I’m beginning to think I was wrong to criticize Change Congress’ latest ad on Wednesday. The anti-corruption non profit has been slamming Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, for his opposition to giving Americans the ability to choose between private insurance plans and a government-run option. Insurance companies hate the idea of a so-called “public option,” and they’ve given Nelson over $2 million in campaign cash. Change Congress has been pointing out that Nelson’s position on a public plan and his acceptance of that campaign money, taken together, create the appearance of corruption. (The fact that this even needs to be pointed out is pretty sad.)
On Wednesday, I criticized Change Congress for focusing on the health care angle, and not the corruption charge, in their latest ad. But it seems like their strategy is still working—they still have Ben Nelson flustered and flailing. The Senator actually personally called Huffington Post‘s Ryan Grim yesterday to respond to Grim’s article on the public option debate and the Change Congress ads.
Needless to say, it’s personal responses like the one to Grim that will give this story traction and get it moving in the mainstream media. The story has already received a decent amount of newspaper attention in Nebraska. If it really gets moving, Change Congress might actually get closer to their goal: convincing Nelson to support reform that will allow him to finance his campaigns without relying on donations from the very industries he’s responsible for regulating.