September 25th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Liberals seek to defeat Democratic congressman

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A political organization headed by two prominent liberal bloggers is actively recruiting a candidate to challenge centrist Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee in the 2010 primary.

Accountability Now, a political action committee, accuses Cooper of being out of step with voters of his Nashville-based district. The PAC specifically criticized Cooper for his reluctance to embrace President Obama's health care reform plan, and said that it is time to replace him with "a Democrat in Congress accountable to our district!"

A PAC representative has been in Cooper's district interviewing potential candidates for the past week, co-founder Jane Hamsher told CNN in an interview. Hamsher is a prominent liberal activist who founded the progressive blog Firedoglake. Unlike her blog, Hamsher said that Accountability Now does not emphasize liberal politics, but rather its mission is to defeat incumbent congressmen who the PAC believes has sold out to big business.

"Our goal is to get the corporatists out of there," Hamsher said.

Cooper is the PAC's first target. Hamsher said the organization is in talks with Libertarian-minded Republicans about possible primary challenges, but nothing has been set in stone.

CNN called Cooper's office for comment and is waiting for a response.

Hamsher said there is plenty of interest from possible challengers, but would not disclose the names of any potential candidates. If a person is found, then the PAC will promote the candidacy, raise money, and help push back against the national Democratic Party, which is backing Cooper's reelection. Still, Hamsher said the challenger needs to show viability.

"Someone has to decide they want to run and they have to run their own race," she said. "We can't run the race for them. They need to show they can run their own campaign. We can then help them."

It is unclear who the PAC will target next. But Hamsher said that they plan to continue polling in search of vulnerable incumbents who they think have sold out to corporate America.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Carl

    Leave the man along.He is doing just fine.We don't need anymore far left Democrats in congress.

    September 25, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    The Democrats are creating a disaster??????????????????????

    The GOP needs to wake-up! YOU do realize that the Great Recession was created by George W. Bush, that he was warned in 07 about the impending crisis and did nothing!

    45, 000 Americans die each year from lack of healthcare, and the GOP is JUST FINE WITH THIS!

    September 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. MattR

    TCM – We do not have liberals running either the White House or Congress. We have corporate owner, centrist (but to the left of the far-right Republican party) Democrats running things. There are liberals/progressives in the party, but they are clearly not running the show. If they were, a single payer health care system would have been on the table from day 1 and a public option would be a "slam dunk" compromise that would have passed by now.

    Those corporate, centrist Democrats want to keep others like them (ie. Jim Cooper) in power. The party does not care if he votes how his constituents want (and multiple polls have shown that Jim Cooper does not vote how the people want him to) , they care if he votes how the party leaders want. That makes it very tough for anyone to challenge him in a Democratic primary and it is what necessitates a group like Accountability Now to step in and try to offset the money and influence that the national party holds.

    September 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. pat csh

    This is a good reason to fight for Pres Obama's /Kennedy's health care reform.just got this in my inbox from teh Tennessean. Go online sunday to read it and then you Republicans decide if your next in line because of your senator or Congress person is kowtowing to the Corp Health Ins Titans.
    Many Americans, both insured and uninsured, are facing collection suits, wage garnishments, and in some instances, jail all due to medical debt. Meet three people it's affected in the Nashville area and could you be next?
    Find out more in Sunday's Tennessean

    The Blue Dogs are banking over 1.2 m from the Health Ins Corps for their next run .Its time we asked ourselves do we bend down for these Huge Corps or do we force our elected officals to work for us and do what is right for this country no matter if it means One Term and not 40 yrs of elite perks from us taxpayers.

    September 25, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. inofritzn

    omg liberals are silly. Scared of opposition and it's hilarious to watch.

    September 25, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Denna

    Is Cooper a Blue Dog or just an ignorant Southerner? Whatever. Get rid of him. President needs loyal Democrats to move his agenda forward. Perhaps Cooper would be happier as a Rethug.

    September 25, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. domincan mama is obama

    I think we should oust anyone that dares to disagree with this perfect president. yay yay hope yay change!! Wooo!

    September 25, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Tired of Right-Wingers


    I live in reality–apparently you do not. Bush ran this country into the ground–why do you think several red states went for Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates? Obama and the Dems could not have won with just their liberal base–independents and Republicans voted for them too. These are facts–do some research instead of listening to Beck and Limbaugh all of the time.

    September 25, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Mike in MN

    The left are beyond stupid. Anti business. Where do they think jobs come from, the government? Sadley that is exactly where liberals think that jobs come from. When they are done, all the private sector jobs will exist in other countries and the big bad corporations will no longer exist along with any wealth the US used to have. Everyone will be equal. Dirt poor and without a job.

    September 25, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Patriot

    The Repubs lost BIG in 2006 and 2008–they are a shrinking party, appealing only to the wealthy whom they protect, the religious fundamentalists, and the ignorant , racist fringe whom they exploit and mislead.

    The right-wing can't stand that this is happening to their party– that's why they're trying anything and everything to regain power, including lies, fear, and hate-mongering.

    But, in case you didn't get the message last November, Repubs–mainstream America no longer supports your extremist policies. The Times They Are A-Changin'..........If you can't change with them, your party will fade into oblivion.

    September 25, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Lil Jimmy

    Why not just have the President step in like he is doing in NY?

    September 25, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |

    Oh what a joke, the inner fighting of the Democrates, more JOKES.

    September 25, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Pragmatic

    This is ridiculous! Moderates, in both parties, are what are needed to for sane government! There are only two GOP moderates left in the Senate ... and they have huge targets on their backs ... and now the Democrats are jumping on the GOP bandwagon!

    Its up to the voters: vote for moderates – if Rush and the NRA don't like them .... that is a positive recommendation!

    September 25, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. fiscalfighter

    Republicans keep repeating that "without business there will be no jobs" truism. Give it a rest. We all know that with business comes jobs. Where we differ is that you seem to believe corporations should not respect American workers. These same companies that practice the wholesale exportation of American jobs, paying local workers poorly while paying obscene salaries to upper level employees, are put on a pedestal in the name of capitalism? The current struggle is not between capitalism and socialism so much as between democracy and feudalism. The corporate execs take more and more, while we accept a diminished portion of the pie. They become lords while we become peasants.

    September 25, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. bert, Tampa

    They must have a lot of money the way they are calling that guy out like that. That is awesome the way the people are holding his ass accountable. This is going to be a good one to watch.

    September 25, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Sam Sixpack

    This isn't news – its propaganda.

    September 25, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Chris

    Another sign of socilism -– one idea, one way of thinking -– tax those who work and give a "fair" share to those who won't work.

    September 25, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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