Ad Watch: Pan is a doctor – and a politician

lrosenhall@sacbee.comMay 17, 2014 

  • HOW TRUE IS IT?

    True

    Somewhat misleading

    Mostly misleading

    Outright lie

Assemblyman Richard Pan is highlighting his career as a doctor in his race against fellow Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson to represent the Sacramento region in the state Senate. A similar message is emerging in the independent advertising campaigns outside interest groups are mounting to benefit Pan. They have already spent more than $507,000 to support Pan and slam Dickinson.

Here is the transcript of a radio ad paid for by the California State Council of Service Employees, followed by an analysis by Laurel Rosenhall of The Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau.

Narrator:

The political headlines surrounding the state Capitol are distressing.

But on June 3, we have the chance to vote for someone who offers a refreshing choice. Dr. Richard Pan for state Senate.

A pediatrician, not a full-time politician, Dr. Pan founded “Healthy Kids, Healthy Future” – allowing 65,000 disadvantaged kids in the Sacramento region to see a doctor.

Believing that everyone should have access to health care, Dr. Richard Pan has been working with community organizations throughout Sacramento to sign people up for health coverage.

Dr. Pan fought to make sure that health insurance companies can’t discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions.

Dr. Pan is a candidate for state Senate because he wants to use his expertise to make sure all of us have quality affordable health care.

What a refreshing change! Dr. Richard Pan to represent us. The right choice for state Senate.

Analysis:

It’s true that Pan is a licensed doctor, but the ad misleads by saying he is “not a full-time politician.”

Pan graduated from medical school in 1991 and became a licensed doctor in California in 1998, according to the state Department of Consumer Affairs, which reports data from the state medical board. Pan worked as a pediatrician and medical school professor at UC Davis for a dozen years, a spokesman for the university reported, taking a two-year leave of absence after he was elected to the Assembly in 2010.

Since then, Pan has served as a member of California’s full-time Legislature. Like other California legislators, he is paid $95,291 a year to do the job. Pan also accepted additional “per diem” payments from the Legislature for a year and a half during 2012-13, when he maintained a second residence in the Pocket area while his wife and children lived in Natomas.

Pan said in an interview that he continues to volunteer as a pediatrician at a health clinic in Oak Park, usually on Friday afternoons when most lawmakers leave the Capitol to work in their districts. The manager of the WellSpace Health clinic confirmed that Pan typically sees patients there about once a week.

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