Finding Integrity is Like Pulling Teeth


A congressman-elect from Arizona has hired a retired Wasilla dentist closely tied to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his chief of staff.

Rep.-elect Paul Gosar (R-AZ), himself a dentist, hired Rob Robinson as his top aide, Roll Call reports today. Palin endorsed Gosar after Robinson, a political friend of hers, introduced them.

Original postcard

It’s the second member of the Palin circle to find work with Gosar. The new congressman also hired Thomas Van Flein, the Palin family’s lawyer, as his deputy chief of staff and legislative director.


Palin hired Van Flein in 2008 to defend her in the Trooper-Gate investigation, a scandal revolving around the firing of a state trooper who was embroiled in a family dispute with the Palins. Palin has kept Van Flein on retainer this year, paying him $10,000 a month through her PAC.


Gosar served with Robinson on the American Dental Association’s government affairs council. And Gosar — despite being from a state 2,500 miles away — used his influence at the national organization to help the Alaska group in a legal crusade it fought earlier this decade. According to a glowing endorsement by the ADS [Alaska Dental Society] this summer, Gosar helped draw the ADA’s attention to a fight to stop “dental therapists” from practicing basic dentistry in rural Alaska.

The fight centered around eight federally-licensed dental therapists, who had been trained for two years and practiced in remote villages populated by Alaska Natives. The ADS argued that the therapists needed to be licensed by the state; proponents of the program argued that the therapists were the only way to get basic dental care to the residents of remote places who were often too poor to travel to a city with a licensed dentist. In 2007, a judge ruled that the program could continue.

Van Flein represented the group in the failed lawsuit. The group’s then-president, David Eichler, drew fire during the court battle when he suggested on an online message board that Native tribes had poor dental health due to ignorance and deserved to die out, statements other members of the ADS, and the ADA, condemned. He later apologized.

Like Van Flein, Eichler also had a role in Trooper-Gate, the scandal surrounding Palin’s firing of the state’s public safety commissioner. Van Flein was Palin’s lawyer in the ensuing investigation. Eichler was one of five Alaska residents — represented by former Senate candidate Joe Miller — who sued the Trooper-Gate investigator in Sept. 2008, saying the probe was a waste of taxpayer money. Eichler and the other plaintiffs dropped the case within a month, once it became apparent they wouldn’t win.

Van Flein, in his work for the ADS, also wrote an amicus brief for the group in the 2007 appeal of an Alaskan dentist who had been convicted of getting patients hooked on prescription drugs and then manipulating them into having sex with him to get more drugs. The ADS filed the brief in favor of the dentist, Stephen Grandstaff, arguing that the trial court should not have admitted statements Grandstaff made during a peer-reviewed investigation. The ADS argued that anything in peer review is confidential; the court ruled that confidentiality didn’t apply to criminal cases. Grandstaff is serving a 19-year sentence.


Filed under Alaska, Congress, humor, parody, politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

25 responses to “Finding Integrity is Like Pulling Teeth

  1. Whoaaaa! What a demon! The obstruction of dental care to the poor people is brutal. Geez. And the pervo dentist client? Ok. Inbred people are looking normal and friendly right now. 😯

    (Thanks for highlighting this. I missed it.)

  2. Holy Crap! Alaskans better have good teeth with that kind of dental board!

    Finally, I’m back and making rounds to my favorite blog friends who I haven’t been to in a couple of months! I hope your November AND December were filled with good times and here’s to a year of good friendships and new adventures!

  3. afrankangle

    Melissa was right … there’s something in the Arizona water supply!

  4. I understand Van Fleabag was Palin’s toadie…. he used to send nasty grams to bloggers like The Immoral Minority, saying he’d better stop posting stuff about Palin.
    Of course, that just fired up the Alaskan bloggers even more… because what they were doing was perfectly legal…. they were just trying to intimidate people into silence.
    It’s all pretty crazy stuff… but now a migration to Arizona.
    Maybe McGramps will retire & the Wasilla Hillbillies want in on runnin a red state??

    • i was wondering about brisket suddenly buying a house in arizona. what’s the deal with alaska and arizona? is this just a coincidence, or is there a plan afoot? if ben quayle can get elected in arizona, is it much of a stretch to imagine brisket running one day?

      • Arizona just officially became the Island of Misfits!
        Maybe Brisket just wanted to get as far away from Mommy Dearest as she could? Just be glad she did not pick Floriduh to move the circus to!

        • i don’t think brisket bought in arizona in order to get away from mommy dearest. she doesn’t think for herself. everything she does is scripted by momma and her handlers. of all places for a 20-year-old to live, would arizona be the first choice? something’s up.

  5. With a name like Grandstaff this guy should have just gone into the low grade porn trade since he already has a funny name and over-reving dentist “tool”. A perfect campaign slogan for the AZ dental gaggle: Bite Me! The latest grizzle flash new from supermart checkout line headlines on Nat Enq: Sarah Palins lesbian secrets! Must get the popcorn ready, just hours away from the great Cspan dog and pony show in the house. They will soon busy themselves doing God’s Work ™. Let us pray that the Hand Of God doesn’t slip and crush them all.

    • oh good, i wasn’t the only one who saw the irony in his last name being grandstaff. why do i get the feeling it’s really less than grand?

      did you watch the last word? lawrence o’donnell picked apart one of the idiot rethugs who will be reading the constitution tomorrow until there was nothing left but bones. if i recall correctly, his name is bob goodlatte. let me see if i can find a video. here we go, huffpo has it.

  6. Yes, did see Last Word several times this week and Lawrence is earning his pay. Notice how calm and collected West was?! Back to business as usual. And the big Boner cost cutting of that whoping 5% is exactly like that episode of Yes, Prime Minister when all the agencys around the table are pressed on cut back and always answer “Oh yes, about….5%! I should have known your clever observation would deduct the naughty humor in Grandstaff, in sort of a W.C. Fields way. After that last exchange, we better let sleeping dogs lie. No red rocket tonight.

    • i was mad at lawrence for defending chris christie the other night, but i was unmad when he took goodlatte apart. i wish he had been tougher on allen west. west was full of shit when he said people were picking on him, because he rides a motorcycle. they criticized him for defending the outlaws motorcycle gang.