First there was the Louisiana Purchase of Mary Landrieu’s vote for $100 million (she claimed $300 million), then there was the “Cornhusker Kickback” used to acquire Ben Nelson’s vote, later still came the special deal for labor unions exempting them from the Cadillac Health Insurance tax, and now, as the Weekly Standard reports, it looks like Barack Obama is trading Appeal Court appointments for House votes.
Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he’s obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson [D- 2UT] of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. …
Scott Matheson appears to have the credentials to be a judge, but was his nomination used to buy off his brother’s vote?
Consider Congressman Matheson’s record on the health care bill. He voted against the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee back in July and again when it passed the House in November. But now he’s “undecided” on ramming the bill through Congress. “The Congressman is looking for development of bipartisan consensus,” Matheson’s press secretary Alyson Heyrend wrote to THE WEEKLY STANDARD on February 22. “Itâ€™s too early to know if that will occur.” Asked if one could infer that if no Republican votes in favor of the bill (i.e. if a bipartisan consensus is not reached) then Rep. Matheson would vote no, Heyrend replied: “I would not infer anything. Iâ€™d wait to see what develops, starting with the health care summit on Thursday.”