Politico Says Dem AGs Boxed in By HCR, Omits OR-AG Backing Bill
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:19:50 AM EDT
Healthcare reform is terrible for Democratic Attorneys General around the country. Just ask Politico:
They played almost no role in crafting or passing the new federal health care legislation, but Democratic attorneys general have suddenly emerged as prominent actors in the post-passage drama over the constitutionality of the landmark law.
Until recently, the Democratic attorneys general have largely sat on the sidelines as more than a dozen of their GOP counterparts banded together to pursue a lawsuit against the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic policy agenda. Like many in their party, they dismissed the suit as a naked political play without any legal grounding — an opinion based on the fact that many of the Republicans advancing the cause are seeking higher office.
But now, some of the Democratic AGs have become reluctant combatants, dragged into the fray by GOP governors and legislators who insist that their reluctance to join the case is a clear attempt to protect their national party’s interests.
Politico goes on to list, at great length, all of the Democratic AGs around the country who are supposedly politically hindered by the recent health legislation -- including, apparently, Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal, who (and you won't read this in the Politico article) leads all of his Republican opponents in the upcoming Senate election by margins in excess of 30 percentage points. Let's just say I'd be a little more credulous of this argument if Blumenthal's lead were in the single-digits, or even under 20 percentage points.
But Politico is off-base in yet another way: Completely overlooking the contrary evidence in the form of Oregon's Democratic Attorney General John Kroger, who, along with the state's Democratic Governor (a former state Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General himself), has been standing up in defense of the constitutionality of healthcare reform legislation.
Count Oregon on the side of states defending the new national health care reform plan.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General John Kroger said Wednesday that Oregon would take legal action to defend the constitutionality of the plan. Oregon hopes to join the litigation to argue that the new legislation does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
“The health care reform cases present some of the most important Constitutional issues facing this generation,” Attorney General Kroger said.
“Opponents of the bill seek to turn back the Constitutional clock 100 years, returning to a time when the U.S. Supreme Court routinely struck down legislation designed to protect the health, safety and well-being of the American people,” said Kroger.
Not only is Kroger, with the strong backing of Kulongoski, taking legal steps in favor of healthcare reform -- he is also inviting other Attorneys General from around the country to join him in such an effort. Might be worth mentioning in an article about how the politics of healthcare reform impact Democratic AGs. Then again, maybe not...