EMILY’s List Attacks Lincoln

Having being dumped on this week by environmental groups, labor, and the progressive netroots for her conservative views, Senator Blanche Lincoln has picked up yet another detractor from the left: EMILY’s List, the long-standing political action committee that supports pro-choice Democratic women running for office.

In a withering blog post, EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcolm blasted the endangered Arkansas incumbent for having “failed to hold up her end of the bargain” after the PAC had supported her original Senate campaign in 1998.

In fact, EMILY’s List had formally “delisted” Lincoln back in 1999 after her vote to support Rick Santorum’s bill to ban partial-birth abortion. According to Malcolm, Lincoln had double-crossed the organization by promising to insist upon a health exception to protect women’s health and voting for the bill without the provision anyway.

“She took our members’ hard-earned money to get elected. Unfortunately…Blanche Lincoln failed to hold up her end of the bargain,” Malcolm writes. “Since she wasn’t there for us, we won’t be there for her.”

Given the organization’s bitter history with Lincoln, Malcolm’s attack shouldn’t come as a surprise. And with Lincoln receiving a 92 percent “mixed” rating from Planned Parenthood in 2008, it’s uncertain whether other pro-choice groups will join the campaign to “Dump Lincoln.” But Malcolm’s scathing criticism adds to the growing chorus of liberals who have piled on since Bill Halter announced his primary challenge for her seat this week. And it’s yet another indication that liberals are ready to unleash their pent-up frustration against the sitting centrists in Washington.


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  • Suzy Khimm was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones from March 2010 until June 2011. For more of her stories, click here. Follow her on Twitter here.