Jim Cooper is out of step with his district. Barack Obama won 56% of the vote in 2008 to John McCain’s 43%, so the typical Blue Dog trumpet that their corporatist-friendly vote is necessary to hold office in a heavily Republican district just doesn’t apply.
He thus meets Accountability Now’s criteria for a primary challenge. We’re launching a blog today, Cooper Uncovered, which will chronicle Cooper’s exploits on a daily basis. It will explore how Cooper’s activities are at odds with the interests of his Nashville district:
- Fifteen years after playing a leading role in defeating President Clinton’s health care legislation, he is still working against the interests of his constituents on health care.
- He defends the for-profit insurance companies who have bankrolled his campaigns.
- He voted against providing a college education to our brave troops returning from Iraq, all while supporting blank checks for the war in Iraq under President George W. Bush.
- And he even voted against President Obama’s economic recovery bill and has bragged about his power to work with Republicans against Democrats in Congress.
From the Accountability Now press release:
According to a Research 2000 poll from August 24, 2009, Cooper’s approval rating has sunk to below 50 percent (47% favorable, 41% unfavorable). Even more telling, was that just 36% of likely voters stated they would vote to re-elect Congressman Cooper.
Ranking high among Nashville voters concerns was Cooper’s perceived obstruction of the “public option” during the recent congressional debate on health care. According to the poll conducted in August, 80 percent of Democratic voters and 64 percent of independents support a public option. 77 percent of Democratic voters and 60 percent of independent voters disapprove of Congressman Cooper’s actions on the health care issue.
"Cooper has spent so many years in Congress without being accountable, that he’s forgotten how to represent his constituents," said Markos Moulitsas, owner of Daily Kos and the commissioner of the poll.. "He has a choice ahead of him — continue representing the interests of his insurance company buddies, or those of the people who elect him."
Cooper, who has collected more than $1 million dollars from health care special interests and related political action committees, has come under fire in recent weeks for failing to represent Democrats in the 5th Congressional District.
Accountability Now has been working actively in Tennessee’s 5th district to recruit candidates to run against Cooper in a Democratic primary next year. Communicating with Nashville voters about his activities on Capitol Hill, exploring his political history and highlighting the coverage of local Tennessee blogs will be the focus of Cooper Uncovered.