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We’re Having A Contest: Which Democrat Has the Most Lobbyist Skeletons In Their Closet?

There are 65 Democratic members of the House who have said that they will vote against any bill that does not have a public option.

But there are 55 more Democrats in districts that have a 10 point Democratic advantage or more.  What about them?  If 77% of the country want a public plan, how many people in the districts of members who have a 10, 20, 30 or 40 point Democratic advantage must want one?

These members aren’t in any danger from the teabaggers.  So why aren’t they making a stand for the interests of their districts?  Why aren’t they cosigning the letter to Kathleen Sibelius with 60 of their fellow Democrats, saying they will vote "no" against any bill that does not have a strong public option?

Here are the 55:

Member District PVI Member District PVI
Davis, Artur AL-07 D+18 Markey, Ed MA-07 D+15
Pastor, Ed AZ-04 D+13 Lynch, Stephen F. MA-09 D+11
Thompson, Mike CA-01 D+13 Van Hollen, Chris MD-08 D+21
Matsui, Doris CA-05 D+15 Kildee, Dale E. MI-05 D+11
Miller, George CA-07 D+19 Levin, Sander MI-12 D+12
Eshoo, Anna CA-14 D+21 Dingell, John MI-15 D+13
Lofgren, Zoe CA-16 D+16 McCollum, Betty MN-04 D+13
Capps, Lois CA-23 D+12 Andrews, Robert NJ-01 D+12
Berman, Howard CA-28 D+23 Berkley, Shelley NV-01 D+10
Schiff, Adam CA-29 D+14 Ackerman, Gary NY-05 D+12
Waxman, Henry CA-30 D+18 Meeks, Gregory W. NY-06 D+36
Becerra, Xavier CA-31 D+29 Rangel, Charles NY-15 D+41
Harman, Jane CA-36 D+12 Engel, Eliot L. NY-17 D+18
Baca, Joe CA-43 D+13 Slaughter , Louise NY-28 D+15
Davis, Susan CA-53 D+14 Ryan, Tim OH-17 D+12
DeGette, Diane CO-01 D+21 Brady, Robert PA-01 D+35
Polis, Jared CO-02 D+11 Doyle, Michael F. PA-14 D+19
Larson, John CT-01 D+13 Kennedy, Patrick J. RI-01 D+13
Castor, Kathy FL-11 D+11 Clyburn, James E. SC-06 D+12
Meek, Kendrick FL-17 D+34 Cohen, Steve TN-09 D+23
Wasserman-Schultz, Debbie FL-20 D+13 Green, Al TX-09 D+22
Lewis, John GA-05 D+26 Reyes, Sylvestre TX-16 D+10
Scott, David GA-13 D+15 Jackson-Lee, Sheila TX-18 D+24
Abercrombie, Neil HI-01 D+11 Scott, Bobby VA-03 D+20
Rush, Bobby IL-01 D+34 Moran, Jim VA-08 D+16
Lipinski, Dan IL-03 D+11 Welch, Peter VT-AL D+13
Davis, Danny IL-07 D+35 Baldwin, Tammy WI-01 D+15
Schakowsky, Jan IL-09 D+20      

What’s going on with these members of Congress, that they refuse to say they will represent something that the people in their districts overwhelmingly want?  Well, let’s find out.

Slink is having a contest

Slinkerwink is going to be running a contest over at DailyKos for the next 11 days. Each day, she’ll be choosing 5 of these members and asking people to crowd source research their backgrounds.  She’ll be looking into their history of campaign donations from health care industry stakeholders who made deals with the Baucus Caucus.  The revolving doors of their staff members turned lobbyists.   Their parties.  Their fundraisers.  Their voting records.  Their committee votes.  The amendments they’ve offered.  The way they’ve weakened bills they pretend to support.

Each day, she’ll take a poll — which of the five has been the most compromised by their relationships with lobbyists?

At the end of the 11 days, we’ll have three days of semifinals where the crowd-sourced research is presented for the winners from each day.  And then the seminfinalists advance to one glorious day of finals on 

And what does the winner get?  Well, we have quite a prize package for Democrat most compromised by lobbying interests:

  • A dedicated landing page collecting all of the crowd sourced information about their relationships with lobbyists and their voting history
  • Educational calls into every Democratic household in the district letting them know the member won’t take a stand to defend the public option
  • Post cards to every Democratic home in the district, directing them to the website and letting them know the member’s history with lobbying interests
  • An automated call-in number for people (seniors) who can’t login to the website

We’re also going to have fabulous consolation prizes for the runner-ups to be announced later in the week.

So, Democratic members of Congress?  Think this one is going down the memory hole?  Think again!

Members of Congress, got a tip you’d like to share on a fellow member who has publicly referred to you in less than flattering terms?  Former (or present) staffers looking to unburden your conscience?  You can leave information on our tip line, which we’ll have up soon.

Join Slinkerwink every day for the next 15 days and vote for your favorite Democratic sell-out.  And if you’d like to help us award more fabulous prizes to more richly deserving members of Congress,  you can donate here.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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