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Political Pull

As a (former) New Yorker, I was drawn to the story of the audacious use of raw lobbying power by the New York State Dental Association. The association's executive director, Roy E. Lasky, was not shy about using a quirk of the law and his connections to tamp down dissent within his own non-profit organization.

According to news reports, Lasky's wide acquaintance with and substantial political contributions to senators and assemblymen have made him an influential lobbyist in the state capital. Unfortunately, he became at odds with his New York City chapter--its members were upset with his compensation (as much as $475,000, according to the latest IRS filings) and with his successful effort to dilute their voting power in selecting
statewide officers.

I tried to find out, but nobody is talking. Lasky has not taken press calls on the matter. The attorney general's office did not respond to my requests for an interview. The executive director of the New York City dental group referred me to her lawyer, who didn't return my calls. People who deal with legislators and other politicians tend to clam up when confronted with such bold displays of power.


Bruce D. Collins

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