Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gotta love those campaign websites and their creative 'facts'

Yesterday, the Republican blog IC Arizona posted a notice about a campaign fundraiser for a candidate for the Governing Board of the Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS). The board oversees the operations of the county hospital and other facilities, and their $1.3 billion budget.

The candidate involved is the infamous former LD8 State Representative Colette Rosati (R-Scottsdale).

A little background -

Mrs. Rosati is famous for her scorched-earth campaign tactics, highlighted by her emails in 2004 insinuating that two of her opponents (one mail, one female) were closeted homosexuals because one was single and the other was married with no children.

The targets of her wrath? Fellow Republicans Michelle Reagan and Royce Flora.

Rep. Reagan responded to the attack by laughing it off, saying that her being gay would be news to her boyfriend. As for Mr. Flora, the future chair of the LD8 Republicans, it turns out that his wife, Ann, is a cancer survivor and because of medical issues, was unable to have children.

In other words, Mrs. Rosati stepped in it.

*Deep* in it.

With that as background, let's get on to the "creative facts" part of the post.

In the 'Biography' section of her campaign website, she has this line -
"After a short break from politics Rep. Rosati is now running for the Board of Directors of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District in district 3."

As far as it goes, that statement is an accurate one.

However, it *is* a little less than complete.

That "short break from politics" wasn't exactly a voluntary one.

After her 2004 exercise in "winning friends and influencing people", she was so confident in her electoral prowess, she decided to take on Republican State Senator Carolyn Allen, a fixture in LD8 politics, for Allen's seat in the State Senate.

Rosati got spanked in the primary by more than 10 percentage points.

In another example of creative use of the facts, her campaign website touts her "R.N" credentials, a label that might convince the casual voter that she would bring experience as a health care professional to the Board. That glosses over the fact that her career experience is less that of a 'health care' professional and more as a *sales* professional.

From her ZoomInfo profile (emphasis mine) -
"An R.N. since 1979, Rosati has a B.A. degree in health services administration and also have a master's in business administration. Between 1980 and 1995, she was a pharmaceutical/medical sales representative, first for Abbott Laboratories; then for a division of C.R. Bard, Inc.; then for Ciba,Geigy. She obtained a realtor's license 15 years ago..."

I have to admit, my first instinct when I read about Rosati's candidacy was to sarcastically wonder why a career pharmaceutical sales rep would want to sit on the board of an organization that spends millions of dollars per year on pharmaceuticals. However, knowing what I do of Mrs. Rosati, that aspect may just be icing on the cake.

She and another candidate, Harlan Stratton (running in district 2), are campaigning together as pro-life candidates, and MIHS has been subjected to a long-running campaign to force it to end training on abortions as part of its medical education program.

Training that it is required to provide in order to mainain its ACGME accreditation as a teaching hospital.

Note1: I've got a call out to the Maricopa Integrated Health System for a specific number on the amount it spends on pharmaceuticals; no call back as yet.

Note2: Rosatti's opponent for the district 3 seat on the MIHS board is Sue Gerard, formerly director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (and former Republican state representative from Phoenix).

Note3: The candidates in the other districts are -

District 1 - Bil Bruno, currently a member of the Board; Rex Altree, chair of the Arizona Auto Glass Association.

District 2 - Robert B. Carey (a lousy name for a Google search), Greg Patterson (someone many readers may be familiar with :) ), and Harlan Stratton (Rosatti's ideological saddle partner).

District 4 - LD4 Republican Elbert Bicknell (a gun owner and former NH state legislator) and Gerald Cuendet, chairman of the current board.

District 5 - Todd Hansen (another lousy name for a Google search; his organizational paperwork states that he is a Republican and an investment representative), Alice Lara (a Republican lobbyist), Joan Kelchner (an ER doctor in Yuma), James Marovich (lawyer), Jonathan Weisbuch (former Maricopa County Health Officer).

AZ Rep coverage of the race here.

The candidacies of Rosati and some of the others are the reason why voters need to pay attention to even the most obscure offices - even one like this has a great impact on many people. And in one like this, that impact falls disproportionately on poor and working families.

I'm not endorsing any of the candidates as yet (need to do more research), but some of these candidates seem less interested in doing the work of the board than in foisting off their ideology on unsuspecting patients, many of whom have no other health care resource.



Donna said...

Yikes! The Maricopa Dem party tried to recruit candidates for all those positions. Sadly, they're unpaid so you have to find people who are independently wealthy. Hence, the Republican hegemony.

Zelph said...

Speaking of creative "facts", Jon Altmann claims a long history of military service, but I'm told that it was entirely in the Navy Reserve.

From his website: "I retired as a Navy Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist, serving on national command staff in a position of high trust. I have been twice decorated for leadership of sailors, providing guidance for the young men and women who serve our nation."

Sounds pretty impressive, no?