Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can we make 40,000 phone calls for the public option? YES WE CAN!

Today the FDL Action PAC launches an online phone bank effort to call 40,000 of the most progressive Democrats in Nevada, asking them to contact Harry Reid and let him know they support a public option.

Why are we calling Nevada? Because as Senate Majority leader, it is Harry Reid's choice and his alone to include the public option in a final Senate bill. He's the only one who gets to make that decision. And if he decides to kowtow to powerful DC lobbying interests by dropping the public option, then he's the one who will have to shoulder the blame.

Nevada Democrats will be asked to call Reid's office to encourage him to include the HELP Committee's public option in the final bill without limitation (no triggers, co-ops, "opt-outs" or other weakening measures). The phonebank will also identify Nevada constituents who would support a primary challenge to Reid if he fails to bring the public option to the floor. The data they capture will be a powerful tool in launching a campaign for a better Democratic Senator should Reid fail to listen to Democrats on this issue.

Harry Reid has said he will raise $25 million for his 2010 race. That's over 3 1/2 times the amount he spent in 2004. With a 38% approval rating, It's understandable why he thinks he needs to buy this race. But Reid's unwillingness to enforce caucus discipline means that the 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority that so many Democrats worked so hard for is now meaningless. If he abandons the public option, Nevada residents - and all Democrats - can and should do better.

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