Controversial Parnell APOC Appointee Withdraws Name

Governor Sean Parnell’s pick for the Alaska Public Offices Commission pulled his name from consideration yesterday because of disparaging remarks he had previously made about Alaska Natives.

David Eichler, a dentist from North Pole and former head of the Alaska Dental Society, came under fire after comments he made during a legal dispute in 2006 were published online. He suggested that higher rates of tooth decay in rural Alaska were the result of cultural deficiencies and that tooth decay was a form of child abuse in Native communities. He wrote that “Any culture that allows such disease will soon disappear and rightfully so.” Eichler also argued for the end of federal health subsidies in Bush communities, because it was preventing Alaska Natives from assimilating into American society.

Representative Bryce Edgmon of Dillingham says that he and other rural legislators received a number of complaints about the nomination from their constituents.

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