Michelle Caldier, a former dentist, has strong backing from the Dental community, but not so much from her constituents, who account for only 10% of her campaign donations.
If you want to know how Caldier will vote on bills that affect the Health of her district, watch the Logos of her Corporate Sponsors.
Political Campaign Finance is messy, shadowy, and complex. Current court rulings (Citizens United) allow corporations to be treated as if they were real live “people” when donating to politicians. Michelle Caldier has taken full advantage of this ruling in each of her campaigns. Accepting corporate money is permitted; although some politicians choose not to accept these types of donations to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Rep. Caldier’s corporate sponsors come from a wide variety of industries like oil, tobacco, energy, aviation, and health care. However, the largest concentration of her donations comes from the health sector, with the single largest donor group being Dental. Over 45 health care related sponsors have donated in the current and previous Caldier campaigns. Over 70% of these sponsors have donated directly to her campaign multiple times, apparently very satisfied by her performance. Individual dentists also donate directly to her race. As of September 1st,2020, individual dentists have donated $82,000 which is 60% of her total year-to-date. 15% of her donations come from corporations in the medical field while less than 10% of her donations come from constituents from the 26th LD.
The WASHINGTON STATE DENTAL PAC is a PAC formed to fund candidates and political causes that support the goals of organized dentistry. They have been extremely generous to Caldier in the past with exceptionally large I.E.’s (independent expenditures). In past elections they have donated close to $100,000 to their fellow dentist Caldier and show no signs of slowing down this cycle.
What do they get for their money? Caldier has introduced a total of 52 bills in her legislative career, and 13 of those bills concerned Dentistry -- that is 25%! While dentistry is important, is it really an issue on which we want our legislator spending a quarter of her energies?
Notably she voted AGAINST expanding tribal dental services! (HB1414)
If only politicians would wear logos of their sponsors like NASCAR drivers, we would know who employs them.
Stay tuned as ‘Shine a Light on the Right’ focuses on Caldier’s extreme minority NO votes in the Health arena showing connections to her many corporate sponsors. We will be taking an in depth look at bills that had bipartisan support while Caldier voted NO on bills about Medicare fraud, tribal dental services, ACA, Paid Family Leave, reproductive rights, prescription drug prices, a cap of $100 insulin cost, Opioid help, Telemedicine, meal & rest breaks for nurses plus more.