MoveOn.org sent out an email to supporters today, about "going on the offense" in the health care debate. In spite of a recent poll they cite further in the email, it seems MoveOn feels its cause has been hurt by constantly being on the defensive against Republican attacks. To that end, they plan on attacking Republicans they feel are "vulnerable" with a series of ads pointing out the money they were given by Insurance companies:
But to win, we have to go on offense and take the fight to Republicans—expose how they're taking millions from health insurance companies, and make them pay a political price for obstructing reform and opposing a public health insurance option.
That's why we've produced a new series of powerful TV ads to run in the districts of vulnerable Republican representatives. But to get them on the air, we need to raise $185,000 from MoveOn members across the country...
Of course, these ads will fail to mention the millions of dollars Democrats receive in donations from the Union lobby -- strong advocates of the "public option" -- but also the money which prominent Democrats have recieved from none other than ... insurance companies.
Though it is undeniably true that insurance giving has favored Republicans for nearly two decades (or more), it is equally true -- and perhaps more telling -- that in 2008 giving nearly leveled off (to within 10%) between the two sides and that the most recent giving has favored Democrats 56% to 44 (via Open Secrets). The picture becomes clearer as we examine recipient detail from this election cycle and that of 2008.
During the 2008 election cycle, John McCain was the top recipient of Insurance donations with $2.4 million. Right behind him with nearly $2.3 million was Barack Obama. In third place with about $1.2 mil? Mrs. Clinton. In fact, of the top twenty recipients of Insurance lobby money, half were Republicans, while half democrats -- with not a whole lot of disparity between the spread.
For 2010 so far, Chuck Schumer has already pulled in over $153,000 -- second only to a single Republican, Rob Portman of OH, with $193,000. Of the next five recipients, the top four are Democrats, including Harry Reid and Chris Dodd.
At this point, one may well ask: what's my point? To which I would respond: "Exactly." MoveOn is attempting to impugn the motives of Republican politicians with Zero evidence beyond dollar amounts. Dollars they won't even admit are being just as happily accepted by Democrats.
Of course, when Chris Dodd was given sweetheard deals by mortage firms, and was the top monetary recipient of the mortgage lobby, that was a distraction. Barney Frank's relationship with a ranking official at Freddie Mac of course had nothing to do letting the utter incompetent all but run the firm into the ground. And how dare we bring that up?
But give Republicans a couple hundred thousand more than the democrats one cycle -- and a couple hundred thousand less the next -- and it's all the evidence MoveOn.org needs connect the dots and declare all opposition to ObamaCare morally evil.
(Cross-posted at The Minority Report)