Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Some Republican Lawmakers Steamed Over Stimpson's Email

It seems everyone is all wee weed up(an expression I learned from Barack Obama) over an email sent out by Susan Stimpson. For those of you who may have forgotten already Stimpson ran and lost her bid for the GOP Lt. Governor nomination. Although, intended or not, this email will help her upstage E.W. Jackson, at least for the next couple days.

In her email she urged Republican state lawmakers to oppose the expansion of Medicaid. From an intellectual point of view I agree with her sentiments. Medicaid is designed to be a safety net for the truly needy, not a new program to benefit people making up to 133% of the poverty level. In addition it is already going broke!

However, several lawmakers told me that they are upset that Stimpson has in effect created a needless fight. There are enough lawmakers on record opposed to the expansion to block it. In addition the Governor and the Speaker of the House have pledged to oppose expansion. Lawmakers I talked to said that this is a time for the Republican party to come together to work for the GOP ticket, and not engage in made up battles.

Was Stimpson merely creating a strawman? Boost her standing with tea party conservatives by claiming to be fighting something, which really isn’t going to happen anyway.

One legislator told me he was upset that despite his publicly stating on numerous occasions that he was opposed to expanding Medicaid, Stimpson, in her email, put his name and number down on a list for readers to lobby. The implication being that he was on the fence. In an angry tone he said, "Now, I have people calling me upset that I may be in favor of expanding medicaid."

One legislator told me:
“David, she's never spoken to anyone that we can tell that knows anything about this, and has not been seen at either meeting. The Senators are unfortunately wobbly, but the way we set up the commission you have to have at least three of the senators and the house members to go forward, and that won't happen on the House side!”

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