By Richard Thorp, M.D.
As Chair of CALPAC (the California Medical Association Political Action Committee), I wanted to give you an update on how CALPAC has been fighting for you in the political arena. CALPAC supports candidates and elected officials that are friendly to the House of Medicine.
There have already been four special elections throughout the state this year:
- Assembly District 4 (North of Sacramento) - CALPAC supported Beth Gaines, a republican businesswoman from Roseville. Mrs. Gaines handily won the election over democrat Dennis Campanale.
- Senate District 17 (Antelope Valley) - CALPAC supported former Assembly Member Sharon Runner, a republican businesswoman from Antelope Valley. Mrs. Runner also handily won the election over Darren Parker.
- Senate District 28 (Los Angeles) - CALPAC supported former democratic Assembly Member Ted Lieu. Assembly Member Lieu defeated republican James Thompson and moved to the upper house.
- Congressional District 36 (Los Angeles) - CALPAC was instrumental in AMA’s Political Action Committee supporting democratic Los Angeles Council Member Janice Hahn. Council Member Hahn defeated republican Craig Huey in the high profile race.
I can say that these members will now be strong advocates on our behalf.
Despite our successes, we still face many challenges. Trial attorneys have already started a fight to overturn MICRA, California’s landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, there are ongoing efforts to erode California's prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine, and there are continuous efforts to challenge your scope of practice. Your support is needed to build on our successes and ensure that we have the necessary resources to prepare for the 2011–2012 election cycle.
These elections are going to be transformational for the California Legislature. The Citizen’s Redistricting Commission has finalized Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and Board of Equalization districts. The perceptions of the commission’s decisions, good and bad, are likely to shape a national trend. These newly drawn districts, coupled with California’s open primary system, will result in a number of very contentious races. CALPAC has extensively studied the new districts and is preparing for these high profile races on your behalf.
The bottom line is this: we must be stronger than ever to defend against increased challenges to physicians, both in the legislature and in the upcoming elections.
That is why I am asking for your support. I have believed for some time that donating to CALPAC is one of the most important contributions that I make because it ensures Medicine has direct access to the policy makers that have the potential to come between me and my patients. Personally I have been a President’s Circle member for 9 years by donating $1,000 every year.
By making a contribution today, you will ensure we continue to have the most active political affairs operation in California. 2012 is going to be a very challenging year with many more high profile elections for us to be involved in than ever before.
Please visit http://www.calpac.org to donate today!
I look forward to working with all of you on behalf of our patients and our profession.