July 1st, 2009
11:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Landrieu the latest senator to face TV pressure over public option

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/01/art.moveonad.cnn.jpg caption="A new TV ad continues MoveOn’s campaign to pressure Landrieu over a public option."](CNN) - Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing new pressure from liberal groups pushing for a public health insurance option.

A coalition that includes MoveOn.org, Democracy for America and Change Congress released a 60-second television ad Wednesday highlighting contributions from insurance companies and other industry interests to the Louisiana Democrat.

"For me, this issue's personal," says breast cancer survivor Karen Gadbois in the ad, which is slated to run in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans media markets for the next week. "So when I see Mary Landrieu take $1.6 million from health and insurance companies, I have to ask: Whose side are you on?"

The ad flashes the number for Landrieu's Senate office in Washington, urging viewers to tell her to "support the public, not her insurance backers."

The groups did not reveal the size of the buy.

The new spot is the latest element of a weeks-long campaign aimed at Landrieu and other senators who have expressed skepticism about or opposition to a public option as Congress weighs a massive overhaul of the nation's health care system. The effort has already included state-level phone campaigns, Web and radio ads.

Last week, MoveOn announced a similar ad campaign targeting Sen. Kay Hagan, D-North Carolina. The group is already running spots aimed at Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

Landrieu is also facing pressure from the right. Conservatives for Patients Rights, which opposes President Obama's health care plan, has gone on the airwaves in a dozen states - including Louisiana - that are represented by conservative Democrats or moderate Republicans viewed as possible swing votes. The spots urge viewers to call on their senators to reject any government-run option.

Filed under: Mary Landrieu
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Ken in NC

    People we need to come to the understanding that we elected our members of Congress and our tax dollars pay them but "BIG BUSINESS" is who they belong to. "BIG BUSINESS" pump them full of cash and so once elected they are owned by them. It is a shame but the truth.

    July 1, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. girlymen love the GOP

    Were going to crush these money gouging companies once and for all.

    July 1, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Proud Member..Party of No

    Opposition to Kommandant Obama will NOT be tolerated!

    July 1, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Chris - Denver

    We need a public option. Don't let our senators compromise on this.

    July 1, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Michael MN

    This why we need to take the money OUT of politics , MONEY buys your seat in Washington – and MONEY is what our senators want

    July 1, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. John Murphy

    Conservatives for Patients Rights should be renamed Conservatives for Medical Insurance Compnies' Rights.

    July 1, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Biff

    folks, just remember that these "money gouging companies" employ your neighbor, brother and hundreds of thousands of other people. its the same for all large companies. If this stuff goes through, and people start getting laid off are you still going to blame bush?

    July 1, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    1.6 million? Sounds like someone is in the insurance companies back pocket.

    July 1, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. haas

    She'd better get it right. American's are not taking this crap any more.

    July 1, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Indigo

    Remember president Obama ran on healthcare reform. We voted for the democrats to help him. there is absolutely no reason to allow those democrats in name only to derail this opportunity for healthcare reform. We have the public support, we have the president and we have the numbers to get the job done. So if Landrieu and Nelson and others want to be Republicans, they need to move over into the party of no and let us get others in that will work for the people, not the big corporations.

    July 1, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. AJ

    If Landrieu has taken 1.6M from insurance companies and it is going to affect her voting, then she should return the money. Democrats elected these democratic senators and house reps to push through democratic agenda incl. the public option healthcare insurance option and they better do it or they will not get elected the next time.

    July 1, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Claudia in Houson

    I never understood how the State of Louisiana allowed Landrieu remain in office after Katrina when she clearly proved to be incompetent as well as the Governor who quit.

    July 1, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Melissa

    She's my Senator and I cannot stand Landrieu. The woman does NOT act like a Democrat, and has such weird and useless ideas. The only reason she was voted back in is because she was better than the alternative. She might as well become a Republican, since thats apparently the side she supports.

    July 1, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Chris – Denver July 1st, 2009 11:27 am ET

    We need a public option. Don't let our senators compromise on this.

    Chris, I must have missed it. What does the "public option" look like? What does it cover? What does it not cover? How much does it cost the insured?

    July 1, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Carl Justus

    Politicians should be required to wear uniforms like the race car drivers so we know who is their sponsor–(owns them).

    When people are running for any public office, when they issue an ad they should have to list any and all contributors with the ad.

    The politicians treat those of us who vote like we know nothing, they do not realize that most of us know they are not representing us, but those who has filled their campaign coffers and who knows what else.

    July 1, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Matthew

    If anyone thinks that an ultra-liberal MoveOn type Democrat could get elected in North Carolina, Louisiana or Nebraska, they're delusional and know nothing about politics. MoveOn hurts far more than it helps.

    July 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Rita

    Instead of name calling and hot headed comments let's hear your solutions !
    Some solutions to "big business " controlling Washington and our legisators is for term limits and public financing of campaigns. Campaigns cost millions of dollars every 2 years for congress.
    I would also suggest legislators have nothing to loose because they enjoy wonderful healthcare benefits.. Over the past 8 yrs what have they sacrificed ? I suggest they take a 20 % pay cut and pay half of their healthcare benefits to really level the playing field.

    July 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Reality

    As between insurance-run hospitals and government-run hospitals, the money gouging companies are the far lesser of two evils. Not to mention infinitely more competent.

    July 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Jimmy the Greek

    It appears Mr Hope-and-Change is REALLY Mr Apologize-and-Socialize.

    Apologize to our enemies, Socialize our private industries (banking, auto, healthcare, etc).

    Chavez and Castro must be quite proud of their North American commrade.

    July 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. MW

    What's amazing to me is how big business and the insurance lobby have idiots convinced that something that is obviously beneficial to the common people is something that they should oppose! How stupid can these people be? The only thing that will be hurt by having a public option is the the obscene profits of the private health insurance companies! Every other civilized nation on the planet has a public health insurance option! How long will the United States be the least of all nations when it comes to looking out for the good of its own citizens?

    July 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. grizmusic in pa

    WE need a public plan now. RR, to think that george soros is running the country is paranoid and delusional. What does moveon represent besides the peoples interest on this issue. 76% of americans want a public option. The other 24% are the fools who still think W. was a good president.

    July 1, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Larry

    Insurance is the biggest scam in the country. Pay your premiums, get little to nothing in return.

    One of the things I most admire about President Obama is the stance he's taken against special interests. Special interests have run this country for the past 40 years–they've gotten wealthy; the average joe has paid.

    We need a public option in insurance just to give private insurance companies competition. Competition, instead of merely padding the pockets of private insurance through no choice.

    Hang in there with President Obama. I've not seen a president in my lifetime work so hard for the benefit of all people in this country.

    July 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Terry from West Texas

    There is no reason for any American to be unable to access appropriate health care. If a technology exists that is affordable and reasonable – such as a drug or a procedure – which will cure or ameliorate a common condition, then it must be made available to all Americans. The right to life is fundamental. The inability to afford a drug or a procedure is not a good reason to deprive someone of life and health. Does this mean that we all have to foot the bill for universal health care? Yes. Only flint-hearted, bloodless creeps could think otherwise. Can we make it affordable? Yes, but only by changing the current system – which is NOT serving America well – in profound ways.

    There are other values than accounting values, though Conservatism steadfastly denies this. Conservatives may talk about family values, but don't Conservative voters notice that their leaders never actually DO anything for families? Just the opposite. What is the reason for the failure of our auto industry according to Conservatives? They are paying their employees too well. If they could only get rid of unions and cut employee paychecks (not CEO paychecks) in half, everything would be just fine.

    July 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Glennis

    As a Democrat who seems most of the time to have her head screwed on right, it's not surprising that Moveon.org would attack her. And if you think that organization and it's movers and shakers care about you and your health care, think again. If they do, you can be sure its because somebody is going to get richer.

    July 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Kevin B

    Why are the insurance companies, republicans and some democrats afraid of competition with a public option?? I always thought compeition was a good thing that drives down cost and improves quality.

    I am glad Mr Obama is taking on the cherry picking, publically traded corporate interest on behalf of regular americans that are being strangled by high health care cost and poor quality.

    Just as the president stated "the oppositions argument is "absurd".

    July 1, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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