House Democrats are playing nice again, and moving closer to finding compromise on a stripped down version of the president's health-care plan. And wouldn't you know it, just days after irking upperclassmen with his very-un-freshman-like stance on the bill, Rep. Jared Polis (D-A Big Pile of Money) showed up on the Denver Post Op-Ed page this morning urging support for the president's plan:
I am happy to say that significant progress has been made on making sure that health care reform is good for small business and good for the economy. Since I recently raised the issue of the impact of the reforms on small business, I have met withPresident Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Speaker Pelosi and House leadership several times. They were very responsive to my concerns and assured me that every step will be taken to equitably pay for health care reform.
But it's elsewhere in the paper that better explains why Polis was so comfortable breaking rank so early in his career. Polis, in turns out, is like the rich freshman who shows up to high school and immediately buys all the bullies lunch, to avoid being pantsed and stuffed in a trash can like all the other freshmen (or was that just me?):
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According to campaign finance records, Polis, a high-profile congressman from Boulder, formed a joint fundraising committee in May called the Jared Polis Victory Fund. It raises money for as many as 31 members of Congress and four leadership political committees, including ones started by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.
By the end of June, the committee had doled out $130,000, according to a review of records by The Denver Post. Polis' own campaign committee, Friends of Jared Polis, gave another $18,000 directly to Democratic members of Congress.
Almost all of the money came from Polis, his parents, siblings and a business partner, according to Federal Election Commission records. ...
Katy Atkinson, a Republican strategist, said Polis is positioning himself to emerge as a leader of the Democratic freshmen class.
"I think he is buying influence," Atkinson said. "People who are in Republican districts that face re-election will be very, very grateful to Jared Polis."
Not only that, but people who thought he should zip it during the early stages of the health-care debate will reach in their pocket, find a giant wad of money, and suddenly forget what they were kvetching about.
All of which is good for Boulder, I suppose: Imagine what having Rep. Cash Money will do come earmark season. The dude will be building bridges over bridges to nowhere, and paving them with the tears of his political opponents. And he'll feel perfectly comfortable wearing his funny hats while doing it.
Read the Post's full (and well done) story here.