Progressive Group Blasts Joe Lieberman Over Public Option

Senate Democrats are on the verge of abandoning the "public option" in their health care bill because a few members of their caucus, among them Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), will not agree to it. Now progressives in Lieberman's state are letting him know they are not too happy about his opposition.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a liberal advocacy group that has targeted moderate Democrats who do not support the public option, is up with a new ad blasting Lieberman for opposing the plan, which is popular with his constituents. The ad features John Mertens, the chairman of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, which was originally founded to support Lieberman's 2006 bid to run for re-election as an independent after losing in the Democratic primary. In the wake of Lieberman's election, however, the party was taken over by his critics.

In the PCCC ad, Mertens cites a Research 2000 poll which found Connecticut voters support the public option by three to one. "But Joe never forgets who he ran to represent," Mertens says. "Himself."

Lieberman is staunchly opposed to the public option, claiming he will join a Republican filibuster of any bill that includes the proposal.

Mertens has launched his own Senate bid to unseat Chris Dodd in 2010. Dodd led much of the summer's health care debate in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The PCCC ad will reportedly air in both Washington and Connecticut.

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