Time To Reward Good Behavior

We need a list of the Representatives who took the biggest political risk to support this bill, especially Reps like Betsy Markey who stood up for the bill before Bart Stupak’s presser finally made it “safe”. These guys, plus Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler, deserve our thanks and support, via ActBlue, as much as anyone in Congress. Use this thread to work out whom you think we ought to include.


So far I have heard good arguments for Boccieri, Bean, Kilroy and Cuellar. I will not reward Kucinich or Stupak because I think that neither of these Reps were ever in any danger of losing their seat over a ‘yes’ vote. I might, might leave Stupak’s primary challenger off the list if we don’t hear from either Bart or the muskrat on top of his head until next week at the earliest, but I am definitely not ready to reward him.

91 replies
  1. 1
    Mike Kay says:

    Why Nadler?

  2. 2
    West of the Cascades says:

    Kucinich – went from being the Ron Paul of the left to the first meaningful domino to fall.

  3. 3
    Tim F. says:

    @Mike Kay: Follow the link. He was the first person in Congress who shook off the Scott Brown miasma and presented a plan to finish the job. I promised to reward whoever took that critical step and I plan to deliver.

  4. 4
    Tom Hilton says:

    Yeah, much as I dislike Kucinich generally, I have to agree with West of the Cascades.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    @Mike Kay: We’ll work it out. Party like hell, gird your loins for the next bit and allons-y!!

  6. 6
    cd6 says:

    Who to reward?

    Tim F

    I never called a congressman before BJ’s inspiration.

  7. 7
    snarkout says:

    Tomorrow morning, I’m sending money to Markey, the fantastic Tom Perriello, and (after gritting my teeth about his Stuphackery) John Boccieri. And Carole Shea-Porter, who doesn’t get any attention because she’s a good, reliable progressive in a purple district.

  8. 8
    Tom Hilton says:

    OT re the current tag line under the blog title: October 10 is The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything Day. Thought y’all might want to know.

  9. 9
    AkaDad says:

    You want to reward the people who brought about the end of days?

  10. 10
    You Don't Say says:

    I don’t know how risky it was for her, but the Las Vegas rep Dina Titus went from “no” about 6 weeks ago to a “yes.”

  11. 11
    rootless-e says:

    The constitution that Jeff Davis left to us, has been shredded by the Democrats.

  12. 12

    You definitely nailed it with Markey. She’s probably toast in November.

  13. 13
    demkat620 says:

    Sestak is my rep. Who besides Connie Saltonstall needs my bucks?

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    Please stop recommending Dennis Kucinich. That guy took a much bigger risk saying no than he did saying yes. I want to support Reps like Markey whose conservative districts could very well kick their ass for doing the right thing.

  15. 15
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    I reward good democracy done right, a paradox, that is a cacophony of screaming voices that shut up and vote at some point. We just haven’t seen that for awhile in this country.

  16. 16
    Athenae says:

    Melissa Bean. Of the Blue Dogs, she made the right decision and made it twice.


  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Giant Yes Vote for this. Tim F. rules. Thank you.

    I vote to reward Kucinich. Also Henry Cuellar in San Antonio. He said Yes yesterday.

  18. 18
    GeeYourHairSmellsTerrific says:

    More inspiration:

    What happens immediately when Obama signs the bill

  19. 19
    Mothra says:

    My representative, Bart Gordon, voted yes. He’s retiring, so he’s not going to get voted out of office, but it took guts for him to vote Yes on this bill. I’m very proud of him.

  20. 20
    Robin G says:

    “Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.

    Interestingly, that’s about the number of undecided Dems we had at the beginning of the week. Well played, Deep Thought. Well played.

  21. 21
    Marc says:

    May Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) has been solid on health care reform, won by a sliver in 08, and is facing a rematch in 2010. She needs the help, and her district is very evenly matched. So adding her to the list would help quite a bit.

  22. 22
    Will says:

    Fuck it, I’ll say it: Bart Stupak.

    He accepted a meaningless exec order in return for bringing the vote over the top. He could have f*cked things up a lot worse than that if he was genuinely ratfucking this thing, as he seemed to be for a long time.

  23. 23
    Some Guy says:

    Kucinich yet, but Markey definitely. Honestly, all the Dems with hot seats deserve some support, even Stupak who is a jackass. Pardon my performative contradiction. He settled for a presidential reiteration of the existing (f’d up) law to get his vote. Nita Lowey is right, the abortion rider provision is bullshit, but nonetheless, this bill should change the political environment substantially and more importantly, improve many people’s lives.

    To reiterate: I am not saying put flowers around Stupak, I am saying that another 12 hours of being a dick could have sent Glenn Beck into a permanent state of bliss. I am grateful prolife Dems were satisfied with a napkin rather than an afghan to cover their asses.

    Btw: I think women have to pay for an abortion rider? Why not market abortion coverage to men as a rider on THEIR insurance? Covers anyone they get pregnant. Market it as cheaper than an Xbox 360. Its crass, but you would have lots of people with abortion insurance in about 10 minutes. Sort of like AAA that covers anyone who drives your car. If you have to be cynical, at least get something for your cynicism.

  24. 24
    West of the Cascades says:

    @cd6: This. Ditto.

  25. 25
    mcc says:

    Seems like it’ll be hard to know who to mention here with out a vote total.

  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    I don’t know about kicking in to their campaign war chests, but I’d be willing to send a thank-you note, at least, to Joseph Cao or any other Republican in the event they vote “yes.”

  27. 27
    Josh says:

    42? RUBBISH!

  28. 28
    Brandon says:

    Although I do love to punch me some good Kucinich, you have to again give credit where it is due. He voted and whipped for the bill in the end. I guess he finally realized that the history books would probably not record his “no” vote as ironic.

  29. 29
    SIA says:

    @cd6: Really Tim – you’ve been incredible. I’m in John Lewis’ district, and I wasn’t going to call because I knew he was a yes vote. After a few of your posts I called and thanked his staff. Felt good. Thank you for your tenacity.

    Nancy Pelosi is a legislative GODDESS. I am not worthy.

    Harry Reid should get some love too IMHO. He got 60 votes in the Senate in a very hostile enviornment. And he’s has a rough reelection battle and an injured wife right now.

    ETA fingers crossed on the congrats until we get that damn bill voted on.

  30. 30
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Tim F.: Agree in terms of where my Act Blue $$$ will go – I was thinking in terms of a list of who started this end-game going.

  31. 31
    mr. whipple says:

    Boccieri and Mary Jo Kilroy, both of Ohio, both in legit swing if not red districts, and both cited by Obama yesterday for courage.

  32. 32
    Ailuridae says:

    I think Boccieri is as deserving as anyone.

    He’s in a R +4 district, he’s a freshman representative, he committed relatively early and he voted no in the fall.

  33. 33
    Taylor says:

    Nancy Pelosi is the most formidable House Speaker since Sam Rayburn.

    That is all.

  34. 34
    JMY says:

    I must say…I have to give Obama credit as well, because many people doubted him, turned on him even though he was in office barely a year. They told him to do it this way or that way, but he stuck to his guns and went in when it counted. His patience and calmness amongst all the bullshit that has gone on surrounding HCR should be applauded because at any point he could have gave up or imploded and completely lost his cool, but he didn’t and this is the result. His strategy, although not perfect and frustrating at times, proved a lot of people wrong. And yes I’m looking at you Jane Hamsher, Sirota, Michael Moore, etc.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @SIA: Good point. If Harry Reid delivers, I’ll donate a little to his campaign. He’s struggling right now and getting health care done should hopefully boost his chances. He’s not a favorite of mine, but if he can deliver he should be rewarded.

    I feel for him with his family injured like that. Stinks for him, especially with this tough negotiations going on at the same time.

  36. 36
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Tim F.: That link promotes Nadler to be Speaker, that still a go?

  37. 37
    Ailuridae says:

    @mr. whipple:

    Yep. Kilroy too.

  38. 38
    pcbedamned says:

    O/T, but something everyone should read:

    The Quiet People

    Brought tears to my eyes. How can the TBer’s not see this?!?

  39. 39
    me says:

    These Republicans wouldn’t have voted for the bill even if it banned abortion outright. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes it? Don’t they have some child predators to shield?

  40. 40
    Some Guy says:

    @SIA: Ditto Tim. Faxed Michaud in Maine. Thanks Balloon Juice, really. Brought me back to sanity when the public option died. That really pisses me off, but this bill is much better than not having this bill and its true, public option ain’t happening in these times.

    Ditto on Boccieri. I don’t know Kilroy.

    But, and I am sure you will, please do an Act Blue page for HCR Dems in tough districts. They need to feel the love for the risk. Still won’t give to Stupak even though I will say thank you (jerk).

  41. 41
    A Mom Anon says:

    Nancy Pelosi gets my nod. Ovaries of steel,smart,and I do believe I heard somewhere she can totally kick your ass while holding a baby,lol. Her seat is probably not one in need of much backing,but hell,she worked hard for this,she deserves some major kudos.

    Because of this bill,I no longer have to freak out about my son being uninsurable because of his cognitive disabilities. He’s about to turn 16,in a couple of years we would have had a hell of a time finding him his own coverage. He most likely won’t find work that will have any kind of coverage til he’s at least 25 or so. He’ll most likely have to work at a trade for awhile to even stand a chance at coverage of any sort. I know I’m not the only parent faced with a similar worry.

  42. 42
    demkat620 says:

    What part of this bill overturns Hyde?

    No part.


  43. 43
    BB says:

    Scott Murphy (NY)
    John Boccieri (OH)
    Tom Periello (VA)

    …are who come to mind. But Betsy Markey is by far the biggest. She didn’t put her back-and-forth in the media to a ridiculous degree (a big bucket of “ughs” to you, Mr. Altmire), she just saw she was needed and stepped up. And she did it early.

    Also, some big raspberries to:
    Peter DeFazio, for throwing his traditional DeFazio-flavored fit right before a big vote.

    Mikes Acuri and McMahon of NY, for self-evident reasons.

    Marcy Kaptur, who quietly introduced a lot of abortion nonsense that we don’t need to tolerate from a district like hers.

    And finally, the biggest raspberry of all to Stephen Lynch.

  44. 44
    SIA says:

    from J Cole tweet

    Republicans holding presser, declaring Stupak insufficiently in awe of fetuses. You sure played your cards well, Bart- everyone hates you!

    /fu Stupak

  45. 45
    AkaDad says:

    This is great news for the Republicans…

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @SIA: I have to agree about Reid. I’ve torn out plenty of my own hair over him, but the fact is, he came through in the clutch on this.

  47. 47
    Three-nineteen says:

    Rules vote passed. Now the fun really starts.

    Oops – I mean just started. Apparently they had to vote to be able to vote.

  48. 48
    Duane says:

    I’m gonna say… not my Congressman Zack Space….. Profile in Courage….not so much.
    Speaker Pelosi is such a bad ass and so few people realize it. I am so proud that she is the Speaker of the House.
    seriously though Kilroy, Boccieri, and Markey do deserve some love.

  49. 49
    Michael says:

    Nate Silver has a good post on this topic

  50. 50
    Jim C. says:

    Re: The update

    **** that!

    Stupak’s primary challenger gets rewarded. No way he gets off the list of people who get payback due to their role in this.

  51. 51
    SIA says:

    @Some Guy:

    Thanks Balloon Juice, really. Brought me back to sanity when the public option died.

    Good point. For me, BJ has been to health care reform what Al Giordano was for the primaries – an oasis of sanity and reason.

    @A Mom Anon: It makes me so grateful when I hear things like this from people who will immediately benefit from the bill. Thanks for sharing that.

  52. 52
    tudore says:

    Periello: he’s in a very tough district he’s been supporting it consistently and not playing any games. He could have badmouthed the bill, or given it support with a backhanded, reluctant statement, but he’s demonstrated integrity throughout the process.

    Also, I think I’m going to ask my congressman to hug Pelosi for me.

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    I agree about blowing Stupak off. Fuck him for what he said about the nuns alone. Primary his sorry ass.

  54. 54
    Josh says:

    Joseph Cao is a no vote.

  55. 55
    Tim F. says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Read the updates to that post.

  56. 56
    SIA says:

    @Ash Can: Tell ya a secret – I’ve always had a spot in my heart for Harry. Soft spoken, non confrontive, elderly, and mild-mannered, but he backed BHO early on and he’s done his job like a trooper.

  57. 57


    BJ has been to health care reform what Al Giordano was for the primaries – an oasis of sanity and reason.

    And Al’s been amazingly realistic and reasonable about this whole process as well, if not “in the game” per se.

    That an avowed socialist who’s happy to point out this bill doesn’t come anywhere close what he’d want, can see what so many Progressives cannot, is a constant source of frustration and amusement to me.

  58. 58


    BJ has been to health care reform what Al Giordano was for the primaries – an oasis of sanity and reason.

    And Al’s been amazingly realistic and reasonable about this whole process as well, if not “in the game” per se.

    That an avowed socialist who’s happy to point out this bill doesn’t come anywhere close what he’d want, can see what so many Progressives cannot, is a constant source of frustration and amusement to me.

  59. 59
    DanF says:

    Brad Ellsworth made a tough call for his district and he was one of the Stupak dozen/half dozen/baker’s dozen … whatever it was.

  60. 60
    Camchuck says:

    How about Grayson? He’s not exactly a sure thing for re-election. And he showed that a Dem could have balls and actually see his approval numbers improve.

  61. 61
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Tim F.: I remember that post well. Just confirming the backtrack from it.

  62. 62
    Nikita says:

    Whoever it was that suggested reading conservative blogs today, I thank you. Reading them is almost as much fun as watching the 2008 election returns on Fox News.

    Wingnut tears are delicious.

  63. 63
    mr. whipple says:

    I have mad props for Nancy, but I think $ should go to people who aren’t safe and need it most. She’s probably got a gazillion in the bank.

    I don’t know about Reid’s situation, but he deserves mad props in my book. He had to get every last vote, and he did, from a caucus that ranges from the single socialist Sanders to the likes of Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln. That is an amazing accomplishment.

  64. 64
    SIA says:

    @Camchuck: I think Grayson added to the momentum and like you said, showed some wussie dems how it can be done.

  65. 65
    SIA says:

    @Josh: As long as the bill passes, maybe that’s not a negative. Means no repub support, no repub credit.

  66. 66
    DanF says:

    One other thing about Ellsworth is that he is probably running to replace Bayh.

  67. 67
    GeeYourHairSmellsTerrific says:

    Make sure to save a few bucks for any primary challengers to the 28 no voting Dems.

  68. 68
    dr. bloor says:

    I might, might leave Stupak’s primary challenger off the list if we don’t hear from either Bart or the muskrat on top of his head until next week at the earliest, but I am definitely not ready to reward him.

    There is no Earthly reason not to primary Stupak. Despite his vote, he held the entire process hostage by launching an assault on one of the Party’s fundamental planks, and forced Obama into reaffirming Henry Hyde’s odious legacy (however inconsequential the short-term impact might be).

    Primary his fucking ass.

  69. 69
    demo woman says:

    Tim, John, Doug and others you have done a great job the last few months and I trust you to collect and distribute money to needy candidates. As much as I love Nancy, I’m not sure she is needy but whatever.

  70. 70
    SIA says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Primary his [Stupak] fucking ass.


  71. 71
    Tim F. says:

    @mr. whipple: The cash for Pelosi is not for her re-election. God knows she hardly has to worry about that. The donations are a chance for her to increase her influence by spreading campaign cash around at her own discretion. Ditto Nadler.

  72. 72
    nevsky42 says:

    Someone already mentioned above, but Tom Perriello (VA-5), who barely beat out the odious Virgil Goode, has been getting hammered by the teabaggers since he took office. This is a very brave vote for him…

  73. 73
    kid bitzer says:

    you know, this whole discussion shows what is dysfunctional about the democratic party.

    if the republicans had just passed some legislation, there would be no need for voters to reward them–the legislation itself would be jam-packed with rewards for each and every legislator.

    and then the people who actually wrote the republican legislation–i.e. the corporations–would be standing in the hallways with check-books far bigger than ours, happy to reward the republicans.

    and then the same corporations would be hiring the legislators’ spouses, children, and nephews, and lining up to hire the legislators after they retired from office.

    whereas when democrats pass legislation, the only people that benefit are their constituents, the citizens of the nation, and the republic at large.

    what a crazy way to govern! where’s the rake-off?

  74. 74
    Michael says:

    Per my post above, I’m gonna have to agree with nevsky42, Perriello is ranked as one of the riskiest votes out there (#5 on Silver’s list, or #4 considering that Ellsworth has his eye on a Senate seat). Gutsy move from him, in an R+5 district

  75. 75
    bey says:

    Tim F. – Salute! I kept calling my idiot congressman (Lamborn CO5), knowing it was never going to change his mind, but making sure my voice was heard. I wouldn’t have done that without your encouragement.

  76. 76
    mr. whipple says:

    @Tim F.:

    Good point I didn’t consider.

  77. 77
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Speaking of rewarding good behavior…

    We made the calls you asked us to. When the more “progressive” activist sites dropped the ball, BJ was there getting calls into offices. I guess what I’m getting at is…

    We did our part. Can we haz Tunch pics nao?

  78. 78
    BonnyAnne says:

    Tim, is there any way to reward people like Brain Baird, who will not be running again? Do congressmen care about Thank You letters?

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    Who was the Congressman that changed his vote from No to Yes a few days ago? Someone from the northeast-ish area of the country, maybe. I think he choked up when he gave his press conference? Maybe that guy deserves some cash. Can’t remember more than that, but I think I remember that people here thought it was important that he changed his vote.

  80. 80
    Kristine says:


    FWIW, she’s no longer a Blue Dog. She’s Vice-Chair and Whip of the New Dem Coalition.

    She’s my rep. I appreciate her vote for HCR, but I’m not crazy about her work on the Consumer Financial Protection Agency bill:

    Big bank defenders, led by Melissa Bean (D-IL), got language into the bill that would allow federal laws governing consumer protection to preempt many of those set by individual states and make it harder for state Attorneys General to enforce consumer protections.

    I’m torn. I’m not sure if someone who is more progressive could be elected in this district, so beating her in a primary would likely mean the seat turns Republican. But she takes some stands that I just don’t like.

  81. 81
    KDP says:

    @Violet: I think that was Boccieri (sp?). I recall him talking about the 10 yr. old autistic boy whose parents would now be able to get him insurance.

    I agree on Markey and Boccieri, for sure.

    Listening to the Reps make their comments for and against the bill. Eshoo’s up now.

  82. 82
    DaddyJ says:

    I don’t think he had a particularly large role in the debate–seemed to be essentially sitting on the sidelines–but I want to give a shout-out to my Rep., Bill Foster (IL 14), a D in an R district, who announced his yes vote right before the House convened at noon. He’ll have my support for his next campaign, and I’m sure he’ll have a tough fight.

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BonnyAnne: I don’t know a single person on the planet who doesn’t appreciate a thank-you letter!

  84. 84
    Tim F. says:

    @BonnyAnne: Yes, send a thank-you. Those make everyone feel good.

  85. 85
    SIA says:

    @Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill: Al is (to me) almost always reasonable – but as you say he hasn’t been nearly as involved in this particular story.

    Any body see the rep next to Stupak (Lee CA?) when Stupak was reading his little statement in the house? She looked like…”don’t you even touch me mutha f’er”. The best expression of contempt evah.

  86. 86

    I’m gonna fourth snarkout, nevsky42, and Michael: Tom Perriello is at the top of my list for an ActBlue contribution in the morning.

  87. 87
    Ana Gama says:

    Provided the recon fix gets through the Senate…Harry Reid.

  88. 88
    Karen says:

    I think Kucinich should be rewarded because not only did he just change his “no” to “yes” he also twisted arms to try to change other “no’s” to “yesses.”

  89. 89
    Jim in PA says:

    Chris Carney (PA-10)

    He won his seat in ’06 thanks to Don Sherwood getting caught in an affair. The R’s had held the seat for 46 years. I grew up there and never thought I’d see a D win there.

  90. 90
    stevie avebury says:

    I cannot bring myself to support stupak either. I promised myself that I would contribute to anyone who supported the bill but the damage done by people like lincoln, nelson and stupak is too great and I will not support them no matter what.

  91. 91
    mai naem says:

    I’m late to the thread but I do want to put in a word for my congressman Harry Mitchell. He wasn’t a no to yes but he’s going to have a pretty tough election and he’s going to have the soshulist crap thrown at him from now till November. I agree with Reid and Perriello being towards the top of the list. Also too, the other 2 Dems in AZ from red districts – Giffords and Kilpatrick.

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