Last week we reported a piece of news that a cynic could say was act of White House pressure on Congressman Stupak and his pro-life coalition
Connie Saltonstall of Charlevoix said today she plans to run against Stupak for the Democratic nomination of Michigan’s First Congressional District, citing Stupak’s efforts to stop health care reform if it doesn’t ban use of government money for abortions. Stupak, a former state trooper from Menominee, has held the seat since 1993.Speaker Nancy Pelosi is famous for muscling her members in the last hours before a vote. She may pull that trick off again with health care, but the unusual nature of the bill presents new obstacles for the Pelosi method.
In today’s WSJ John Fund says that kind of pressure may not be coming from the White House, but from the President’s designated goons, the SEIU:
Normally, a House speaker can smooth over the concerns of balky members by promising to fix areas of concern in the conference committee that reconciles the House and Senate versions of a bill. But Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to skip a conference committee on health care, so the House must pass the Senate bill — unpopular with many members — with no changes at all. House members will just have to trust the Senate’s good faith in using the awkward “budget reconciliation” process later to change the now-law of the land to the House’s liking. “It’s a real concern with some members that the Senate won’t follow through,” Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, told me.
With fewer carrots, the Speaker and her allies are brandishing more sticks to corral the necessary votes. MoveOn.org has been raising money to finance liberal challengers to vulnerable House Democrats who vote against the bill. Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, leader of pro-life House Democrats who oppose the Senate’s abortion funding language, tells Robert Costa of National Review that he has even been threatened with ethics complaints.
Likewise, the Service Employees International Union, which stands to gain many unionized members if health care passes, has also been active. New York Democrat Mike McMahon was visited by a top SEIU official and told that he won’t get union funding if he votes “no.” Indeed, union representatives hinted they might look for a primary challenger or third-party candidate to run in his Staten Island district.
Such threats may not be as effective as liberal interest groups hope. Mr. McMahon’s district voted for John McCain last year and Democrats know any last-minute primary challenger to Mr. McMahon would likely lose to a Republican in the fall, even if he or she succeeded in toppling the incumbent in the Democratic primary. Threats by MoveOn.org and SEIU against many incumbents are also less than believable simply because the filing deadline to mount primary challenges has already passed for more than 40% of House seats. Meanwhile, the debate over health care has dragged on so long that many Democratic members are now clearly more worried about the impact on general election voters than on the party faithful.
Big Government supposes that the White House is so close to their friends at the SEIU they may be changing their “dress” to wear SEIU Colors (check out the matching wristbands):
I thought it was odd that Robert Gibbs was wearing a purple bracelet (and a purple tie) during his appearance on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face The Nation.” SEIU president Andy Stern, the top visitor to the White House, wore a similar, if not the same, purple bracelet at one point, too. And in virtually every photo of Stern, he’s wearing SEIU’s purple color. Am I making too much out of nothing? Maybe. Who knows.
I do believe that the Purple dress code is a coincidence….maybe. It doesn’t change the fact that the SEIU has a huge role in the Obamacare Fight, and they will do whatever they need to guarantee its passage. The SEIU National Industry Pension Fund is only funded at 65%, which puts it on the borderline of endangered and critical. The financial relief brought by Obamacare, will help the union free up funds to restock their dying pension plans.
The bracelet is kind of a signal to tell Stern that the administration has it under control and ObamaCare will be delivered. Just a few more Democrats need to be shown the Chicago way.