Why Is the Radiology PAC Rallying Against Radiologists?

The group is putting its money behind well-placed incumbents who sit on a powerful committee instead of its own brethren.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) speaks to members of the media at the Capitol October 11, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. On the 11th day of a U.S. Government shutdown, President Barack Obama spoke with Speaker Boehner on the phone and they agreed that they should keep talking.
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
Add to Briefcase
Andrea Drusch
July 28, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Doc­tors run­ning for of­fice can typ­ic­ally count on the en­dorse­ment of at least one group—their pro­fes­sion­al or­gan­iz­a­tion. Not so this year for Re­pub­lic­an ra­di­olo­gists.

While the Amer­ic­an Col­lege of Ra­di­ology As­so­ci­ation PAC is spend­ing more than $230,000 on prin­ted ma­ter­i­al for mail­ings in the Ten­ness­ee and Kan­sas Re­pub­lic­an primary races, the group is do­ing it to help Sens. Lamar Al­ex­an­der and Pat Roberts beat back chal­lenges from ra­di­olo­gists, PAC Dir­ect­or Ted Burnes told Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Why? Be­cause both Al­ex­an­der and Roberts serve on the Sen­ate’s Health, Edu­ca­tion, Labor, and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee, the pan­el with jur­is­dic­tion over is­sues im­port­ant to the ra­di­ology in­dustry.

“Roberts and Lamar are kind of big deals,” Burnes said. “One is po­ten­tially chair of [the com­mit­tee] if the Sen­ate flips, and Lamar has already been really good on ra­di­ology is­sues.”

Roberts is in a com­pet­it­ive primary race against ra­di­olo­gist Milton Wolf, a tea-party can­did­ate who’s un­der scru­tiny from the state’s med­ic­al board for post­ing private pho­tos of pa­tients’ X-rays on Face­book. In Ten­ness­ee, Al­ex­an­der is up against a hand­ful of dis­tant chal­lengers, in­clud­ing ra­di­olo­gist George Flinn, who won the PAC’s sup­port in a 2012 race against Demo­crat­ic Rep. Steve Co­hen.

Burnes said the de­cision to back Roberts and Al­ex­an­der rather than its own mem­bers was a ges­ture of sup­port to two in­cum­bents with whom the group wants to main­tain a good re­la­tion­ship. Roberts, in par­tic­u­lar, he said, has long been a cham­pi­on of the ra­di­ology in­dustry, and Al­ex­an­der is an in­vest­ment.

As for his ra­di­ology brethren, Burnes said it wasn’t per­son­al. Both can­did­ates reached out for sup­port in their races but were turned down. Burnes poin­ted to Flinn’s low pro­spects in the Ten­ness­ee primary (he’s be­hind the sen­at­or as well as a long-shot tea-party chal­lenger) and Wolf’s cur­rent con­tro­versy with the Kan­sas Board of Heal­ing Arts.

“Just be­cause someone’s a ra­di­olo­gist doesn’t mean they come to D.C. to be rep­res­ent­at­ive of ra­di­ology,” Burnes said. “I think, in Wolf’s case, he’s more ideo­lo­gic­ally based, and more “no” on most things.”

But among most med­ic­al PACs, back­ing one’s own is pretty com­mon. The Amer­ic­an So­ci­ety of An­es­thesi­olo­gists’ PAC made a big in­vest­ment in ob­stet­ric an­es­thesi­olo­gist Val Arkoosh, who ran for the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion in Pennsylvania’s 13th Dis­trict this cycle, and has pre­vi­ously backed Rep. Andy Har­ris of Mary­land, an an­es­thesi­olo­gist, and Rep. Larry Buc­shon of In­di­ana, whose wife is in the busi­ness. The Amer­ic­an Gast­roen­ter­o­lo­gic­al As­so­ci­ation PAC is sup­port­ing the only gast­roen­ter­o­lo­gist in Con­gress this cycle, Rep. Bill Cas­sidy of Louisi­ana, in his bid for the Sen­ate.

Burnes said RAD­PAC will also roll out a cam­paign for Rep. Bruce Bra­ley, a Demo­crat run­ning for the Sen­ate in Iowa, that in­cludes both ra­dio and mail and will ex­ceed $100,000.

RAD­PAC has backed Sens. Mitch Mc­Con­nell of Ken­tucky and John Cornyn of Texas this cycle.

What We're Following See More »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login