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March 30, 2010 / Brooklyn news / Politics / Bay Ridge / The Politicrasher

What? McMahon worry? Dem shouldn’t be nervous after ‘no’ vote on Obamacare

The Brooklyn Paper
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You gotta hand it to Rep. Mike McMahon — for a freshman, he’s one of the smartest, savviest pols around.

Take his “No” vote on the health care reform package last month. A “yes” vote would have been easy — earning McMahon the glowing support of local unions, progressives and even the Working Families Party, that paper altar to which most Democrats now routinely genuflect.

And it also would’ve earned him a big albatross.

The kind you wear around the neck.

In his first term in Congress, McMahon has been a reliable vote for the Democrats. Sure, as my own colleagues pointed out a few weeks ago, a line-by-line view of McMahon’s voting record shows that he leans towards the Republican side of the aisle (and sometimes falls over it) when it comes to the military, denying legal rights to terrorists or refusing to cap executive pay.

But when Nancy Pelosi needs something, McMahon usually doesn’t need his arm twisted.

But on health care, McMahon was simply not on board. For months, he’s been telling The Brooklyn Paper that the House bill didn’t cut costs enough and would endanger local hospitals, so his vote was no surprise.

Afterwards, the reaction was predictable: The Working Families Party and some of the big unions announced that they not only can’t support McMahon anymore, but will actively seek out a liberal Democrat to challenge him.

Working Families Party spokesman Dan Levitan was positively apoplectic, saying that 6,500 of his party voters who pulled the lever for McMahon in 2008 won’t do so again.

“I’m sure those voters are now thinking, ‘We used to have a Republican, we thought were getting a change and we still have a Republican,’ ” he said.

I’d finish typing this column, but I’m laughing too hard. So instead of beating a Republican 60-33 percent, as he thrashed Bob Straniere in 2008, McMahon will only win by 40,000 votes!

Besides, right now, the leading liberal to challenge McMahon in a Democratic primary is Steve Harrison, the Bay Ridge lawyer who lost to former Rep. Vito Fossella and then lost to McMahon. Harrison has $11,000 in his war chest, according to federal records. McMahon has $1 million.

Worse, McMahon’s Bay Ridge-Staten Island district is not one that a liberal can win. There’s a reason why Barack Obama lost the 13th District in 2008, why John Kerry lost it 2004 — and why Democrats couldn’t take it back for three decades: It is not a liberal district.

Better still for McMahon, his health care “no” has emasculated both of his Republican challengers — Mike Grimm and Mike Allegretti — both of whom argued that McMahon didn’t do enough to stop the bill.

In the district, McMahon’s “no” vote speaks louder than their carping.

Whatever you feel about McMahon’s health care vote — and I personally think it stunk — his “no” proves that when you strip away all the ideology, all the demagoguery and all the posturing from both parties, there’s Mike McMahon, standing in the clearing.

The Republicans can’t make a wedge out of this issue. And the liberals shouldn’t even bother.

Wherever there is a smoke-filled backroom or a smoke-free barroom, The Brooklyn Paper’s Politicrasher will be there, bringing you the inside dope on our next generation of leaders. Got a hot tip for the Politicrasher? E-mail Newsroom@BrooklynPaper.com.

Rep. Mike McMahon will meet with two Democratic clubs over the next two weeks. Democrats for Change at Union Church Parish Hall [8101 Ridge Blvd. between 81st and 82nd streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 213-2667] on April 1; United Americans Democratic Club at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church [7420 Fourth Ave. between 74th and 75th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 836-9702] on April 8. Both meetings begin at 7:30 pm.

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Reader Feedback

Lee from Bay Ridge says:
This sack of dirt "Representative" did not represent the people who elected him! By voting "No" on healthcare especially, McMahon damned those of us in Bay Ridge and Staten Island who are struggling with unemployment, part-time jobs w/no benefits, and recent college graduates who can't find our first job. Bay Ridge's economy thrives on small businesses who are having a hard time now. Small business owners here have their hearts in the right place and want to provide healthcare insurance to their employees, but the insurance companies have no conscience and jack up the rates to loan-shark levels. So many small business owners were sorely disappointed in McMahon's vote!

In 2008, Bay Ridge/Staten Island voted for a Democrat to represent us in Congress. Instead, we got McMahon - a fraud, a closet Republican.

McMahon took advantage of us in 2008 by misrepresenting himself. That won't happen again!
March 30, 2010, 1:16 pm
Joey Bots from Batch a Loop says:
Lee from Bay Ridge - You are totally incorrect on what the implications of Obama care are - I know you buy the Government = Good / Private Industry = Evil mindset etc.

Read about what is in the bill and learn how harmful the bill will be to our city and nation. Then come back here and post - OK?

Wake Up!
March 30, 2010, 2:17 pm
Frank from Bay Ridge says:
Joey Bots, aren't you missing the Glenn Beck Show or something? Wouldn't want to mess with health care, 'cause the system works to perfection, right? 15% annual cost increases, denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, booted off your insurance if you actually do get sick, etc., etc.

Remember that the Dem machine all got behind McMahon, instead of Steve Harrison -- who's an actual Democrat.
March 30, 2010, 4:33 pm
Joey Bots from Bots Land says:
Yet the US Medical system is considered the best in the world - even given it's flaws. Obama care will result in working people paying more and getting less - bottom line.

And by the way lefty, the Glenn Beck show does not start until 5:00 p.m. ;-) Shows how much you know!!
March 30, 2010, 4:41 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
"Yet the US Medical system is considered the best in the world - even given it's flaws. Obama care will result in working people paying more and getting less - bottom line."

Joey like if you"re the only one that has a job and pays taxes. The people voted for change and we are getting it. 32 million Americans have healthcare now! What is wrong with that. Joey is itwrong to help ypur neighbor?
March 30, 2010, 6:11 pm
Joey Bots from Botszvania!!! says:
Response to Pacholo from Red Hook -

Yes Comrade - it is wrong when those 32 million are lazy slackers or folks that choose to Not have insurance (the majority) - you should educate yourself on the issues. You creeps just want to take my money (the little I have) and give it to the rich (who can afford insurance but pay for it ad hoc) and Illegal immigrants. Keep your hands out of my pocket commie - no one is helping me - I am on the hook to support my family!!!!!!!!!!!!
March 30, 2010, 7:19 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
I really hate the know nothing anti-immigrants groups who think they know anything but haven't a clue. The 32 million are almost exclusively the working poor. You know who pays for their care now? those that have insurance through cost shifting. Illegal immigrants are not covered under any of the health care law that was passed. The poor were always eligible for medicaid. You pay for that now. The new law makes everyone get insurance and be responsible for their own care. yes there are subsidies for the lower middle class and working poor. Paid for by those who make more than $200,000 per year...the fairest way.
Most of the working poor work for companies that claimed they couldn't afford insurance...from your local diner to Walmart.
March 30, 2010, 7:39 pm
Tom Hilton from Bay Ridge says:
Tne Brooklyn Paper is pro-Dem and that same writer flat out LIED last year over what went on at a supposed McMahon "Town Hall" In Bay Ridge. It was not. I know that for a fact and complained to this paper about it.

>>A “yes” vote would have been easy>In his first term in Congress, McMahon has been a reliable vote for the Democrats.>But when Nancy Pelosi needs something, McMahon usually doesn’t need his arm twisted.>McMahon, his health care “no” has emasculated both of his Republican challengers — Mike Grimm and Mike Allegretti —>Whatever you feel about McMahon’s health care vote — and I personally think it stunk
March 30, 2010, 7:51 pm
Tom Hilton from Bay Ridge says:
>>Whatever you feel about McMahon’s health care vote — and I personally think it stunk
March 30, 2010, 7:52 pm
Tom Hilton from Bay Ridge says:
My comments are not being posted in their entirety. . .

This writer is a BIG LIB and a liar. And The Brooklyn Paper is pro-Obama.

I have read it all, and it is a big negative for McMahon.
March 30, 2010, 7:53 pm
Bill from Dyker Heights says:
McMahon needs to go, he's done for nothing us.

This paper I agree is a liberal rag, in the tank for the local Dem machine.

These liberals don't speak for the silent majority, but we are rising up this year.

We will be starting by voting out this former ambulance chaser, come November.
March 31, 2010, 9:31 am
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
I like how everyone knows what 300 million people wants. What happened when you nuts don't get the votes you are predicting? Oh. right you get those vote rigging cards out. Right, & Acorn isn't around anymore so I wonder who the new boogie man is going to be. But not to worry, you nuts are very inventive. I'm sure you'll figure something out.
March 31, 2010, 11:24 am
judahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Here's one thing I can agree with the tea party about. Throw all the bums out, but I won't be voting GOP, look what you did in 8yrs, you wrecked the economy & did nothing on Health Care but give the Medicare part D subsidies to the Insurance Companies, let's not forget the numbers you added to the debt, Unpaid for Wars & $1.8trillion tax cuts to top 1%. Unregulated Banks that kept writing mortage for the same property numerous times or as the "TLC type TV shows" called Flipping. So do some soul searching you self rightous piece of doo d**!
March 31, 2010, 11:50 am

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