Patterico's Pontifications


Stupak’s Office Responds to Nelson Agreement

Filed under: Health Care,Politics — DRJ @ 4:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Politico reports an aide to Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak was coordinating with Republicans to respond to today’s announcement that Sen. Ben Nelson resolved his concerns about abortion and agreed to support ObamaCare:

“An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) coordinated opposition to the Senate health bill’s abortion compromise this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.

Stupak, in an interview with POLITICO, called the Senate bill’s abortion position “unacceptable” – but disavowed his staffer’s collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

Politico describes the emails as a “previously unseen degree of coordination between the offices of Stupak and McConnell,” suggesting these may not be the first communications between Stupak’s office and McConnell. The emails were also sent to pro-life advocates and urged them to oppose the Senate plan:

“Guys – when will we see your letters of opposition to the managers amendment?? We need them ASAP!” wrote Erika Smith, the Stupak aide, at 9:23 this morning, less than an hour after the amendment had become available.

The email’s recipients included key staffers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life, the Family Research Council, as well as Autumn Fredericks Christensen, aide to top pro-life Republican Chris Smith, and Lanier Swann, a McConnell aide.

A minute after Smith sent out her plea, Lanier reiterated it to the list.

“Nelson is telling people in the building he will vote yes. If there was any time to weigh in against this deal —- THIS IS IT,” Swann wrote at 9:24 a.m.”

It doesn’t surprise me that there might be backroom communications going on. What does surprise me is how they all managed to get to work in this snowstorm.



2 Responses to “Stupak’s Office Responds to Nelson Agreement”

  1. Very kind of you to give me the hat tip, DRJ. I am always impressed that you read so deeply into the comments!

    High school football state championships on TV right now out here. The stupid Superintendent of Public Education (an elective position in California) was doing a in-studio visit and he took time out from bland praise of all the student athletes to chide Sacramento for not funding education enough and “short-changing the future.” Yeah, he’s a Democrat tool of the teachers’ unions.

    JVW (0fe413)

  2. And by the way, if you read down to the end of the Politico piece you will note that Stupak is sort of walking back the whole coordination with McConnell’s office and pro-life groups issue. Here is what he had to say about the email message sent out by his aide (Ms. Smith):

    “Stupak said that he was in Northern Michigan, without internet access, when the emails were sent from his office to McConnell’s. Smith ‘should have let me make up my own mind,’ said Stupak.”

    Still, it sounds like a positive development to me.

    JVW (0fe413)

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