More and more Democratic members are being forced to go on the record about the Senate health care bill. Over the weekend, Reps. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) and Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) reasserted that they won't support a bill that uses federal money for abortion. "I will not support a health care reform bill if I believe it would result in federal tax dollars being used to fund abortions," Ellsworth, who is running for Senate, told the Evansville Courier-Press. Driehaus told the Cincinnati Enquirer: "I will not bend on the principle of federal funding on abortion." Meanwhile, some other vulnerable Democrats are receiving plenty of pressure from their hometown papers, including Reps. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) and Betsy Markey (D-Colo.). If the White House plans to push for a vote this week, look for plenty of anguished quotes from undecided Democrats. Many of them are voting for their political futures.
DCCC relaunches SpeakerPelosi.com, seeks anecdotes
The DCCC is relaunching SpeakerPelosi.com, and it’s sending an e-mail to four million grassroots supporters soliciting their stories of the current health care system’s woes. "When Republicans attack, we must knock down their smears and falsehoods with the truth -- with stories from real, hardworking Americans who have been forced to put their dreams on hold because of our country's broken health care system -- and that's why I need to hear from you," Pelosi writes.
Patrick Kennedy’s rainy day fund
Retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) isn’t done with public office, and that means his half-milion dollar campaign kitty isn’t heading to the DCCC anytime soon. The Washington Post reports that he will keep the money in an interest-bearing account in case he ever decides to run for Senate. You may recall that Kennedy’s cousin, former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), has done the same thing for the past decade, and it didn’t do Democrats much good when a special election for Senate came around last year.
A real political sports bet
The Ballot Box is generally skeptical of politicians making pointless wagers when it comes to their local sports teams, but Dan Mongiardo is on to something. The Kentucky lieutenant governor and Democratic Senate candidate used the occasion of the NCAA basketball tournament to point out that he is a UK grad, while primary opponent Jack Conway is a Duke grad. Mongiardo wants to bet which of the No. 1 seeds will advance further. Something tells us Conway doesn’t take the bait, or the bet. Of course, it’s not the first time Mongiardo’s camp has needled Conway over his Duke ties. The power of this attack should not be underestimated in a state where college basketball is king.