Though White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly warned liberal groups backing heath care reform to stop running ads against Democrats, Health Care for America Now!--the massive coalition of liberal interest groups backing health care reform--is expanding its TV ad campaign to target more Democrats in the coming week: Reps. Jason Altmire (PA) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)--both Blue Dogs--as well as Rick Boucher (VA) and Sens. Jeff Bingaman (NM) and Tom Carper (DE). The ads will also run in upstate New York, urging residents to call their representatives there. Here's a sample:
The ads are part of an $11 million campaign.
Representatives from HCAN's member organizations would have been at that meeting where Emanuel made his preference known, but the advice has gone unheeded--though lobbying/pressuring Democrats on health care is a somewhat complex situation. Organizing for America, the official Obama grassroots team, has planned activity to lobby Republicans and Democrats alike.
HCAN's ads are very positive, as political ads go: they carry a positive message about reform, and nudge those Democratic members, rather than slamming them. Some of its ads, though not the ones released today, thank Democrats who support reform.
"We will continue to run ads in both Democratic and Republican districts focusing on good, comprehensive health care reform" as part of the campaign, HCAN Communications Director Jacki Schechner said.
HCAN's foray into the new districts and states comes on the same day that a coalition including PhRMA, AMA, and SEIU launches a $12 million ad campaign in support of reform.