Progressive Group Unveils Public Option Ad Asking ‘Is Harry Reid Strong Enough’

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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been ramping up its campaign for a public option in the last several weeks, will run the below ad in Nevada this week, urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to fight for the public option as he takes the lead in designing a health care bill to bring to the Senate floor.

PCCC is raising funds this week in the hope of running the ad 200 times in Las Vegas on cable and broadcast networks. It will begin airing on Wednesday. You can read a letter from PCCC to its supporters below the fold.

Reid’s staff has scoffed at similar efforts in recent weeks, saying that while Reid is working to build consensus for a public option, he will not likely respond to strong-arm tactics.

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Today, we’re unveiling a new TV ad called, “Is Harry Reid strong enough?”

Senate Majority Leader Reid is brokering a health care bill this week. But he seems ready to cave to a few corporate Democrats who want to kill a public health insurance option. We can’t let that happen.

Our ad features one of Harry Reid’s constituents, Nevada nurse Lee Slaughter. She has seen insurance companies cut off care to patients in need — and says that in 2010, she will vote on only one issue: “I’m watching to see if Harry Reid is strong and effective enough as a leader to pass a public option into law.”

Click here to see our powerful new ad — and help us air it 200 times in Nevada.

We know that Sen. Reid is concerned about his election next year. Polls show him trailing Republicans, and he’s already running campaign ads.

Our ad will remind him that for many voters back home, the public option is a make-or-break issue. Voters want Reid to fight for the public option and win — not cave.

Keith Olbermann reports that Reid is “pushing back against progressives” and “setting expectations low.” That’s unacceptable. The public overwhelmingly wants the public option. Democrats control the government, with a huge 60-seat Senate majority.

This week is critical. We need Harry Reid to be a strong and effective leader right now. It has never been more important.

Can you help us send our own strong message to Harry Reid? Click here to see our new ad and help put it on TV.

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

–Stephanie Taylor, Adam Green, Aaron Swartz, Michael Snook, Forrest Brown, and the PCCC team

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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