SkinPAC is vital to advocacy success

From the President

Brett Coldiron

Dr. Coldiron is the Academy's current president.

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This has been a record-breaking year for SkinPAC, the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s political action committee. Thanks to contributions from dermatologists like you, we surpassed our fundraising record from the 2011-2012 election cycle, $1.08 million, by the spring and are well on our way to exceeding our goal of raising $1.4 million during this election cycle.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed! I hope to see many of you at the Summer Academy Meeting in Chicago this month, where I hope to personally thank you for your support. In the meantime, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of you at various society meetings I’ve attended, to hear your concerns about the specialty’s future and reasons for supporting SkinPAC, and to thank you personally for your contributions. For example, I attended a recent meeting where members of the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Society for Mohs Surgery, brought together by our common AADA membership, engaged in friendly competition to see who would give more to SkinPAC. (Both sides won — the ACMS docs contributed more in total, but the ASMS docs gave more on a per-attendee basis.)

You may wonder where this money goes. We’re allowed to contribute up to $5,000 per election to candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives. The SkinPAC Board uses a methodology based on a candidate’s actions to determine who we should support. The methodology measures whether:

  • The candidate holds a leadership position or key committee assignment.
  • The candidate has championed issues important to the dermatology community.
  • The candidate was recommended by an AADA member.

You can recommend candidates SkinPAC should support on the SkinPAC website. You can also find out what candidates we’ve already supported in your state and others.[pagebreak]

Whichever party you support, you’ll find that SkinPAC has given to many candidates from it. That’s because the PAC is about building relationships on both sides of the aisle to ensure that dermatology’s voice is heard when important topics are debated. As Congress decides how to fix the broken Sustainable Growth Rate formula — and how to pay for it — it’s never been more important to ensure that we have access to members of Congress in key positions in both houses, and in both parties.

Our goal is to be a $2 million dollar PAC. This is particularly important at this difficult time, when the specialty finds itself under attack on so many fronts; that level of resources will help the AADA to deliver on its advocacy goals.

Thank you to our current SkinPAC chair, Hazle Konerding, MD, for her leadership in a record-breaking effort. Visit the SkinPAC website or contact Katie Jones, the AADA’s assistant director, political and congressional affairs at kjones@aad.org, for more information about SkinPAC.

SkinPAC’s political purpose is to solicit and receive contributions to be used to make political campaign expenditures to those candidates for federal elective office, and other federal political committees, who demonstrate understanding and interest in the views and goals of the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Contributions to SkinPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. SkinPAC cannot accept contributions from corporate accounts. All AADA members have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits us from accepting contributions from foreign nationals. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, physical address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.