Dear MoveOn member,
If the final health care reform bill doesn't include a public option, it'll be because of conservative Senate Democrats like Blanche Lincoln.
After taking more than $700,000 from Big Insurance and HMO interests, she was one of just a handful of senators who vowed to filibuster health care reform until the public option was removed—and just Friday, she denounced it again.1
But now we've got a huge opportunity to replace her, and to send a powerful message to Washington that obstructing progressive legislation has heavy political costs.
She's up for reelection this year, and Bill Halter, the state's progressive lieutenant governor, is deciding right now whether to challenge her in the Democratic primary.2 Can you sign our petition to Bill Halter telling him we'll have his back if he decides to run?
The petition says, "We've had enough of Democrats like Blanche Lincoln who listen to big corporations instead of their constituents. We urge you to challenge her in the primary and we'll work hard to support you if you do."
We asked MoveOn members in Arkansas about this race, and over 90 percent said that we should urge Halter to run and support his campaign.
Jennifer P. from Little Rock told us, "Lincoln never met a special interest she didn't like. It's hard to express just how awful she has been as a senator. I don't know of anyone who will vote for her if she shows up on the November ballot."
By contrast, according to MoveOn member Bill C. from Pocahontas, Halter is "more electable and much more likely to support progressive legislation."
As lieutenant governor, Bill Halter led the successful campaign to establish a state-run lottery with all proceeds donated to tens of thousands of college scholarships for Arkansas students.3 He also recently helped organize a free medical clinic that provided care for more than 1,000 uninsured Arkansans.4 And he's spoken out strongly against anti-gay ballot measures in Arkansas.5
But he's facing a tough fight, because Lincoln has raised millions in campaign contributions from corporate interests and has more than $5 million in the bank.6 So we need to show Bill Halter that progressives will support him if he decides to run.
Click here to sign the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
–Adam, Ilya, Michael, Kat, and the rest of the team
1. Analysis conducted by Public Campaign Action Fund using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, October 2009
"Lincoln: 'I'll Filibuster A Public Option Bill,'" Talking Points Memo, November 21, 2009
Tweet by Sen. Lincoln, February 19, 2010
2. "Lincoln Faces Rough Road," The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2010
3. Office of Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, accessed February 22, 2010
4. "More Than 1,000 Uninsured Receive Care at Free Clinic in Little Rock," Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Nov. 23, 2009
5. "Halter: Against Initiated Act 1," Arkansas Times, October 26, 2008
"Blanche Lincoln Could Face Primary Opponent Due To Health Care Opposition," Huffington Post, November 19, 2009
6. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics, accessed February 22, 2010
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