Arizona Democratic Senatorial Candidate Richard Carmona Has Waged His Own War on Women
Bert Atkinson Jr. | On 22, May 2012
Court and hospital records show a history of conflicts between Carmona and other doctors, who complained about his lack of cooperation, “high handedness,” “unwillingness to communicate” and “his escalation of disagreements in an effort to prove he was right.”
That is Richard Carmona: a former Surgeon General under George W. Bush, and now a Democrat, who is trying to take the Arizona Senate seat that has been held by retiring Republican Senator John Kyl. But, as Democrats try to paint themselves as the party of everyone including women, immigrants, and the entire middle-class, the former Surgeon General is a stark contrast according to interviews, co-workers, and testimonies.
Carmona exploded onto the national scene as “An up-from-nothing New York City street kid from Harlem. A high school dropout turned decorated Vietnam War veteran turned trauma surgeon. A moonlighting SWAT team member who shot a suspect dead to protect others and dangled from a helicopter in a daring mountain-side rescue,” according to a 2002 LA Times article on the eve of his Senate confirmation hearings.
The LA Times quoted a University of Arizona surgery professor who worked with Carmona as saying he did not want as his surgeon general someone “who was removed from his two previous administrative appointments…because he could not work in an effective or even a civil manner with health professionals and other constituencies of those positions.”
Want to talk about a ‘War on Women?’
“Hospital administrators cited his ‘bullying’ of a nurse who said he failed to diagnose a young boy’s skull fracture in 1991. Carmona demanded Angie Calvino’s resignation after she complained to colleagues about his medical judgment, rather than reporting her concerns to the hospital’s confidential peer review committee, court records show.”
Another dispute came in 1999 when the Pima County health commissioner, Sylvia Campoy, reported allegations over a doctor with drug abuse problems writing false prescriptions. Carmona, who oversaw the county health system, became irate and accused her of violating the doctor’s confidentiality.
“What I got from Dr. Carmona [after reporting the case] was antagonism and … threats,” Campoy later told an investigator from the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s prescription fraud unit, according to a state Board of Medical Examiners document obtained through Arizona’s public records law. “I was screamed at, I was yelled at. I was told it was none of my business. I was told that I had breached peer review.”
Carmona’s most recent controversy came while he was the Surgeon General under George W. Bush. Via Politico:
But behind the scenes, his former boss Cristina Beato — a onetime supporter turned bitter enemy — was painting a very different picture of Carmona for House investigators, alleging that an angry Carmona twice banged on her door and yelled at her in the middle of the night after workplace disputes.
Beato gave her testimony in secret in 2007, saying Carmona was an “extremely angry” person, a “living nightmare” to work with, had trouble working for a female supervisor and abused travel privileges by improperly billing taxpayers for some personal expenses, according to the testimony. When POLITICO contacted Beato recently, she confirmed her testimony and reiterated her accusations on the record, five years after she originally gave them to the House committee.”
Carmona apparently felt overshadowed by Beato, who was never confirmed by the Senate “due to intense Democratic opposition to her nomination…and was instead reappointed as an ‘acting’ HHS official.”
Beato said last week, “I think the people of Arizona deserve a heck of a lot better.” And she is right. While the Democrats play their version of political games, this is going on behind the scenes. The Republican “War on Women” is about where funding comes from to support all of the egregious spending of the government. Carmona being elected to the Senate would be sheer hypocrisy, and the Democratic party should have the morals to not support him as a candidate, because these issues dont ‘just happen’ to pop up.
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