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Americans United For Change Praising Stupak Democrats?

When Health Care for America Now created a bunch of ads thanking Democratic moderates for their votes on health care, they were careful to confine the targets to those who voted No on the Stupak amendment and Yes on the final bill. Of the 20 ads, only Rep. Sanford Bishop voted yes on Stupak. By contrast, Americans United For Change, in their thank-you ads, included a number of Stupak Democrats, along with Stupak Republican Joseph Cao (R-LA). Here are their targets:

Chris Carney (PA), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA), Zack Space (OH), Steve Driehaus (OH), Baron Hill (IN), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Marion Berry (AR), Vic Snyder (AR), Ciro Rodriguez (TX) and Tom Perriello (VA).

With HCAN and AUFC sharing some funders, it almost appears like a coordinated strategy for one group to praise the members of Congress who were right on Stupak, and for the other group to celebrate those who voted to take away women’s rights in the bill. Regardless of the behind-the-scenes machinations, the strategy is puzzling. Furthermore, it calls into question the utility of “thank-you” ads whatsoever. You can agree with the policy of offering carrots and sticks without wasting lots of money that will be needed for future efforts to pass health care reform by delivering a televised carrot, especially to anti-choice Dems.

From the “stick” side of things, is targeting Democrats who voted against the bill, and the Progressive Campaign Change Committee followed suit today by attacking 10 Democrats, most of whom voted Yes on Stupak and no on the bill.

Organizing for America, the organizing arm of the DNC, is welcoming Democrats who voted for the bill back to their districts during this recess, even if they voted to restrict women’s rights on the Stupak amendment. This Daily Kos diarist is looking to subvert that event for Jim Cooper (D-TN) and give him a welcome befitting a Stupak Democrat.

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David Dayen

David Dayen