, a willful attack on those undeserving. 

Integrity is at the heart of what and who we strive to be. With it, anything is possible. Without it, nothing is. ADPAC and the ADA need to take a stand for what is right and withdraw all support for Rep. Gosar. I will no longer contribute to ADPAC until we restore our highest standards for all who represent us. 

David J. Dowsett, D.M.D.
Portland, Oregon

Editor’s note from ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D.: Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. These are difficult times for our nation, and this matter weighs heavily on me. You’ve referenced “integrity” several times in your letter. Integrity is one of the ADA’s seven core values along with commitment to members, excellence, commitment to improved oral health, science and evidence-based, diversity and inclusivity.

The ADA Political Action Committee is a bipartisan political action committee that supports issues pertaining to the patients, practice, and profession of dentistry. The ADA’s active participation in the political process is essential for the advancement of dentistry and promotes legislation that benefits the dental profession and its patients. ADPAC is currently reviewing criteria to determine the ADA’s future priorities and guidelines for contributions to lawmakers. ADPAC will then submit a report, which the ADA Board of Trustees will discuss during their April 11-13 meeting.
In the meantime, I welcome all members to share their opinions on this matter, just as you have done.