Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) took quite the political heckling in Nebraska the past few weeks. Both he and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) have come under fire for their on-again-off-again opposition to a public health care option as part of the overhaul now in Congress.
Nelson has said he won't filibuster a bill with a public option in it, so his foes have moved on.
Now Landrieu will be getting the Nelson treatment. Change Congress, the group that sniped at Nelson the last few weeks, is now setting its (web) sites on her. She'll be on the receiving end of $10,000 worth of online ads targeting her for taking $1.6 million from big health care and insurance interests.
The ads link to a petition calling on Landrieu to back a public option and break with big insurance companies.
The Howard Dean funded group Democracy for America will also go after Landrieu, sending e-mails to its 20,000 Louisiana members asking them to call her office and press her to back a public option.
If Landrieu doesn't move back in support of a public option, said Adam Green of Change Congress, direct mail will be sent to Louisiana donors calling on them to withhold campaign funds -- call it fund-suppressing. DFA, meanwhile, is working on a TV ad set to attack Landrieu for her opposition to a public plan.
It's literally unbelievable to me that when you have polling that shows that the public supports a public option for health care by enormous margins (83-14%) and yet we have Democrats dithering over it. The Change Congress ad hits home to Louisianans pretty effectively:
Will Mary Landrieu sell out Louisiana for $1.6 million in special-interest money?
Or will she stand with her constituents--people like Karen Gadbois?
Karen runs Squandered Heritage, a non-profit that roots out post-Katrina corruption. She was The Gambit's 2008 New Orleanian of the Year. Here's her story:
"I'm a breast cancer survivor, so I know how important it is to have affordable health care. Right now I'm uninsured, even though I work full-time.
Even worse, my 19-year-old daughter is also uninsured. I worry about her every day. President Obama's public health insurance option would force private insurers to compete, making insurance affordable for families like mine.
Mary Landrieu needs to stand up for people like me instead of the health and insurance interests that gave her over $1.6 million and now oppose Obama's plan. Please, Senator Landrieu, fight the special interests."
On June 9, Mary Landrieu said "I'm not open to a public option" that would bring Louisiana families competition and choice. Is this why?
Sen. Mary Landrieu raised $1,668,693 from insurance and health care interests in her races for federal office. -- Public Campaign analysis, Center for Responsive Politics data
Please pass this on to your friends (especially those in Louisiana) and sign the petition at Change Congress. We're going to have to force Congress to do the people's work rather than the special interests.