An obscure conservative group says it is launching a major TV-ad campaign Monday urging 13 House members to vote “No” on comprehensive healthcare reform legislation.
The organization, which calls itself the League of American Voters, says it will target an additional 17 House Democrats, as well. The TV ad is titled “Stop Them Now!”
The group’s intention, it says in a statement, is to give these lawmakers a “second chance” with voters. The Democrats all voted for healthcare reform last fall. The conservative group now wants them to change their votes.
It says that its first wave of TV ads zero-in on Reps. Mike Arcuri (N.Y.), Christopher Carney (Pa.), Baron Hill (Ind.), Steve Kagen (Wis.), Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), Alan Mollohan (W.V.), Nick Rahall (W.V.), Tom Perriello (Va.), Dan Maffei (N.Y.), Mark Schauer (Mich.), Zach Space (Ohio), Harry Teague (N.M.), and Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.).
The organization tells these lawmakers to “man up” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi, who is leading the charge in the House to enact healthcare reform, took part in last week’s bipartisan White House healthcare reform summit.
Like all members of the House, the lawmakers targeted by these ads are up for re-election in November. Many of the targeted lawmakers were elected in the big Democratic victory years of 2006 and 2008.
Americans believe in ‘second chances,’ but their patience is running thin,” says Bob Adams, executive director for the League of American Voters. “So man-up to Pelosi’s pressure, and join the landslide of Americans who oppose the Obama-Pelosi plan.”
Pelosi and other leading Democrats are rounding up votes to approve a final version of healthcare reform, which would go to Obama to sign into law.
The House and Senate each approved separate versions of healthcare reform before Christmas of last year. The effort to merge those differing bills stalled in January with the election of Republican Scott Brown to fill a Senate seat from Massachusetts. Brown gave Senate Republicans a crucial 41st vote that enabled the GOP to unite to block any further healthcare legislation in the Senate.
Democrats, including Obama, are now planning a way forward, to approve a bill in the House and then move a bill in the Senate under a process known as “reconciliation” which would not be subject to a Republican filibuster.
The League of American Voters is little-known, either within the healthcare debate, or in wider political advocacy. Its website lists Adams as its executive director, noting that he began his career in 1994 for then-Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, a high-profile conservative who helped fuel the GOP “revolution” of the 1990s.
The group lists a Washington, DC address, and says it is a membership organization claiming to represent “nearly 50,000 members nationwide.”
Publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.