My love note to the DSCC

Simple message: no public option, no contribution. Period.

I have given several times to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and even more times (more than I can count) to individual Democratic candidates for the Senate. That’s why they know where I am, what my e-mail is, what my phone number is, and probably everything else about me, too.

Which brings up a great opportunity.

This morning I got an e-mail from Claire McCaskill (theoretically), asking for my contribution to the DSCC. It was pretty boilerplate, but on health care, it was truly nauseating, refusing to endorse anything but “health care choices”.

I don’t know whether anyone reads the responses, but here is what I wrote back:

I have been a contributor to the DSCC for years, but until and unless the Democratic Caucus strongly endorses an effective public option in health care reform, the DSCC will never again see a penny of my money. I see no reason to give to a caucus that consistently subverts the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who want a strong public option.

I hope very much that I shall be able to contribute to the DSCC in the future, and am waiting for the Caucus’ actions in this regard.

So far, my response has not been kicked back, which means that someone is getting it. I don’t know what they are doing with it, but they are getting it.

Every single fundraising e-mail and call over the next several weeks should be given this response. No money unless there is a strong public option. Period. This is particularly important now, since the second quarter reporting period is coming to a close on June 30th.

A fundraiser called me last night, and I told him the same thing. No public option, no money. End of story.

Every Democratic incumbent that contacts you should get the same line.

Every single call. Every single time.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.