Payback for Dems | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Payback for Dems

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Will the Obama White House and labor punish five House Democrats who deserted them on health care after supporting initial passage? I'm not sure that's Obama's way. It ought to be.

Jonathan Martin in Politico says this could mean fallout for Rep. Marion Berry's hand-picked successor, Chad Causey, who parroted his boss' opposition to the historic victory and a dramatic step toward universal coverage. If punishment is to be meted out, Berry won't be around to get it, but his cutout will. Let us hope. Causey's early money from the sugar lobby and chemical industry already gives a hint of who his masters will be.

Of the five, Berry, who is retiring after this term, is the only one who will definitely not be on the ballot in November — and seemingly the one with the least to lose by staying in the “yea” column.

But the strong suspicion among top Democrats is that Berry switched his vote as a favor to his chief of staff, Chad Causey, who is running to succeed him and has indicated that he would have opposed the legislation.

Alan Hughes, president of the Arkansas AFL-CIO, said his organization was “highly disappointed in [Berry’s] vote” and noted that Causey and the other Democrats running for the seat Berry is vacating would be sitting for interviews at the state federation’s convention this weekend in Hot Springs.

 “We’re going to drill the hell out of them,” Hughes said, alluding to their positions on health care and other issues important to labor.

SPEAKING OF THE AFL-CIO: Bill Halter and Joyce Elliott are scheduled speakers at the convention. Which tells you how Senate and 2nd District Congress endorsements should work out.

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