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Later today, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D-Mass.) is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for her campaign to fill the Senate seat left by the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). At first glance, this news may seem unremarkable, but when one considers the location and--more importantly-- the hosts of the event, it becomes clear that tonight's fundraiser is anything but typical.
With the crucial 60th vote needed to pass the healthcare takeover bill on the line, an army of drug company, health insurance, and hospital lobbyists have joined together to throw Coakley a high-dollar fundraiser in the nation's Capitol. The Washington Examiner reports:
Of the 22 names on the host committee--meaning they raised $10,000 or more for Coakley--17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO. Oh, and of course, there's also the political action committee for Boston Scientific Corporation.
Mrs. Coakley's lobbyist friends include:
Attorney General Coakley is facing off against Republican State Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.). To the surprise of many, recent polls show that the race is far closer than expected. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state found that Coakley was ahead of Brown 50% to 41% with 7% undecided and a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling has Brown leading 48%-47%.
Brown has remained vehement in his opposition to President Obama's government takeover of the healthcare system. When asked in last night's debate about how he feels about taking Ted Kennedy's seat, and potentially blocking the healthcare bill, Brown replied:
It is not Ted Kennedy's seat, it is not the democrat's seat, it is the people's seat.
The special election will be held on January 19th.
Invitation to Mrs. Coakley's lobbyist sponsored Capitol Hill fundraiser.