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The American Dental Association and its political fundraising arm ADPAC are under increasing pressure to cut off donations to dentist and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R), to whom they've donated over $75,000 since he was elected to Congress in 2010, Vice News reports. Gosar has been one of the ADA's "top recipients in the past three election cycles."
Previously, the ADA and the 162,000 dentists it represents had "been willing to turn a blind eye to Gosar's controversies on behalf of 'Tooth Party' interests," Vice writes. But more recent events (like Gosar's "open fraternization with known white nationalists," claims of election fraud, and role in the events of Jan. 6) have made him a less-than-ideal recipient. Now, Gosar's "antics are creating fissures in the Tooth Party" — some dentists want the ADA to distance itself from the representative, while others have rushed to his defense.
There's outside pressure on the ADA to make a change, as well. Earlier this year, activists from Arizona targeted the association and their support of Gosar "with a series of videos published under the #CallYourDentist hashtag," Vice reports.
David Lurye, a former practicing dentist who previously served as an ADA delegate for Colorado and Arizona and is critical of Gosar, said Gosar seemed like "a normal guy" when first elected to Congress. But after his first term, everything changed. "It was very evident to me that he was latching onto some fringe ideas," Lurye said. "You could tell he was really out there with some of his thoughts. It was evident to me, it was evident to a number of us."
The ADA is Gosar's top donor. In an email, the association wrote that the issue of its "ongoing support for Gosar was currently pending before the Board of Trustees and declined to comment any further." Read more at Vice News.