March 15th, 2010
12:38 PM ET
12 years ago

Conservative rallying cries spur phone call frenzy

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="New York Rep. Dan Maffei’s office has been inundated with phone calls from people opposed to Democratic health care reform calling from outside of his congressional district."]Washington (CNN) - As a vote on health care reform nears, Republican and conservative groups are attempting to defeat the bill by pressuring undecided and vulnerable Democrats to vote against the legislation.

Bob Adams, the executive director of the League of American Voters, tells CNN that his organization will place a $547,000 television ad buy on Monday which will target 21 legislators. The group has spent $330,000 running ads since February 27.

The group has listed on their Web site the name and phone number of every Democrat who voted against the House's health care bill in November, as well as those of the 21 Democrats who voted "yea" in November but may change their vote.

As the phone lines jam, the offices of some of those Democrats are expressing frustration that their constituents may be unable to reach out.

New York Rep. Dan Maffei's press secretary Abby Gardner told CNN that her office was averaging about 500 phone calls per day last week, but that only 20 or so were from constituents in Maffei's district.

"The calls from the district are very mixed pro/for [and] against health care legislation," Gardner said. "The calls from outside of the district are exclusively against health care."

"Unfortunately the call volume makes it difficult for people to get through, and while I think the groups who really generate these calls consider jamming our phone lines a sign of strength and success, it really doesn't do anything to persuade the Rep.'s opinion on how to vote," Gardner said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is running television ads and placing phone calls targeting constituents of those Democrats. An NRCC spokesperson said the group has dedicated tens of thousands of dollars to the effort.

Meanwhile, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, and the Salem Radio Network, a Christian radio network, announced Monday that they have launched the "One Million Patriots" campaign which they say is "expected to generate a million e-mails from constituents to their congressional members, opposing ObamaCare."

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. CHIPS

    All the money you idiots are spending on ads could be used to help provide health care.

    March 15, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Keep it up neo-con fools, watch it backfire in your faces when the bill passes anyways. I'll be right here to laugh.

    March 15, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Matt

    The Tea Party is a wonderful group of average Americans speaking up and building a movement from the ground up to fight the fraud, waste and corruption that goes on in Washington.

    CNN will willfully slander them and promote the Coffee Club or whatever they are called, but all of America should be proud of the Tea Party members!

    March 15, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    It doesn't make any difference what constituents think. Obama and the progressives are going to shove this thing through. The country may be opposed and think that Congress and the White House should concentrate on jobs and the economy as well as the security of our country. Unfortunately, the progressives in control of this country have long thought that if we were weak and corrupt like European countries we would be so much better off. This is the promise of Obama for which he won the Nobel Peace prize. He will weaken and corrupt the country and make it a socialist paradise. No choice, no free will, no freedom. Obama and the progressives know more about how to spend your money than you do, they are educated elitists.

    March 15, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Monkey wrench

    45,000 people die each year in America from having to spend their hard earned monies to pay for stupid idiots that wont take care of their own needs. Bye-bye entitlement class, don't let the door knob hit you where the good Lord split you!

    March 15, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Mike in MN

    Even if Obama and the Dems use gimmiks and reconciliation to pass Obamacare, much of it probably will not stand beyond 2012.
    Republicans used reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts for everyone who pays taxes. The Bush tax cuts were opposed by Senate Dems but were supported by a majority of voters. Now the Dems will let the tax cuts for those making more than 250,000 expire and the Bush tax cuts for everyone else will be left in place.
    The same thing will happen with Obamacare. Dems will use reconciliation to pass it even though it is opposed by a majority of voters which is different than the Bush tax cuts that were supported by a majority.
    Voters are going to restore Republicans to power in 2010 and 2012. In part because Dems forced Obamacare on them, but even more so I believe to remove the tax payers checkbook and credit card out of the
    of the control of Dems. Once the Republicans are back in power they will strip out of Obamacare all the parts voters are opposed to and hate. In the end the Republicans and more importantly the voters will win.

    March 15, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. jp,michigan

    Phone calls to ones congress man or woman and senator is to relay ones opinion on the Health-care bill. Whether ones congressman or woman or senator listens to the calls is another thing. Majority of the American people do not want or trust this healthcare bill. It is not that do not want reform, but they do not want one that is gotten by threats or close door bargains by the Whit House or speaker Pelosi or Mr. Reid. American take their votes seriously and believe strongly that their representatives in Washington were put there to vote what the people want not political parties. Majority of Americans don't want this bill , don't know what it will cost now with all the additives and as speaker Pelosi stated, " We will find out whats in the bill after it passes."

    March 15, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    So even the Christian Radio Network is turning their back on helping 35 million people with reform. Their type of Christianity is disgusting and un Christ like. For Christian radio, Fox news must be their new Jesus.

    March 15, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. sharon

    anyone who opposes "people care now" only out for themselves.

    Is someone keeping a list of ALL Sen. and how they vote.......Rep/Dem/Ind........?

    If so, then beside these names that vote"no"......they should list the contributions recieved and who from and the $ amount,and their adress and buisness info.

    This could then be compiled and put into a paperback form,along with their addresses/phone#/fax#/email--both at Washington and their home know, the "list "to vote against.......

    March 15, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Dan Maffie is my congress representative, and he certainly is not representing any one here in CNY. He is representing his party and his party's leadership. I was one of those calls last week, what a waste of time, nothing will stop Dan from voting as he is told.
    My representative even has my E-mailed blocked? LOL Can you believe it? My Congressional Representative has me blocked from contacting him. The arrogance of these professional politicians “Let them eat Cake” Eh Dan?
    But don't let this slow down your fund raising for re-election dan, you only have the record for fund raising for a freshman congress person.

    March 15, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. willard bullock

    I am make sick of obama and peoslo cause they had too much trouble problems
    Iam belived that people are keep play game vote obama
    That is true
    Thanks you

    March 15, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. BlackMANinterested..........

    CLEARLY.............republicans are not on the side of working people at all in America. WHY are they (GOP'ers) not willing to make this statement?

    March 15, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. BB

    Please don't be pressured by these nay-sayers.
    Vote for the bill and let's get it passed.
    There is no need to let 46,000 americans die every year due
    to no insurance or pre-existing conditions.
    Tea Party people are idiots!!!
    T = Taxed
    E= Enough
    A= Already
    Where were they for the past 8 years while the rest of us were getting raped? Obama has not increased taxes on anyone, all he has done is cut taxes so far, these people have no clue.
    I bet they don't even remember their Hero Reagan...when he said
    "Deficits don't matter" or when their other hero Cheney said the exact same thing in 04. Check the history!!! So the only time Deficits matter is when there is a Democratic president?, and they don't matter when there is a Republican President? Hypocrits!!!

    HEALTH CARE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Marcus Tate

    This November, when Republicans take back a bunch of seats, and maybe even take control of the House, then maybe it will finally sink in that PEOPLE DO NOT WANT THIS HEALTH CARE PLAN!

    If so many people can't afford heath care now, what difference will it make to pass a law that requires people to buy it? They still will not be able to afford it!

    What about people who are unemployed for a year or more? What about all those on Welfare? And what about the nation's estimated 30 to 40 million illegal immigrants? Are we going to require some people to buy it, whether they can afford it or not, while we give it to others for free?

    The plan is almost 3,0000 pages, and even those pushing it have not read it, nor do they even know what it says.

    How can anyone be in favor of this?

    March 15, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Richie in Mass

    How come there isn't a story about how the Whitehouse has dropped its demands that the backroom deals be removed from the bill? How about dealing with the issues of this bill? Liberals tell us we don't know what is in the bill. How about doing a story on what is in it. Louisiana gets to keep its 300 million. CT gets to keep its 100 million. Mass and Nebraska ( to name a few) get to keep their deals. Why isn't this news?

    March 15, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Texas Jack


    March 15, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Biased

    From the article:
    "Unfortunately the call volume makes it difficult for people to get through, and while I think the groups who really generate these calls consider jamming our phone lines a sign of strength and success, it really doesn't do anything to persuade the Rep.'s opinion on how to vote," Gardner said.

    And why shouldn't it? His vote will affect every American in the whole country and not just his district. Or is listening "to the people" out of vogue right now? I see Obama is now wanting to spend more money to ensure votes with a Nebraska cornhusker deal to all and cave to unions with an 8 year putoff. So when does the piggybank run dry on this before they realize they can't buy off the whole country to get this monstrosity passed when you have to pay for 4 years before you get access? Or will they put that off to paying for 6 years nowbefore you get access to pay off all the vote buyoffs?

    March 15, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    Fight fire with fire..... the liberals are pulling out all stops, no matter how disgusting, to pass this travesty. All we need is for those five Stupak democrats to maintain their moral compass. My guess is that the pressure being put on them is way beyond what terrorists experienced at Gitmo.

    March 15, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Independent One

    Not this time repubs....When repubs are in office our monies are spent on wars..This time it will be spent on the American people!

    March 15, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Mike in MN

    In the long run, it might actually work out for voters if Obamacare is passed.
    Passing Obamacare that a majority of voters are opposed to will help Republicans return to power in 2010 and 2012. And if that is not enough the fact that Obama and the Dems are not going to do anything the voters will like on spending and the defiicts. Obama and the Dems are not going to cut spending to bring down the deficits and when they tell voters they are going to raise their taxes for their own good, that will be the end of Obama and the Dems by 2012.
    Voters will restore Republicans to power to take back the USA's checkbook and credit card from the Dems. Once back in power the Republicans will strip out all the crap from Obamacare that the voters hate and leave in place all the good parts, which in fact are supported by both a majority of voters and the Republicans. The end result will be health care reform very much like what the voters would get if the current bills were killed and Congress started over.
    If the Dems continue to not listen to the majority will of the voters, the voters will vote them out and try their luck with someone else, someone else being the Republicans.

    March 15, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Free america

    Well tell congressmen costello, and Dick durbin i'm not in favor of health Care bill. These two guys I voted for ,but will never make that mistake again.

    Health Care
    Higher Premium payments.
    Insurance companies have free rain to charge more on people.
    It only makes Insurance companies richer.

    Say no to health care don't let them fool you.

    March 15, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. HypocriCNNstigators!

    What A Desperate Act By Very Sad And Very Selfish People.

    March 15, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. RS

    repugs will do anything to stop people from getting healthcare

    March 15, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Kevin

    So this Congressman, whose duty is specifically to his constituents, is being inundated with calls from people to whom he has no responsibility for action. I think it should be considered harassment and that every person who calls the office of an elected official should have to be a direct constituent of that official. If twenty thousand people make 50 calls a piece to various congress people who disagree with them, they are making a million calls. However, those calls are meaningless, as the people making them are not constituents of the people they're calling. They are just as bad as the worst telemarketers and should be treated as such.

    March 15, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Dean

    The Democrats need to fall in line with the party on this one just like the GOP do. While the bill is not perfect without a public option ,it beats nothing in the way of reform from an industy run amuck

    March 15, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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