January 21, 2010
Scott Brown’s unlikely victory in the Massachusetts Senate seat will impact countless other races across the United States this year. As a result of the Brown victory, health care reform will not be a done deal. Even if House Democrats decided to pass the Senate Bill as is, there would remain a strong campaign issue that would seek to bring the House Bill and the public option back. If the Democrats retrench and leave the issue to the next Congress, of course, the whole issue remains.
Incumbents were going to be unable to avoid taking a stance on health care. That has been a big concern to conservative state Democrats like Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson. It is now becoming an even bigger issue for those seeking to challenge incumbents. As it looks like the issue will be alive and well in 2011, it is not incumbent on challengers (if you will) to take a stand. This was not lost on the campaign of Charlie Dent, R-15PA, who has been trying to smoke out Democrat John Callahan on the issue. Dent and independent Jake Towne have both taken stands. Callahan protested with the SEIU outside Dent’s office but refused to take a stand.
This was the take of Shawn Millan, the Dent campaign manager:
“Yesterday, in the bluest of blue states, Massachusetts, voters went to the polls and by a large margin, supported Senator-elect Scott Brown. During his campaign, Scott Brown made it clear to the voters of his state that he steadfastly opposed the government takeover of healthcare that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are trying to cram down the throats of Americans. There was no question where Scott Brown stood on this and other important issues, and his honest statement of his positions was a service to the voters because it helped them make informed decisions.
Contrast Scott Brown’s honesty and straightforwardness with John Callahan’s evasiveness and emptiness on healthcare. John Callahan started his race for Congress more than six months ago. He still cowardly refuses to open up to the voters of the 15th District about where he stands on the tremendously important issue of healthcare, as well as other important issues.
“John Callahan’s silence on healthcare is deafening and damning,” said campaign manager Shawn Millan. “He is purposefully hiding his position on important issues from the voters,” Millan added.
Most likely with good reason.
“John Callahan continues his chicken-dance on the issue of healthcare,” Congressman Charlie Dent observed. “He’s trying to get away with running an issue-free campaign.”
Callahan spoke at an SEIU/MoveOn.org-sponsored healthcare protest in support of Nancy Pelosi’s healthcare legislation and in opposition to Congressman Dent’s vote against that plan. The protest was held in front of Congressman Dent’s office. Callahan has also expressed support for the so-called public option.
The Dent campaign is calling on Callahan to answer four straightforward, but important questions on health care to help inform the voters of the 15th District where he stands:
1.) Does he continue to support the healthcare plan that passed the House in November?
2.) Does he still support a “public option?”
3.) Will he condemn the Democrat Congressional Leadership’s and President Obama’s lack of transparency during the current healthcare negotiations?
4.) Will he publicly condemn any effort to force this woefully deficient bill down the throats of the people of the 15th District?
If John Callahan continues to refuse to answer questions on important federal issues like these, then the real question is: Why is Callahan running for Congress?
There are no doubt other similar races with R’s and D’s who wanted this issue to be resolved. It now looks like it will not be resolved and may be the top issue in 2010.