Dr. Rosenau has attended local fundraisers for his congressman on behalf of NEMPAC. “Recently, my congressman called and said, ‘I’d like to go to breakfast with you, and please bring along any other emergency physicians you’d like to bring,’ ” Dr. Rosenau said. “That only happens because of the fact that we combine our individual contributions into a major influence by joining together through NEMPAC.”
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 29 – No 06 – June 2010
In an open-seat election, in which neither candidate is an incumbent, input from the state chapter, local ACEP leaders, and 911 Network members is critical. And discussing ACEP’s legislative agenda with candidates for open seats can be a key factor in gauging their support of emergency medicine.
In 2008, when all of New Mexico’s congressional representatives ran for an open Senate seat, it meant all three of the state’s House seats were also open for that election cycle.
“It was an opportunity to bring the issues of emergency medicine to all of the candidates running for the open seats,” said Dr. David P. Sklar, Chairman of the ACEP Board of Directors.
“Dr. Pam Cutler, President of New Mexico ACEP, and I met either individually or together with various candidates to talk about emergency department boarding, the uninsured, disaster medicine, and other issues. And we asked whether they’d support the Access to Emergency Medical Services Act,” Dr. Sklar said.
They ended up recommending NEMPAC support for candidates in two House races and in the Senate race.
“We were able to go to NEMPAC and say, ‘Here’s what’s happening in New Mexico.’ And there was a rapid response from NEMPAC. They were interested in the fact that we were having direct contact with the candidates,” Dr. Sklar said.
As the election approaches and the competitiveness of each race becomes clearer, NEMPAC can have a greater impact by making contributions to candidates who face a difficult election. “In one case, the candidate was running out of money, so I think our NEMPAC support helped him to get over the top and win,” Dr. Sklar said.
Dr. Sklar added that NEMPAC is bipartisan and “willing to support candidates of either party as long as they understand the issues, because we don’t think emergency medicine is a Democratic or a Republican issue. It’s really an issue for everybody.”