Rep. Betsy Markey raised a record $505,000 in the first three months of the year, with the bulk of the money flooding in after she announced March 18 that she’d vote for the Democrats’ health-care reform bill, her campaign said Sunday.
“There have been plenty of big bills come through Congress this year, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen grass-roots support spring up like this,” Markey campaign spokeswoman Anne Caprara said. …
… Kyle Saunders, a political scientist at Colorado State University, called Markey’s first-quarter numbers “amazing.”
Just don’t read the comments to the online article. It attracted teh crazies like a picnic attracts ants.
Update: Evan McMorris-Santoro writes in “The Town Hall Dog That Didn’t Bite“:
On their first recess break since passing historic health care reform legislation, members of Congress have not faced anything like the crowds and anger from anti-reform advocates they faced last summer, when guns, shouts and even fist fights became a part of more than a few town hall meetings. A review of local press coverage from the past week shows that the rage that met members on the weekend the House passed the health care bill has, for the most part, not followed them home. …
… In Colorado, Rep. Betsy Markey, Democrat who switched from a No to a Yes vote on reform’s final passage in the House, held a telephone town hall after receiving threats of violence from people angry at her health care vote. The conference call format certainly didn’t turn constituents away — according to local reports, about 8,000 called in from Markey’s Ft. Collins-area district. Reports from the meeting say that even though there was a lot of talk about the reform bill, little of it was of the “you’re turning us into a communist dictatorship” variety. The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reported that “the bulk of the questions focused on uncertainty about how the reform plan will play out, particularly in the area of cost control.”
Other representatives say their town halls have reverted to being sparsely attended wonk sessions. The exception to this is in New Hampshire, for some reason. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Rep. Paul Hodes (D) were targeted by NH tea party groups, and the tea baggers turned out to scream and harass. But, as I said, New Hampshire appears to be the exception.
Also, the Tea Party Express rolled through the Saint Louis area today, stopping in a park in the suburb of Saint Charles. You can’t always read events from a photograph, but I’ve seen more intensity at a barbeque.