[media id=8754] Senator Mary Landrieu (DLC, LA) is under "attack" in a radio ad from MoveOn.org. I can't figure out where the "attack" is: the very s
June 22, 2009

Senator Mary Landrieu (DLC, LA) is under "attack" in a radio ad from MoveOn.org. I can't figure out where the "attack" is: the very short radio ad told people factual information about how much soft money the healthcare industry gave to Landrieu and also asked listeners to CALL LANDRIEU and express their opinions about healthcare.

CNN's John King was aghast! {emphasis mine}

...before there's even a bill to vote on, she's being attacked on the radio. Should the president of the United States, the leaders of the Democratic Party tell moveon.org to save its money and get off the radio?

So what exactly about that ad is 'attacking' Senator Landrieu, Mr. King? Publicizing the amount of money she's received from corporate for-profit healthcare lobbyists? Or perhaps, horror of horrors, suggesting that her actual constituents give her a...wait for it...telephone call?

At least Senator Casey from Pennsylvania points out that New York Times survey showing 72 percent of the American people favoring a public option. "I know that's not the universal opinion in Washington," he says. I happen to think the silver lining in this health care "debate" is that finally that 72% is waking up to whose interests their congress people actually serve. Follow the money.

I guess polite Washingtonians find it distasteful to mention who owns their vote, bought and paid for, and are deeply troubled when citizens without 1.6 million dollars in donations call the office expecting to be, you know, heard or something. Move On emailed me recently, asking me to contact "my" representative, John "CO2 is plant food" Shimkus, who is owned by the coal lobby. I told MoveOn I couldn't help them. since I don't have the same soft money donations as the coal industry, therefore my lawn guy (the one planting the grass that eats Shimkus's CO2) is a better representative of my interests than my congressman.

And it's just sick when television media plays along with this charade, indicating that publicizing soft money and promoting citizen involvement somehow "attacks" a United States Senator? Honestly, John King, being a media lapdog to the Georgetown Senatorial Cocktail Party Set is no way to go through life, son.

Full transcript below the fold... (h/t Heather)

KING: So, Senator Casey, come into the conversation with your views. And as you do so, Senator Feinstein, a Democrat, just raised some significant questions. She'd like to get this done but she has big questions.

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is another Democrat who lives in a more conservative state. She has raised some questions. The reward for her raising questions has been a liberal group, moveon.org, is now attacking her on the radio. Let's listen.


ANNOUNCER: Why is Mary Landrieu opposing the president's plan to provide health care choices for all Americans, including the option to join a high-quality public health insurance plan? She did receive $1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health care industry, the same industry that's now spending millions to stop the president's plan. Call Mary Landrieu.


KING: Senator Casey, is that helpful? That's an ally of your party, moveon.org. They have helped the Democrats in elections. They helped President Obama in the election. There's not a bill to vote on yet. There are people like Senator Feinstein, like Senator Lugar, like Senator Grassley. I bet Senator Casey has some questions about this legislation.

And before there's even a bill to vote on, she's being attacked on the radio. Should the president of the United States, the leaders of the Democratic Party tell moveon.org to save its money and get off the radio?

CASEY: Well, John, I'm not sure we can be in the business of telling groups how they spend their money. But, look, this is very early. I don't think either side on this should overreact, people in the Democratic party, groups that support us, nor people in the Republican party. There's still an awful long way to go here.

But the reality, for a lot of families, in Pennsylvania and across the country -- I'll just give you one example. In Pennsylvania, if you look at 2007 and 2008, at some period of time within those two years, more than a quarter of our population had no health insurance at all.

It's a huge number, and the same is true across the country. The worst thing we could do is to sit back and continue to wait and debate for too long.

The status quo, right now, is unacceptable. I think the status quo is the enemy of reform and change. So we have to be cognizant of the difficulty of the cost issues as well as coverage issues. But I really believe we can get this right.

For example, our committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, this week, began voting on amendments. So the ship is moving here; long way to go.

Senator Grassley's worked hard with Senator Baucus on the Finance Committee. There's still a lot of work to do.

But the worst thing we could do, I believe, is to lose the opportunity to get something done here. The American people expect us to be prudent. They expect us to tell how we're going to pay for this.

But the last thing they want us to do is to wait and delay for 2010 or 2011, because this is the economic threat to our country. If we don't get this right and get it done, American families are going to pay far too much. There are estimates, in the next eight years, the cost of health care for families is going to go up by 83 percent, by one estimate.

We cannot allow that crushing economic burden to be imposed upon families who are still struggling to get through this recession. So I think the president was right to focus on reducing costs, enhancing quality, and making sure that people have choices


And I believe one of those choices should be a public option, which, in the paper today, the New York Times survey shows 72 percent of the American people favoring it. I know that's not the universal opinion in Washington. But I believe we can get this right. It's going to be difficult, but our committee is actually moving and voting on amendments, and that's the way it should be.

KING: I will continue to cover this issue and all the other issues, as we go forward. I want to thank all of you senators for joining us for a long, extended conversation today.

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