Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Now that the public option/expanding Medicare is back on the table (and probably the only way to achieve the Cadillac Tax fix in reconciliation without raising taxes), we’ve had readers calling members of Congress. The Senate bill apologists are calling them “monsters” if they refuse to vote for it.  So we’re asking if, like Raul Grijalva, the 65 members who said they would do so will stand by their pledge to vote against the Senate bill which doesn’t have a public option.  Because if enough of them do, it can’t pass.

Our new system gives people the ability to input their call reports so everyone can see them appear in real time. Here’s one from Earl Blumenauer’s office. Blumenauer told the New York Times he doesn’t intend to honor his written pledge to vote against any bill that doesn’t have a public option, and Lawrence, one of Blumenauer’s constituents, writes:

Jane, (note that later in this paragraph how the person from his office asked me if Jane Hamsher took money from Scott Brown! and sorry, I do not have the name of the person I talked to) We are the household that has called Blumenauer’s office for several years. We called again this morning about the public option, he said our rep is working on this, I asked if he saw Firedoglake where Blumenauer is held up to the nation as one who has not stood by his word (NY Times remark) After telling him I do not just want a little lesser version of the bill, we also want the mandate to pay corporations taken out. He said that without the mandate older people would have to pay more. I replied that all we need to do is cut the military budget and we could all have the same health care as congress and that is what we want. I then moved to the MA race and what happened as being very significant, he tried to spin if off ie Coakley didn’t do a good job, etc he just did not want to see that the progressives stayed home etc. So then he began to argue – so progressives would rather sent another Brown to Congress as though he wouldn’t believe that. I said that is what happens when the Democratic Party has been betrayed to such a degree and backed the people up against the wall that they had nowhere to move but to allow sending a R for their beloved Teddy Kennedy Senate seat . . Then at one point he asked ” Did Scott Brown send Jane Hamsher money? I replied “Do you know who Jane Hamsher is?? She would not be taking money from Scott Brown. I said to him “You just don’t want to see it that the Democratic Party has split and you can no longer count on Progressives to support you, do you? You just want to spin it another way” At that point I went on and on about how I have called and pleaded to stand up for our constitution and all the other issues. Much more, but enough for now.

No, we don’t take money from Scott Brown, or anyone who has informed us that they’re Republicans, or anyone who has asked us to do anything in return for a donation.  We get thousands of small donor donations and don’t ask anyone’s party affiliation, but the “pay-for-play” accusation implies we’re knowingly doing something for money.  In five years, nobody has ever asked us to write or do anything in exchange for a donation, nor have we ever done so.

But the idea that Democrats have nothing to worry about from the crisis of trust that is occurring over health care is such a serious misreading of the events in Massachusetts it’s hard to fathom anyone could believe it.

According to polling done by Research 2000 for the PCCC, DFA and MoveOn:


  • 82% of Obama voters who voted for Brown
  • 86% of Obama voters who stayed home


  • 57% of Brown voters say Obama “not delivering enough” on change he promised
  • 49% to 37% among voters who stayed home

It appears Earl Blumenauer thinks he can make a pledge about something people really care about (a public option), break it, and then scold people into showing up for him because the alternative is worse. But he’s probably not unique.

Call members of Congress and ask them if they intend to stand by their pledge to vote against the Senate bill. Let them know that you don’t think they’re “monsters” for keeping their promises.  Let’s see how deep this “Blumenauer problem” is. Because if they don’t keep that promise, the Senate bill could pass (and despite reports to the contrary, don’t think they’re not doing everything they can to make it happen).

Earl Blumenauer: DC Office: (202) 225-4811, OR Office: (503) 231-2300. Other office numbers and live call report form here.