Snyder just needed to sellout to those who have the money, as apparently Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has. Sen. Murkowski is clearly in the pocket of Southern Co. ($38,000), Duke Energy ($22,550), CSX, Progress Energy, and other top utility and energy companies. The total of their generosity in donations since 2004 equals more than $124,500. In return, she did the bidding of these "customers" by introducing an amendment to the Clean Air Act as part of an energy industry campaign to limit the scope of greenhouse gas regulations. Such yeo(wo)manly service saved these companies millions, showing that she was an excellent investment.
There is clearly money in pay-to-play. There is nothing to match it coming from We, the People. We're far too poor. We work for a living, and we know that doesn't pay very well.
One thing that the ridiculous health care "reform" effort has exposed is just how much money is transferred between "our" elected representatives and the private commercial sector. It is seen by these firms as insurance against higher expenses imposed by law. Corporations will gladly contribute money for the right to craft a pending bill in ways that benefit the donor.
One such example is the "Safeway Amendment" which allows insurance premiums to be higher for employees who fail certain physical fitness tests. The current Senate bill also allows for this provision as of the bill's passage. What a coincidence! The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society say this amendment breaks Obama's promise that people's health status would not affect the cost of their insurance premiums, but there isn't much hope that this provision will disappear from the final bill. It is supported both by Democrats and Republicans, and is one of the items that bought-and-paid-for President Obama himself desires to see in the final bill.
But the final bill's passage is anything but a sure thing. The race to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts is giving the Republicans the opportunity they have sought since the beginning of Obama's term. That is to eliminate the possibility that they just might lose a major power-play cloture vote. They have largely been successful in peeling off Blue Dog votes when the issue is important enough, but this isn't always the case. For as the final Senate bill vote demonstrated Christmas Eve, even the Blue Dogs will heel when their leashes are tugged hard enough by the Oval Office. They just don't feel the pull very often, or very quickly.