Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stupak Gets A Challenger

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who is threatening to take down the entire healthcare bill over a question about abortion that has already been answered, has drawn a primary challenger.

Connie Saltonstall of Charlevoix said today she plans to run against Stupak for the Democratic nomination of Michigan’s First Congressional District, citing Stupak’s efforts to stop health care reform if it doesn’t ban use of government money for abortions. Stupak, a former state trooper from Menominee, has held the seat since 1993.

This year and last, Stupak has made a name for himself as a thorn in the side of some congressional Democrats pushing legislation for health care reform. While largely supportive of those efforts, he successfully attached an amendment last fall to ban use of federal funds to help pay for abortions.

“I believe that he has a right to his personal, religious views, but to deprive his constituents of needed health care reform because of those views is reprehensible,” Saltonstall said in a statement.

I used to live in Mr. Stupak’s district and while it is not a flaming hotbed of progressivism, the people of that part of Michigan are also pretty tolerant of the idea of live and let live. Mr. Stupak’s fixation with a single issue may endear him with the anti-abortion crowd, but there are enough people in that part of the state — which includes the entire Upper Peninsula — who are struggling with healthcare and economic problems that they wonder about who he’s really fighting for.

Good luck, Ms. Saltonstall.