By Pat Waak, SPECIAL TO DENVER DAILY NEWS
As U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., returned to his district for the Congressional recess, he is one of 23 Democrats who were greeted with radio ads from Organizing for America (OFA), a project of the Democratic National Committee dedicated to passing President Obama’s agenda for change.
The radio ads, which hail the work on either health insurance reform or economic recovery, began to air late last week and will continue this week.
These ads were done in response to a round of radio ads by the Republican National Committee targeting these same members with distortions about the success of the recovery act and the plans for health insurance reform proposed by President Obama.
According to OFA, “The health insurance reform ad, entitled ‘Standing Up,’ will run in 19 of the 23 districts and thanks members for supporting the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and for standing up for comprehensive health insurance reform that lowers costs and protects consumers’ choices of doctors and plans. The economic recovery ad, entitled ‘To the Rescue,’ will run in four districts and thanks those members for supporting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which ‘rescued our economy from the brink of disaster — and provided tax cuts to nearly every American — the largest middle class tax cut in American history.”
Well, no one can accuse Perlmutter of not “standing up.” He is one of the most energetic members of Congress in this country. His enthusiasm for his job is matched only by his enthusiasm for finding solutions to the challenges being faced by people in his district.
Take for example last Saturday. Perlmutter has become known for his “Government in the Grocery” meetings on Saturday mornings. He usually takes over an area inside a local grocery store and actually meets with individual people who want to talk about issues they encounter.
This past Saturday, a number of the anti-health care crowd decided to flood the “Government in the Grocery” meeting at the King Soopers in Brighton. So as not to disrupt the shoppers by the size of the crowd, Perlmutter and his staff moved the event outside.
Reports are that the crowd contained supporters and detractors. What was most important is that Perlmutter stood up and told the truth about health care reform. He deflected the untruths being spread throughout the country. He talked about affordability, accessibility, keeping your own doctor, and a public option for those who need it.
Then what did he do? He sat down and talked to groups of people about their concerns. My report says that he conversed with some 67 people in small groups.
While there are many commentaries out there that try to diminish government and public servants, I think that Perlmutter sets a standard that should be noted. He is not afraid to discuss tough issues. He is not timid about stating his case. He is not hesitant about listening to all sides. And most of all in the end he takes a stand, enriched by what he hears and sees.
That is the kind of public servant we want representing us.
Pat Waak is chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. She writes guest columns for the Denver Daily News, and the views expressed in her columns are hers and not necessarily those of the Denver Daily News. Respond to Waak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distributed by Colorado Capitol Reporters