September 25th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
11 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. DJ

    Interesting story...Mike Ross is found to have some questionable links to lobbyists that would financially gain from stopping Obama, now this guy is under the microscope.

    Looks like for these Democrats that oppose Obama – it has nothing to do with policy but how they can personally benefit for their own selfish financial needs.

    September 25, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Jim Cooper sounds like he's a Blue Dog and we don't need anymore of them! Tennessee, please elect the most liberal left wing candidate possible.

    September 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Brain Dead in Ohio

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Let's get some real liberals in there so conservatives won't look so foolish with words like "radical" and "liberal" when describing a centered democrat. They can have the chance at actually calling a spade a spade, not metaphorically.

    This country needs some progressives in charge, that way we might move forward from the political/pseudo-religious hold that our Government has had on us since the "moral majority" took over.

    September 25, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. pat csh

    Its about Time! Thanks Jane! I sent Jim Cooper lots of emails plus phone calls to support Pres.Obama's Health Care Bill and not support Cigna/Blue Cross and other large Ins. corps here in Tennessee and his aide would"nt hear me. I'm in Coopers 5th DST.and its a very liberal area of Nashville and we want the Public Option that Cooper is against and I told him someone would be running against him and I would never vote for a Blue Dog again and I won't.I also told him how we as liberal/progressives worked hard to get him and every Democrat into office just for Health Care Reform and that we expected our Dems to act like Dems and not Republicans.

    September 25, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Good. No more corporate kiss butts.

    September 25, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Sharon

    I agree. I live here in Tennessee and Cooper is not acting as a democrat but a republican. He never stands up to the terrible racism here in TN when it comes to the President. I say, remove all of them who ran on the Democratic and President Obama's platform and is scared to fight for the people. The corporations do not need any extra help, the republicans are all running to back stab all Americans.

    September 25, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    Watch as the dems tear their own party apart.

    September 25, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Independent_me

    The Dems need to replace the so-called Blue Dog Democrats who are DINOs (Democrats in Name Only). They are actually Republicans in disguise. Moles who want to destroy the Democratic Party. Out with them!!!

    September 25, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Biased

    Nothing like taking down your own party members because they aren't liberal or far enough to the left for you. But then anything is possible after I watched half the dem party crucify Hillary Clinton and all her supporters so Obama could get the nomination instead of her.

    September 25, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    If we don't get the corporatists out of our government, it will no longer be "we the people." We're almost there as it is. Pay attention to these guys folks, Democrats and Republicans alike. They're not voting in favor of your best interests. They're voting for big business.

    September 25, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. waltinAZ

    Hopefully, this sends a wake-up call to Rep. Cooper and others like him that the "status quo' is not acceptable. YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS!!!

    September 25, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Accountability Now like most liberal organizations is so out of touch with taxpaying Americans, I hope they spend all of their money and more trying to defeat Cooper and go out of business. Hopefully ACORN will be out of business by then too.

    September 25, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. katiec

    Any Democrat and any republican who does not support true
    Health Care Reform and the Public Option should be voted out
    of office.
    Any politican who puts big business, lobbyists, campaign funding and personal gains and interests over the welfare of the American people must be voted out of office.
    They are not representing us or our country.

    September 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    We need to call-out ALL the BLUE DOGS, and tell them that we will vote them out of office in 2010!

    September 25, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. victim of republican greed

    Since the republicans purged their party of everyone that was not a wingnut (like Colin Powell, Arlen Specter), I would think that democrats be careful here and not do the same thing.

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. shmeckel

    I don’t get it; they may have a shot in Tennessee with someone from the center. I find it hard to believe they think they can find a lefty to win in Tennessee.

    September 25, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. revo-lou

    So, waltinaz, you have talked to Copper, gotten his stance on bills and ideals, or are you just taking the “word” of some blog site as fact and gospel? Yeah, that is what I thought.

    September 25, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Proud Member..Party of No

    Yet another example of what a bunch of lunatics the democrat party has become. Democrats are going to get trounced in the 2010 and 2012 elections especially Dear Leader Obama.

    September 25, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Sharon

    @ biased

    If you truly think that the dems prosecuted Hillary, obviously you were not watching. Hillary was a great candidate, but it was just time for a change. And what a wonderful Secretary of State she is. I for one, salute both Obama and Hillary. We need more of them.

    September 25, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Liberals are anti American.

    September 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. John, Brooklyn, New York


    One thing you can count on from the extremists on either the left or the right is that they feel justified in eating their young. Does this PAC live in such a fantasy world as to beleive that a candidate from left of Rep. Cooper is likely to oust him in the primaries...let alone win a general election in Cooper's district?! Further, do they actually beleive that the likely alternative to Cooper – any Republican – is going to be even remotely supportive of their political goals?

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!


    September 25, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. carole

    Here! Here! I wish I lived in that state to vote. The only Blue Dawg I like is 'Blue' on Blue's Clues.

    September 25, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. TCM

    I think Jane Hamsher should volunteer for Census duty and go to Kentucky...they seem to have a way of dealing with liberal malcontents that's pretty final. Far too many liberals have too much time running their mouths...and creating dangerous situations for the country.

    September 25, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Wake Up

    Obama got millions from drug companies.

    September 25, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. RR

    If he's out of touch with the voters of his district, then why are any outsiders needed to come in and tell those voters not to vote for him?

    September 25, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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