Introducing the Franklin Club

Politics. It affects you, your practice, and your patients every day. Consider all of the issues that your federal and state government controls which in turn impact your professional and personal life, including licensure, scope of practice, insurance, education, taxes, fines, fees, fluoridation, tort reform, and much, much more.

Georgia has 180 state representatives who each represent the interests of approximately 53,820 residents, based on numbers from the most recent census. The state also has 56 senators, each of whom represent an average of 172,994 residents. That is a great many residents prepared to offer a wide range of opinions on how legislators should act on the issues noted above plus dozens more. How can dentists project their voices above the clamor and reach legislators’ hearts and minds about issues important to patients and the profession? One way is through an effective political action committee like the Georgia Dental Association Political Action Committee (GADPAC).


The Purpose of GADPAC

A political action committee is an organization set up for the purpose of collecting voluntary contributions from a large number of individuals, aggregating those contributions into one fund, and making distributions as guided by law from that fund to support a particular cause or campaign.

“The main purpose of GADPAC is to help elect legislators and statewide officials who support dentistry and the patients we serve,” said GADPAC Board Chairman Dr. Richard Weinman. “Through support from the PAC, we hope to create a relationship with the legislators and officials who will give us the access to have our side of issues heard. We can only succeed on the merits of our positions, but you cannot succeed if you do not have the opportunity to state your case.”

GADPAC offers Georgia dentists a way a powerful way of making candidates for public office aware of the challenges that confront oral health care professionals and patients. The Georgia PAC is bipartisan which means PAC funds are used to support all candidates who understand the importance of dentistry.


How Does GADPAC Work?

Each year, the GADPAC board meets to identify legislators and candidates for public office who understand, or have indicated they do understand, the important issues facing dentistry. The board, made up of dentists from every GDA district, works very hard to find the candidates who share the GDA’s vision of what quality oral health care is and should be.
After the board identifies the slate of legislators to support, they decide how much will be donated to a legislator’s or candidate’s campaign fund. A candidate or legislator typically then uses these funds for the normal functions of elections like printing yard signs, running direct mail campaigns, and buying campaign ads.

Running for public office is expensive—and getting more so every year. The truth is that candidates cannot be elected to office, even state offices, without a significant amount of financial support. In fact, for the round of state elections held in Georgia in 2012, the average successful candidate for the State Senate raised $122,935 per person. The average successful candidate for the State House of Representatives raised $64,603 per person. In total, 447 candidates for state level elected positions in Georgia during 2012 raised $28,703,788. (FollowTheMoney.org)

GADPAC supporters across Georgia believe that the voices of ethical health care professionals, dental patients, and small business owners should be clearly heard as part of the lawmaking process. The profession and patients deserve protection against ill-advised public policies, unreasonable laws, and regulations that could lower the quality of dental care.


How You Can Support GADPAC

Many Georgia dentists contribute annually to GADPAC via their GDA dues statements. Additionally, many dental Alliance spouse members contribute to GADPAC. However, the challenges that face dentistry are growing and the PAC needs to be as strong as possible to meet those challenges and be an effective voice for our profession. Therefore, the GDA Governmental Affairs Committee is challenging each district to enroll all of their members in the GADPAC Franklin Club.  

Franklin Club membership will be given to any GDA member who contributes $100 or more to GADPAC above and beyond the $160 amount in the dues statements.  Each enrollee will receive a custom designed Franklin Club lapel pin. The Committee is planned a special luncheon in 2015 for all Franklin Club members.  

The importance of having broad participation in GADPAC cannot be emphasized enough and we appreciate your dedication to the profession and the patients you serve. Become part of the Franklin Club today! Please make your checks payable to GADPAC and mail to:

Georgia Dental Association
Attn: GADPAC Franklin Club
7000 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, #200-17
Atlanta, GA 30328


Make the PAC Work for Your Profession

The challenges facing dentistry are significant. We need strong lines of communication between the GDA and elected officials to ensure they understand that “only a dentist” has the education and training to provide patient diagnosis and perform surgical and irreversible procedures. It has never been more important for dentistry to help elect responsible public officials who are truly interested in the future of the profession and dental patients. The GDA will use every PAC contribution to help ensure that you can practice in a manner to provide the best care for your patients and create a thriving business that makes a difference in your community. Please Back GADPAC.