Apparently, Steven M. Champlin is a guy who shuns the spotlight and shies away from cameras. Which is why it comes as a surprise that he burst into the headlines last week with a controversial speech at a national forum of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a health industry trade group.
Champlin addressed a State Issues Conference at the AHIP forum. He was quoted in the Huffington Post:
“There is absolutely no … reason Republicans should ever vote for this thing. They have gone from a party that got killed 11 months ago to a party that is rising today. And they are rising up on the turmoil of health care. So when they vote for a health care reform bill, whatever it is, they are giving comfort to the enemy who is down.”
Fascinating. That’s not what AHIP says they support in the video that’s front and center on their web page, but … whatever. When I saw that quote I was outraged, and when I get outraged I make a web video. So I started looking for a picture of Steven Champlin.
It is not easy to find one.
I did discover that Champlin started his political career as Legislative Director for Sen. David Bonior (D-Michigan), then worked for the offices of the Majority Whip and the House Democratic Caucus, before going to work for the Duberstein Group in 1994.
And ah, the Duberstein Group. They spread the wealth to lots of members of Congress and speak on behalf of a bevy of major corporations.
Kenneth Duberstein himself was Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff between Howard Baker and John Sununu, and as a lobbyist for his namesake Group, he has his fingers in many, many economic pies. Lots and lots of money comes in to the Duberstein Group and goes out to legislators. The guy is connected.
And he works with Steve Champlin, helping out industry groups like America’s Health Insurance Plans.
It took well over a half hour, but I finally was able to locate one grainy old photo of Steve Champlin. One. Taking into account that Champlin had worked in politics once upon a time, I finally found a historic picture of him on C-Span’s web site. C-Span keeps good archives. I’ll bet Champlin now regrets their tedious record-keeping as he goes out to cheerlead Republican members of Congress to kill health insurance reform.
Champlin contacted the Huffington Post after the original article came out, explaining that he was not trying to tell Republicans what they should do, but speculating about what they probably would do as political strategy. He did admit he was quoted correctly.
He did not elaborate on why he called the House reform bill “a strategy to kill seniors” – but we can speculate about that, considering who signs his paychecks.
Upon locating that one antique photo, I managed to complete the web video about America’s Health Insurance Plans and Steve Champlin’s remarks. To watch our video, click here.