One Down, Three More To Go — Local Dems Approve Public Option Resolution

Photo: Eric Hews via Flickr.com

Remember Jane asked us to get local to help the public option become part of the health care insurance reform legislation?

I did; I’ve asked four organizations here in my neck of the woods in my home state of Michigan to support the public option by passing a resolution to that end.

Tonight the first organization’s executive committee — of which I am an officer — passed the suggested resolution unanimously. I have only to submit a pretty, spiffy copy of the resolution in a .doc version for the chair’s signature and the organization’s secretary will send out a copy as indicated in the text of the resolution.

There was some lively conversation within the exec committee tonight, even though I’d categorize these folks as hard-core progressives. They wanted to make sure the text was assertive enough on the issue of co-ops and triggers. They don’t want either in play.

And I think it’s not enough to send a copy of the signed resolution to the elected Dems who represent our district/area. I’ve asked the organization’s secretary to ensure that the resolution is submitted to every single member of the Democratic Congressional delegation from my state.

Why? Because we don’t have a solid pro-public option statement on the record from at least two members of Congress in Michigan — Sander Levin and Dale Kildee. (For the record, Levin represents a district more than an hour away from my district; Kildee’s district adjoins the one in which I live. He represents some of the folks in this first organization.)

We discussed the challenge of fence-sitting Democratic members of Congress during the course of the pre-approval discussion. When asked to explain the resolution’s background and the need for its passage, I’d pointed out that Sander Levin and Dale Kildee were in the wishy-washy zone. But one of the attendees at the meeting said they’d heard Dale Kildee had come out strongly in favor of the public option at a local party meeting within the last month.

Did we have anything on public record, I asked? Apparently not, which means that I need to address this in one of two ways: I need to call Kildee’s office for a statement, or I need to get him on the record at a public meeting.

And as luck would have it, the third organization to which I’ve submitted the resolution for approval will be having a meeting at which Rep. Kildee is expected next week.

One caveat: the same third-party source who said Kildee had come out in favor of the public option also said they heard there was some positioning going on, allowing members of Congress to "dig a hole in which to hide," between the frame of a far-left which demanded a single-payer plan, and the right which wanted nothing resembling a public option at all. I’m still trying to sort out whether this is a Brer Rabbit approach to getting the public option ("oh please, don’t throw me into that public option!") or simply a chicken-shit methodology to avoid doing anything.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my progress.

And how about you? Have you had any luck yet with getting the resolution passed by local Dem party organizations or clubs?

[Photo: Eric Hews via Flickr.com]

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