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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 9, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 08

Chiropractic Strengthens its Political Muscle

New Congress, New Friends of Chiropractic

By Joseph J. Murphy, DC
The Nation

Each year, the chiropractic profession gains greater clout in the nation's political arena. Through grassroots efforts, individual one-on-one contact, and support through lobbying and political action committees, the profession continues to forge inroads into the legislative and executive structure of the United States government, allowing us to have a greater voice.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) was pleased to support numerous friends of chiropractic that were elected to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The ACA Political Action Committee (PAC) provided financial support to many of the incumbents that won tough races, and many successful pro-chiropractic challengers and open-seat candidates. The net result was that 88 percent of the incumbents, challengers and open-seat candidates supported by the PAC won their elections on November 5, 2000. The Republicans held onto control of both houses of Congress, but with smaller margins.

The PAC staff had a direct impact on some of the hottest campaigns of 2000. This provided key visibility for the chiropractic profession, as members of Congress around the country saw that when it comes to politics, DCs not only "talk the talk" but also "walk the walk."

The PAC made political contributions to over 211 candidates.1 Following is a list of the 38 that won tight high-profile open-seat races and were supported by PAC dollars. When combined with the many pro-chiropractic incumbents that also received financial support from the ACA, and won re-election more easily, the chiropractic profession will surely have a strong voice when the 107th Congress convenes next month.

The Senate: Three Key Senate Races

Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) - appointed senator, won first election;John Ensign (R-NV) - former congressman, wins open seat;Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) - defeated the incumbent.

The House: Incumbents Winning Tough Races: (and related districts)

Shelley Berkley (D-NV), 1st
Lois Capps (D-CA), 22nd
Lane Evans (D-IL), 17th
Robin Hayes (R-NC), 8th
Baron Hill (D-IN), 9th
Bill Luther (D-MN), 6th
Jim Maloney (D-CT), 5th
Connie Morella (R-MD), 8th
Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), "at large"
Jim Saxton (R-NJ), 3rd
Don Sherwood (R-PA), 10th
Ronnie Shows (D-MS), 4th
Tom Tancredo (R-CO), 6th
Charlie Taylor (R-NC), 11th
Heather Wilson (R-NM), 1st

Open Seat Winners
Todd Akin (R-MO), 2nd
Henry Brown (R-SC), 1st
Eric Cantor (R-VA), 7th
Jo Anne Davis (R-VA), 1st
Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), 7th
Jeff Flake (R-AZ), 1st
Felix Grucci (R-NY), 1st
Melissa Hart (R-PA), 4th
Darrell Issa (R-CA), 48th
Tim Johnson (R-IL), 15th
Brian Kerns (R-IN), 7th
Mark Kirk (R-IL), 10th
Jim Langevin (D-RI), 2nd
Butch Otter (R-ID), 1st
Mike Pence (R-IN), 2nd
Adam Putnam (R-FL), 12th
Mike Rogers (R-MI), 8th
Ed Schrock (R-VA), 2nd
Hilda Solis (D-CA), 31st
Pat Tiberi (R-OH), 12th

The message is clear: The health care system of the new millennium touches the lives of a greater portion of the electoral population each year, and our political leadership is beginning to take notice. We are a force to reckoned with!

To continue to make strides in chiropractic recognition and acceptance, and to insure that pro-chiropractic legislation is enacted and negative chiropractic legislation is squelched, urge all of your colleagues to continue to support the ACA Political Action Committee. Most importantly, however, you must encourage every chiropractors to use their power as voters and constituents, and to maintain constant communication with their legislators in the House and Senate so that our voice continues to be heard.

Reference

  1. ACA PAC, Vol 1, Issue 5; November 2000.

Joseph J. Murphy,DC
Chatham, New Jersey
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