Rep. Zack Space (D-OH18) was the only Ohio Democrat to vote against the The Affordable Health Care for America Act March 21, 2010. As an Ohioan, I was puzzled by his decision and wondered what his motivation might be, flying under the radar as it were.
Mr. Space ran for the seat vacated by Bob Ney. Ney was involved, and the first to fall, in the Jack Abramoff Lobbying Scandal. Ney pled guilty to corruption charges and resigned his Congressional position November, 2006. Space is up for reelection in 2010.
Space represents Ohio’s 18th Congressional District, and is considered a Blue Dog Democrat. The 18th Congressional District is comprised of 16 counties (13 full and 3 partial). As recently as November 2009, Space was called out by the American Federation of State, County, and Municiple Employees (AFSCME) for ignoring the circumstances and needs of his constituents.
- In 2008, 1,400 families in the 18th Congressional District filed for health-care related bankruptcies.
- 8,100 seniors in the 18th Congressional District are forced to pay the full cost of their prescription drugs.
- 65,000 uninsured individuals live in the 18th Congressional District.
- 11,700 small businesses in the 18th Contressional District would benefit from the small business tax credit.
- 12,300 indivduals in the 18th Congressional District would no longer be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
Scare tactics from the big insurance companies and their allies in Congress won’t change the fact that millions of families will benefit from reform, or that the plan is paid for in full and will reduce the national deficit.
So, why did Zack blink? IMO Space was being pressured (subtley of course) by his far right constituents and sold his soul for his seat in Washington. And, some of this stuff is pretty damn scary:
As a result, Zack is already suffering the consequences of his decision to not do the right thing.
March 19, 2010 Zack, What Would Nixon Do? by David Lore.
March 21, 2010
SPACE SPLITS FROM DEMS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
“Congress: Space says he will vote ‘no’ on health care bill”
Although we don’t know at this hour whether the health reform bill will clear the House this weekend, Congressman Space’s decision — announced this evening — to vote against the measure has to be a major disappointment for Licking County progressives who have supported him over these past four years. On this vote at least, we’re back to being represented by two members – Space and Tiberi – of the Party of No.
Now I recognize that disappointment goes with the game of politics and, for sure, we’ve already had our share of disappointments with President Obama and the Democratic Congress. And Zack Space has shown courage in the past, primarily in supporting the original House version of the health reform bill as well as the administration’s “cap-and-trade” energy and environmental package.
And maybe the congressman in this case was let off the hook by Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership once they realized they had the 216 votes they needed to move health reform to final passage in the House. Such a pass makes sense if the votes are there and the party leadership is now focusing on protecting those Democratic House members in Republican-leaning districts such as the 18th of Ohio.
Still, all that being said, the Congressman in my estimation caved in the face of Republican and Tea Party pressure and that cannot just be excused as the political price that had to be paid to retain control of the seat. Speaking as one who has spent hours and days canvassing for Congressman Space and up to this time held him in high regard, I now have to say I just don’t know where he draws the line when under pressure between principle and politics.
How does Zack Space balance the importance of re-election against the need to extend health coverage to more than 30 million Americans and to at least begin to reform our cruel and broken system of health insurance protection?
From this point on, it’s not just Independents that Congressman Space will have to convince over the next eight months that he’s the man to return to office. Democrats and progressives who have made phone calls for him, canvassed neighborhoods, donated money and defended him against the Irrational Right in the past must now be looking for reasons to do so again. But the bottom line is Space made a bad decision this weekend, and that means my active support can no longer be a foregone conclusion.
by David Lore
March 23, 2010 Rep. Space Loses Support Over No Vote On Health Care Reform by Dave Harding.
My guess is Rep. Zack Space (D-OH18) will lose his seat in November 2010. Both sides believe he flipped, and keeping his seat in November will be an uphill battle.