This morning several Democratic groups, including ProgressNow, came out against Amendment 69, government run healthcare. To say this is a betrayal of their liberal brethren is an understatement. And Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar, the initiative’s major backer was there to call BS after she only learned about the press conference via ColoradoPols. From her comments:
“Wow! As a progressive legislator who is one of the major spokespersons for Amendment 69, I am appalled that I learned about this via ColoradoPols. I asked to speak with the board of Progress Now about ColoradoCare, and they didn’t give me the courtesy of a reply. I guess Brandenberry McKenna has more influence than I do.”
Et tu Brute? Just watch. It’s delicious.
— Peter Marcus (@MediaMarcus) August 17, 2016
In case, you couldn’t hear what Sen. Aguilar said, here’s her exchange with ProgressNow executive director Ian Silverii:
Aguilar: “What I’ve heard is that Brandeberry McKenna was hired six weeks ago to recruit progressive organizations and candidates to hold a press conference against Amendment 69, so is that true or not?
Silverii: “I have not spoken to anybody from Brandeberry McKenna.”
Aguilar: “OK, because I understand that the talking points submitted by the House Majority Project were written by Brandeberry McKenna.”
Silverii: “I don’t work for the House Majority Project.”
Here are the facts.
One: Silverii is the executive director of ProgressNow currently, but he ran the House Majority Project up until last year. Silverii’s claim that he does not work for the House Majority Project is technically true; however, it’s disingenuous to believe that he has had no contact with House Majority Project.
Two: If the House Majority Project, charged with electing more Democrats to the State House, is involved, it would seem that the larger concern is the impact that Amendment 69 would have on elections, not the impact of this Amendment on access to abortion, as ProgressNow previously claimed.
Three: If it is true that Brandeberry McKenna was hired to craft talking points and organize opposition, they may have done so on behalf of the healthcare organizations they represent at the State Capitol, including Denver Health, Pfizer, and PhRMA, who would be screwed by Amendment 69.
Four: If Brandeberry McKenna was hired to kill liberal support for Amendment 69 at the behest of their healthcare clients and if ProgressNow signed on to the opposition, that means that ProgressNow sold out its followers at the request of big healthcare. Ouch. That Berns.
Whether healthcare groups (rightly) were withholding dollars from the Democratic Party, which has veered sharply left, or the polling on Amendment 69 shows it impacting House races, this press conference has nothing to do with the negative impact this Amendment would have on abortion access.
While we hate Amendment 69 and everything it stands for, we applaud Sen. Aguilar for having the cojones (metaphorically) to crash her opponent’s press conference and, basically, call them out for corruption. But, we wouldn’t expect anything less from a party led by Hillary Clinton, a woman who traded United States’ foreign interests for personal gain.