The wild and wooly battle over health care reform now features Senator-on-Senator AstroTurfing.
Today, Sen. Jim DeMint sent out an email for the Senate Conservatives Fund, calling on right-wing activists to "melt" the phone lines of fence-sitting Democratic senators, in particular one Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas).
Rolling Stone broke the news of this campaign to Lincoln's staff, but her press team had no comment. DeMint's staff did not return a call seeking comment.
Here's the email in question:
Subject: It's time to melt their phones!
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:37:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sen. Jim DeMint
It's Time to Melt Their Phones
Last week, we identified eight swing-vote Democrats in the Senate who need to be pressured to vote against ObamaCare. Many of you made phone calls to their offices urging them to vote against "cloture" on the heath care bill. Now we need to turn up the heat and melt their phones.
Starting next week, SCF will begin targeting these Democrats with web ads like the one shown here. We're going to drive hundreds of calls into their offices each day from people who live and vote! in their states. Nationwide contacts are good but nothing is more powerful than local phone calls from constituents.
Please make a contribution to the SCF today to help us keep these ads running strong. A $25 contribution will result in up to 40 personal calls into their offices. A $100 contribution will initiate up to 160 calls. The health care bill won't likely be on the Senate floor for a couple weeks but the backroom deals are being cut now.
UPDATE: DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton emails that his boss is merely "encouraging folks who like their health care" to "call their senator and voice their opinion."