Reid to Grassroots: You’re Not Helping

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been pretty clear that he plans to handle the conservatives in his caucus very gently. He’s gone out of his way to praise the creation of the so-called Moderate Dems Working Groups, even going so far as to place a quote in the press release announcing the group’s formation.

Not all Democrats or liberals are that enthused, though, and as I’ve been documenting, several groups–including Campaign for America’s Future (CAF), USAction, Americans United for Change, and MoveON–have set themselves at odds one way or another with the 15-member caucus. Some have even gone so far as to launch ad campaigns targeting senators before they have a chance to meddle.

Well, Reid’s taken stock, and he’s not happy…with the grassroots.Speaking at a breakfast briefing, Reid said, “These groups should leave them alone. It’s not helpful to me. It’s not helpful to the Democratic Caucus.”

I’ve put out calls for comment, and will provide them as they come. Lauren Weiner of Americans United for Change emails to say, “we agree with Senator Reid that Democrats should not be impeded from moving forward on this transformative budget and this is not a fight between Democrats.”

Their ad, calling for support for Obama’s budget, can be seen below. It’s not exactly of a piece with CAF’s “Dog the Blue Dogs” campaign, but it’s airing in such states as North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, Indiana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Delaware. If they’re hoping to keep the targets a secret, they should prrrobbbably try harder.

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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