Liberal group offers Reid a carrot

Progressives who back a public option run a radio ad supporting the majority leader

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 21, 2009 9:05PM (UTC)
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Liberals are not always Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's best friends. In fact, one group is running an ad right now that's designed to pressure Reid into pushing for a public option, essentially telling people not to vote for him if he doesn't. But Americans United for Change, a progressive organization that's also behind the idea of a government-run insurer, is trying a different approach.

Reid is in real trouble right now; he needs to run for re-election next year and Nevadans aren't that thrilled with the idea of giving him another term. So the threat of negative ads might work -- or, since they're coming from people nominally on his side, they might just make the majority leader angry. AUC's going with a different tack; they're launching a positive radio ad in Nevada this week, one intended as a hint of future assistance if Reid can deliver on their policy priorities.


"The fight to provide health care to every American has been a marathon," the ad says. "Now that the marathon is beginning its last lap the insurance companies are desperate to prevent us from getting to the finish line. Luckily the guy who has been handed the baton to run that last lap is Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid. Luckily... because Harry Reid isn’t afraid to fight the insurance companies. He’s already gone after their anti-trust exemption…. and he’ll keep fighting until we get health care for all Americans -- including a public option -- this year. Cheer him on. Call Senator Reid at 702-388-5020 -- tell him to keep fighting until we win."

According to AUC, they've put $23,000 behind the spot, which will air on stations in Las Vegas and Reno.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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