Uncategorized

Forrester falsified credentials? Maybe, maybe not.

So, did state Sen. James Forrester intentionally misstate some of his medical credentials on the bio on his campaign page?

That much remains to be seen. He says he didn’t.

For those just catching up to this week’s small  bit of controversy, Forrester, an 11-term Republican from Gaston County, is listed as a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine on both his campaign website as well as a profile of Forrester up on Gaston County  GOP website.

The group, when contacted recently by a blogger, said they’d never heard of Forrester, and have now asked him to take down any references to them.

Forrester, as most N.C. Policy Watch readers will easily recall, was the primary force behind the measure to try to amend the state’s constitution and ban same sex unions, a decision that will be made by voters in May.

In addition to leading the charge for the anti-LGBT amendment, Forrester  gave Asheville the new slogan “cesspool of sin”during a September town hall meeting with constituents. At that same meeting, he also claimed the lifespan of gay individuals was shorter than those of heterosexuals, something that’s been refuted repeatedly in the medical community.

Forrester spoke with N.C. Policy Watch this morning and said the whole situation is a  a misunderstanding.

“If there’s anything falsified on my records it was inadvertently done,” he said. He added, “The gay and lesbian community is looking for anything they can to discredit me.”

Scott Rose, a New York-based blogger, first pointed out the problems with Forrester’s credentials yesterday on Pam’s House Blend, a progressive blog about LGBT issues.

Rose had fired off a letter to the American College of Preventive Medicine about Forrester, and they responded that he wasn’t one of theirs.

WRAL’s Laura Leslie also had this blog post last night about Forrester listing himself as a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine on his campaign website, and spoke with the head of the group that said they have no records of Forrester being part of the college.

But Michael Barry, the executive director of the American College of Preventive Medicine, says Forrester is not and has never been a Fellow of the College.

“A Fellow is kind of our highest designation of membership,” Barry explained. “We don’t know Dr. Forrester, so I can’t speak to his motives.”

Forrester said today that he joined the group in 1984, and has a certificate that identifies him as a fellow of the group hanging on his wall. He’s sending a copy of that to N.C. Policy Watch for verification.

He said he thinks the the American College of Preventive Medicine took him off their rolls when he missed some yearly dues, and that their records don’t go back to the early 1980s, when he joined.

We’ve put in a call to American College of Preventive Medicine to see if that explanation is viable, and will update this post when we hear back.

5 Comments

  1. James

    September 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Inadvertently? How convenient.

    Sort of like Clarence Thomas “inadvertently” failing to disclose his wife’s income for more than 20 years.

    Forrester deserves no benefit of the doubt, but he is wrong about anyone trying to discredit him. He’s done that sufficiently well all be his inadvertent self.

  2. gaylib

    September 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Those excuses are laughable. He has a 30 year old certificate hanging on his wall? He quit paying dues and they actually may have take him off of their rolls? Are you kidding me? This guy is a liar, and not a very good one. And then to blame the gay community for at worst a blatant fraud, and at best utter incompetence is just downright cowardly. Time for Mr. Forrester to start taking a look at himself before trying to legislate morality on everyone else.

  3. Scott Rose

    September 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I wish to clarify that investigation of Senator/Doctor Forrester’s online bios was stimulated by Forrester’s pattern of disseminating documentably untrue health care information to the public. His doing so was, and remains, particularly curious as he is a licensed physician. The public has a legitimate interest in knowing whether an elected official’s mental apparatus is functioning properly.

    While it is true that LGBT bloggers have a particular concern about Forrester’s incorrect public statements on gay people’s health statistics, it remains an open question whether Forrester has mastery of health care sciences and statistics in other areas. He claimed to have had a statistic from the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta which the CDC says does not correspond to anything in its records. I invited Forrester to furnish me with documentation for his claim related to the CDC but he has not even acknowledged the e-mail.

    In sum, Forrester has repeatedly insisted to the public that incorrect health care information and statistics he gives out are accurate. Even when the sources he cites for the information contradict him, he refuses to make a public correction. On what basis is one to believe that he is capable of retaining accurate knowledge of health care information and statistics? He appears disconcerned with the impression he has created that his mental apparatus is failing him.

  4. G

    October 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Thank you, Scott, for bringing this matter to the public’s attention… and you’re entirely correct that how and why it was discovered that he has been falsifying his medical credentials is irrelevant. The whole “…and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling deviants” deflection that Forrester is attempting now is the mindset of a five year old whose been watching too much Scooby Doo.

  5. […] told NC Policy Watch last Friday that he was indeed a fellow from the national group, and had a certificate on the wall to prove it. […]