Street Heat in Aliquippa:
Pushed to Change Stand,
Abandon Insurance Bigwigs
By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue
McLean Street in Aliquippa got plenty of heat of the sunny afternoon of March 16, as opposing rallies on the issue of health care gathered out the office of Jason Altmire, the 4th CD’s Democratic ‘Blue Dog’ representative in Congress.
The first rally was at noon, when a crowd of 120 people, organized largely by trade unions, retiree groups and health care workers and activists made a last-ditch effort to get a ‘Yes’ vote on the current insurance reform proposal. But at 4pm, a crowd of more than 300 GOP, Tea Party and anti-reform forces showed up demanding a ‘No’ vote. Earlier, the anti-reformers had tried to disrupt the progressive rally with a horn-blasting truck behind the speakers stand, but they were shooed away. “Remember to turn in your Medicare card,” shouted one of the rally attendees to the departing horn blasters. Both efforts got wide coverage in regional media.
Altmire wasn’t present. But if he is at all astute and his staff took careful notes, one critical political fact will stand out: those calling for a ‘Yes’ vote were the hard core of his most active supporters in the past, while those calling for a ‘No’ vote are largely unlikely to vote for him over a Republican no matter what his vote is on this issue.