Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Limited Time Only

Updated at 7:10 PM PDT

Updated at 11:30 PM PDT, Sept. 24

Caption: Rachel Maddow models a Razorback hat for, oh, just watch the video.

Image credit: Screenshot of MSNBC program The Rachel Maddow Show by Cujo359

This campaign has reached its goal. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

FireDogLake is running another health care-related campaign, and there's a short suspense this time. I'll just quote the ActBlue page to explain the goal:

Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Mike Ross are doing the bidding of the insurance industry to block the public health insurance option. But a majority of all Arkansans, and 80% of Arkansas Democrats, support a public option. Lincoln and Ross are out of touch with their constituents, and out of touch with the Democratic Party.

We want to air this ad in Arkansas, where 60% of Arkansas Democrats statewide and nearly 100% of Democrats in Mike Ross's district will see it over and over again for two weeks on prime time network TV.

Tell Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross to Act Like Democrats

Jane Hamsher explains why time is short:

Meanwhile, our Mike Ross/Blanche Lincoln "Act Like Democrats" ad (above) started running in Arkansas today, and will play this weekend at the start of the Razorback game. We need about $4500 to finish off paying for the 2 week buy that will be seen on network TV approximately 10 times by almost every Democrat in Ross's district.

CREW Files Complaint Against Mike Ross

Rep. Ross (AR-04) in particular is an example of the effect that corruption in Congress is having on the health care reform effort. Back in 2007, Ross sold the pharmacy he owned for far more than it was worth:

But the $420,000 that USA Drug paid for the pharmacy’s building and land was just the beginning of what Ross and his wife, Holly, made from the sale of Holly’s Health Mart. USA Drug owner Stephen L. LaFrance Sr. also paid the Rosses $500,000 to $1 million for the pharmacy’s assets and paid Holly Ross an additional $100,000 to $250,000 for signing a noncompete agreement. Those numbers, which Mike Ross listed on the financial disclosure reports he files as a member of Congress, bring the total value of the transaction to between $1 million and $1.67 million.

And that’s not counting the $2,300 campaign contribution Ross received from LaFrance two weeks after the sale closed.

Mike Ross Raises Eyebrows With Healthy Haul

As the Rachel Maddow video notes, Ross has been a big friend of the insurers and drug companies. That this all sounds rather suspicious is an understatement.

As of this writing, the campaign still needs about $4,100. I've explained the cultural significance of football before, and this Saturday, the University of Arkansas' team will be playing the University of Alabama, which is ranked Number 3. That apparently means they're good at that sort of thing, and lots of people will be inclined to watch them play. So if you happen to have a few bucks of mad money lying around, why not spend it on better health care?

Maybe you could use that money you saved by not buying your drugs at USA Drug. They clearly can't make good choices when they're buying real estate.

UPDATE: Added a lot of information, which thanks to an interruption I don't remember.

UPDATE 2 (Sep. 24): They're still $1,600 short of the goal, so I'll leave this up a little longer. I'll demote it back to its rightful place after the goal has been reached.

UPDATE 3 (Sep. 24): The campaign has reached its goal. Well, they're $50 short, out of $78,000. I'll count that as having made it. There will be other campaigns like this soon, so if you haven't contributed to this one yet, wait. This is not your last opportunity, I'm sure.

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