Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Straightening the Teeth

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx hosted a fundraiser last Saturday for State Senate candidate Jerry Butler at the Hound Ears clubhouse, and why wouldn't she raise money for the man who wants the seat she once warmed in the state legislature? No word in the article about how much they raised for Butler, who's been forced to loan his own campaign $36,000, according to campaign finance filings at the State Board of Elections. Third Quarter campaign finance reports are not due in Raleigh until Oct. 27th, so we'll have to wait until then to see how much Madam Foxx and the other pooh-bahs forked over to the Boone dentist.

We've been looking a little more closely into the disciplinary consent order handed down against Butler in 1990 by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners, the document that suspended Butler's license to practice dentistry for 30 days and imposed a two-year probationary licensing period following that (Butler's primary opponent used this license suspension against him last spring). The order required Butler to publish an ad once a month for six months, "in a newspaper of general circulation in Watauga County," stating "I am NOT an orthodontist."

The requirement of the ad stating the negative about Butler's qualifications to straighten teeth followed on three separate illegal advertisements by Butler that he WAS an orthodontist and could fit little Susie or Johnnie with braces. According to the "Findings of Fact" in the consent order of 1990, Butler first advertised himself as an orthodontist in 1982, in the Boone telephone directory. Since Butler "has never been qualified under the Board's rules to advertise as a specialist in orthodontics," he was ordered to print a retraction of the telephone directory listing in the local newspaper and to "discontinue the advertisements in future editions of the directory."

Well, Butler did discontinue advertising himself illegally in the telephone directory for a while. Instead, in 1987 he advertised as an orthodontist in the "Big Wednesday" edition of the Watauga Democrat. He was told to "stop it" by the Dental Board. So in 1990 he went back to the classified section of the local telephone book and advertised again as an orthodontist. At which point the Dental Board had had enough and lowered the boom, such as it was.

Butler now wants to be our state senator, kicking out Steve Goss, one of the hardest working members of the state legislature in this or in any other state. Butler wants to achieve this goal (and Madam Foxx is helping him) by running against Goss in somewhat the same way he practiced orthodontics.

That is to say, dishonestly.

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