Health Care Advocate Warns McMahon of Trouble With the Base

Charlie Albanetti November 12, 2009 0

The New York Observer

New York, NY

http://www.observer.com/2009/politics/health-care-advocate-warns-mcmahon-trouble-base

At a press conference at City Hall, supporters of the federal health care legislation that narrowly passed the House this weekend singled out Rep. Mike McMahon for opposing the bill, and said he may have “political problems with his base” if he keeps opposing it.

McMahon, a freshman, is the first Democrat to represent the 13th congressional district, which includes the Staten island and parts of Brooklyn, areas that are notably more conservative than the rest of the city. McMahon’s opposition to the bill is, arguably, a way of holding onto those voters in what could be a tough general election (possibly featuring his predecessor, Republican Vito Fossella).

But event organizer Mark Hannay, director of Metro New York Health Care for All, said McMahon should consider “his base” when considering the health care bill.

Hannay, standing on the steps of City Hall with dozens of supporters, said McMahon won his seat “with a majority of Democrats, and Democrats care deeply about this health care issue.”

“So,” Hanny said, “I think if he really wants to play to the voters who elected him in the first place, they want him to vote for health care reform. And they are much more likely to turn out and vote for him and campaign for him if he votes for a health care reform bill. If he does not vote for a health care reform bill then he’s likely to have much more political problems with his base. So, we encourage him to think seriously about who his voters are and who will vote for him based on how he votes.”