[UPDATE: This post was originally titled "Tea Partiers Working With Firedoglake on HCR Whip Count." After I posted it, Kathryn Serkes e-mailed me to say that she didn't mean to imply that Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher used the phrase "union thuggery. Serkes also disputed my description of her as a "Tea Partier," but I really used that because this was a Tea Party rally, and she was an organizer of it. She also argued that there was a difference between working with Hamsher and working "with Firedoglake." I agree, and none of the links below are meant to imply that other FDL bloggers have any connection to Tea Parties.]
I spoke to Kathryn A. Serkes of the Doctor Patient Medical Association at this morning’s rally against the health care bill, after Serkes had addressed the smallish crowd.
“I’m in contact with folks on the progressive side,” said Serkes. “They’re saying right now that Pelosi’s almost there with the votes. What they’re saying is that there’s some serious arm-twisting — their words were union thuggery. One progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery this weekend, targeting Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).”
The source, she said, was Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, a liberal blog that’s also paid for polls in some Democratic districts asking voters whether “aye” votes on health care reform would help or hurt their re-election chances. “She said that they’re very close — [liberal blogs] are better at keeping a tab on it. And I think Pelosi’s very close. I think we’re right at the edge.”
Hamsher did not respond to an email from TWI, but denied much of this in a post at FDL.