Walter Pierce

Mary quite contrary: Is Landrieu on the take?

by Walter Pierce

No clear signal yet from Sen. Mary Landrieu on whether she will support a health care reform bill, if any, that emerges from Congress. But she has been one of the most critical Democratic voices of legislation that includes the so-called public option, telling CNN last month, “I would tend not to support it.”

That skepticism has landed her on The Daily Beast’s “health care enablers” short list — members of the Senate Finance Committee, most of them Dems, who have received hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in campaign contributions from health- and insurance-industry groups. In Landrieu’s case, the figure comes to roughly $840,000 since 2003. TDB’s Benjamin Sarlin’s take: “Landrieu also faces pressure from the right in her conservative state to oppose a Democratic bill. With her red-state seat never fully safe, Landrieu needs whatever help she can get from industry donations even if re-election isn’t on the immediate horizon.”

For more on the astronomical sums of money being spent by both sides of the debate to influence the outcome of health care reform, see this week’s break-down at