The group, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, is polling its Minnesota members to decide whether it should lobby DFL Sen. Al Franken on the health care bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the deal early tomorrow morning but several liberal and progressive groups aren't happy that the bill doesn't include the public option.
The head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which Source Watch says is an offshoot of Move On.org and labor groups, says it sent an e-mail to thousands of their Minnesota members asking whether they think Franken has fought strongly enough on the public option and whether members would support adding more political pressure on him:
If Al Franken and other progressive senators threatened to block a bad bill, President Obama would face a choice: Strong-arm Lieberman and Nelson to support the final bill, which has huge popular support OR strong-arm progressives into supporting a bill with 33% support. The smart choice is obvious. But it's up to progressive senators to force that choice.
We've seen in the last few months that Al Franken has the capacity to be bold and challenge the powers that be. The question is: Will he be bold and exert smart leverage on this issue?
Our next grassroots steps will likely entail pressuring progressive senators to say they will block any final bill without a public option. But before we add Al Franken to the list of those who need pressure, we want the opinion of our Minnesota members.
The head of the group, Adam Green, said they've run ads pressuring Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic Senators Ben Nelson and Max Baucus and Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Chuck Grassley to support the public option.
I contacted Franken's office for a comment. I'll post if/when I get one. A spokeswoman for Franken said "no comment."
I think you all need to relax and give Franken a break. He is striking back as he put Senator Leiberman in his place this past week. This health care plan that will cover 31 more million currently uninsured. If Franken would have would have not voted in favor of this bill, all of these uninsured would have remained uninsured for who knows how long, and we may not have seen any health care legislation passed in Obama's first term. Let's look at the greater good here and celebrate that we are headed in the right direction.
Save our energy for the conference committee.