Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter of Blue Dog Corporacrats

With the conversion of Senator Arlen Specter and the installation of Al Franken, Democrats will have a veto proof margin in both houses of Congress. Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel couldn't wipe the crap eating smile off his hyper-competitive face in today's interview with John Harwood.

Conservative Democrats will determine the success or failure of any major legislation. Blue Dog Democrats are remarkably similar to their Republican foes. The competition for corporate donations has been fierce since President Clinton turned the blue team green, not tree leaf green but the dank green color of money. Encroachment on the red team's traditional corporate franchise has been particularly irksome. Thus, Republicans upchuck angrily at every turn.

Health care reform is the next big fight. What will Blue Corporacrats do? Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) will look after their for-profit healthcare sponsors. Indiana Senator Evan Bayh's household income comes from health insurance and biotech companies. Wife Susan flipped her WellPoint stock options for nearly $1.5 million since 2004.

Mrs. Bayh must be nervous at the moment. Her 115,221 Dendreon shares (including stock options) were valued at $21.55 earlier today. That's almost $2.5 million. They fell to $11.81 before the stock was halted for news. Her holdings fell to $1.36 million, over a $1 million haircut. Where will Dendreon land when the stock reopens? How can the Bayh family profit? Those questions occupy at least one Blue Corporacrat's mind.

White House Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle spent eight years considering ways to profit from health care companies. She was a private equity underwriter (PEU) with CCMP Capital Partners. Ms. DeParle served on as many health care boards as Susan Bayh. Watch for Corporacrats pushing health care deform.

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