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All About AAOPAC

Posted: 06/19/19 2:21 AM

Who is the NESO Representative to AAOPAC?

Dr. Jeffrey Lowenstein is your NESO representative to the 2019-2020 Board of Directors of the AAO Political Action Committee (AAOPAC).  Jeff graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences from MIT in 1981, his DMD from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 1985 and served his residency in Orthodontics at NYU from 1986 to 1988. Jeff and his wife, Robin, a pediatric dentist, reside in Wellesley, MA, their son, Adam, is in his 4th year at Tufts Dental and their daughter, Marcie, is a senior at Tulane University. When not in his Framingham and Wellesley offices, you can find Jeff on the golf course or attending home games of his championship Patriots and Red Sox. Jeff has been a participant in the political arena since MIT and has covered the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Presidential Primaries and the Democratic National Convention in the past for PBS and WBUR. Please feel free to contact Jeff (metdent@rcn.com) with any questions you may have on the happenings in Washington DC and in Boston on Beacon Hill.

What is the AAOPAC?

The AAOPAC was established in 1994 to assist the specialty of orthodontics and the profession of dentistry in influencing the federal government. The AAOPAC was established under federal law to solicit funds from members of the AAO and make contributions to the campaigns of candidates for elected positions in federal government. The AAOPAC’s government influence occurs via support for candidates whose views are consistent with the goals of the orthodontic specialty, or opposition to those whose views are not compatible with those of the specialty and the dental profession.

Why Create a PAC?

The AAOPAC can magnify the influence of orthodontists on government in ways that the AAO cannot. As a nonprofit organization, the AAO cannot contribute to the campaigns of candidates. However, the AAOPAC can do so. The AAOPAC can collect the contributions of many orthodontists and make a significant contribution to a candidate, on behalf of the specialty as a whole. The AAOPAC also serves to reinforce the goals of the dental profession by supporting candidates to whom other PACs have already contributed the maximum amount allowed by law.  Further, in situations where a particular issue would affect orthodontists more than other dentists, the AAOPAC can focus the specialty’s dollars more effectively.

The AAOPAC collects contributions from eligible AAO members to be used for political purposes.  Contributions are voluntary and are not a requirement for membership in AAO.  An AAO member may contribute up to $5,000 per year, or may make no contribution whatsoever.  AAO will not look upon with favor or disfavor any member by reason of the amount of their contribution or their decision not to contribute. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. AAOPAC is prohibited by law from accepting contributions from anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident. Contributions from persons who do not meet the above criteria will be returned. 

Contributions to the AAOPAC must be made by PERSONAL credit card. AAOPAC may not accept contributions from corporations (i.e., your P.C. or L.L.C.) to be used for political purposes. Federal law requires AAOPAC to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. 

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