Dem Massa uses vote against health bill to raise funds

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) is using his vote against the House healthcare reform bill to raise funds for his reeleciton campaign.

Massa, a freshman, comes from a traditionally-Republican upstate New York district but voted against the House bill because he said its reforms did not go far enough to expand healthcare coverage and that it's public option was not "robust" enough, among other reasons. 

Here is an excerpt from an e-mailed invitation to a fundraiser:

Eric Massa, elected to the Congress in 2008 for the first time from a rural district in Western New York State, has become one of the foremost advocates for single payer national health care this year. Together with John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich, he was present to lead every event organized by Physicians for a National Health Program and the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care. And, when it came time for the Congress to vote, Eric Massa was one of just two progressive Democrats - the stalwart Dennis Kucinich was the other - to vote against the House health care bill because it failed to provide real reform of our crumbling health care system.

Massa's continuing tack to the left is interesting for a number of reasons.

First, it appears to not comport to the views of the voters in the 29th district. Republicans had held the House seat since the 1980s until Massa, a Navy veteran and an ex-Republican, was narrowly elected in 2008 even though his district was only one of four New York districts to support GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.)

Second, it remains to be seen if his appeal with resonate with voters on the left who may have supported him last cycle since he opposed the House bill, which was viewed as the more liberal alternative to the Senate bill.

Still, 2010 will be the first test of Massa's unique strategy.

h/t The Albany Project

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