Thursday, October 11, 2007

HOLDING REACTIONARY DEMOCRATS ACCOUNTABLE: S-CHIP, PART II

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The Blue America/BlogPac campaign to hold the 5 anti-family, reactionary Democrats accountable for backing Bush on his S-CHIP veto is off to a great start. We financed tens of thousands of phone calls to Democrats in the districts represented by Jim Marshall (GA), Bob Etheridge (NC), Baron Hill (IN), Gene Taylor (MS), and Mike McIntyre (NC). The impact of the calls is being amplified by news stories in the local press. Yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the biggest paper in the state ran a story, Marshall Criticized After 'Nay' Vote On Child Health.
Democratic-leaning groups are making hundreds of phone calls in the Macon area district of Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall, deriding Marshall for voting against the funding of a children's health program and potentially causing problems for Marshall, one of the most vulnerable congressional incumbents in the country in the 2008 elections.

The groups-- Blue America and BlogPAC-- are targeting Marshall and four other House Democrats who voted against the bill that would have added $35 billion over five years to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, known nationally as SCHIP and in Georgia as PeachCare for Kids.

The campaign against Marshall and other Democrats mirrors an effort by another coalition of progressive groups that have targeted 17 House Republicans who voted against the SCHIP funding. Democrats sent the bill to President Bush knowing he would veto because it gave Democrats an issue against Republicans in the 2008 election.

Democrats have enough votes in the Senate to override the veto, but not in the House. That's why they're targeting Republicans and Democrats who opposed the bill to change their position on SCHIP and vote to override the veto Oct. 18.

Marshall's spokesman, Doug Moore, said Marshall is unlikely to change his position and he played down the chances that the phone campaign would hurt Marshall among his Democratic constituents.

"It's impossible to predict an impact," Moore said. "Some people were upset and some people were happy" with Marshall's vote, he said. "But you're only hearing from the upset ones. A lot of constituents agree with the way Jim voted."

A number of progressive blogs across the state are helping turn up the heat on Marshall to vote for the SCHIP funding, which would provide an addition 4 million more children with insurance nationwide.

...Marshall's positions on SCHIP and the Iraq war, among other things, earned him at least two Democratic primary challengers. Macon Mayor Jack Ellis last week formed an exploratory committee to challenge Marshall. Robert Nowak, a schoolteacher from Macon, this week joined the primary race.

Echoing Republicans, Marshall said he voted against the bill because he believes the program has strayed from its original intention, with some states enrolling adults and middle-class children in a program intended to help poor children.

Is it a southern thing? Not at all. Even though Marshall and Taylor and the two North Carolina tobacco company whores (McIntyre and Etheridge) voted with Bush, dozens of southern Democrats voted enthusiastically to support S-CHIP and their constituents' desire for a better life for their children. And, more telling, Democrats in the South are actually running on this issue and using it to differentiate themselves with their rubber stamp Republican opponents. Look at this statement from Larry Kissell, the Blue America-endorsed Democrat most likely to displace a Republican incumbent anywhere in the South:
"There is a fight going on in Washington. Some fight for children, some fight for politics. And like the seasoned hand at DC politics that he is, my opponent, Congressman Robin Hayes, is trying to rationalize not supporting SCHIP expansion, a program that will help keep children healthy, by pointing out how powerless he is to change the bill to protect North Carolina tobacco jobs. As folks in Cabarrus County have recently been made painfully aware, tobacco jobs are already leaving, and neither Mr. Hayes' past votes or any other aspect of his tenure in Congress have helped to keep them here one bit.
 
Yet, now when the health of our children is at stake, suddenly he is concerned about keeping our jobs here at home. Of course this coincides with President Bush needing his vote again, just like he did on CAFTA. The working families who depend on Philip Morris fueling the economy of our area to support their children are going to be among the first in need of SCHIP. Congressman Hayes' support of President Bush's veto is sadly pointless for those families.
 
When our jobs are at stake, Hayes stands with Bush over the children of working families. When the children of working families are at stake, Hayes again stands with Bush, only this time blaming the job losses he and President Bush helped create. Enough.
 
There are thousands of families in North Carolina who are counting on Washington politicians to exempt children from their political fight and support SCHIP expansion. I hope Congressman Hayes will just this once break with President Bush and exempt our Congressional District and children from petty politics."

Consider helping out Larry today at Blue America and consider helping re-fill the Blue America PAC. These 5 reactionary Democrats haven't heard the last of us and we have some plans for them-- just to make sure their constituents are aware of their voting records. You can make two donations at one time-- right here.


UPDATE: BARON HILL CRAPS HIS PANTS AND WILL VOTE LIKE A DEMOCRAT AFTER ALL

I don't know if 40,000 robo-calls made Baron Hill nervous this week or if the publisher of the local newspapers in his district told him about teh full page ads that were scheduled to run this weekend, but he has certainly hoisted the white flag. Here's part of a letter he sent out:
Last week the President vetoed H.R. 976, The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007. I am disappointed that a more balanced State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill was not put forth. As such, I strongly implore the President and Democratic Leadership to work together to craft a bill that ensures equitable benefits for all states, as well as an expansion of the program.

...However, providing healthcare for our nation's children is simply too important to abandon. Therefore, even though I know the veto will be upheld, I will vote to override the President's veto in an effort to again show my support for the program and desire to move towards a fairer bill.

We're working hand in hand with the DCCC to make sure the veto is overridden and we're happy to welcome Baron Hill into the Democratic Party, even if, as I fear, only briefly. The DCCC is pounding the Republicans and we're pounding the 4 remaining reactionary, anti-family renegade Democrats. All that extra money we were putting into those Baron Hill newspaper ads can be re-deployed now.

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2 Comments:

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new SCHIP that Democrats are trying to pass is simply another risky vote-buying scheme!

It is definitely not about insuring the uninsured. Under the current SCHIP 50% of children covered were dropped from private insurance by their parents. 75% of kids who live in a household at 300% above poverty have private insurance. The number goes up to 90% the 300 to 400% range.

The new Democrat bill relaxes proof of citizenship requirements. Let's be sure and buy some Latino votes. All one has to do is provide a social security number!

Also, 800,000 adults will be covered under the new State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Notice the work "Children’s"!

Oh, and let's tax low-income smokers to pay the insurance tab for these middle class families.

 
At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are stupid. The "exact opposite of the truth" arguments that conservatives have been offering for the last several years is growing old, and people are getting sick of it.

 

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