Yoopers Reserved Over Stupak's 'Yes' Vote Some of the congressman's constituents in Michigan's Upper Peninsula say they were upset that he nearly killed the health care bill while trying to insert language to restrict federal funding for abortions. But others wish he had stuck to his guns, and accuse him of selling out.
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Yoopers Reserved Over Stupak's 'Yes' Vote

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Yoopers Reserved Over Stupak's 'Yes' Vote

Yoopers Reserved Over Stupak's 'Yes' Vote

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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER: The Upper Peninsula, or UP, is a vast, rugged and sparsely populated place. And the people here, UPers as they call themselves, are kind of a different breed with a unique favorite food.

BRIAN HARSCH: It's called a pasty.

SCHAPER: Brian Harsch is the owner of Jean Kay's Pasties in Marquette, Michigan.

HARSCH: It's the combination of meat, potatoes, onions, and we put rutabagas in ours.

SCHAPER: On our way into Gary's Quality Foods in the small town of Stevenson, Juanita Delaurelle(ph) says she supports Stupak.

JUANITA DELAURELLE: I'm against abortion. So yeah, I do feel like it was the right stand. But I do think we need health care in this country, better health care than what we have.

SCHAPER: After dinner at Schloegel's Bay View Restaurant in Stupak's hometown of Menominee, high school teacher Tom Baraboo(ph) says he likes that Stupak challenged his own party.

TOM BARABOO: He held the line pretty steady and pretty tough, and said, you know, we're not budging on this without that being signed in. So I give him a lot of credit for that. He put up with a lot of slack.

SCHAPER: But others in the district accuse Stupak of selling out.

JANE STROLL: I do not agree with what Stupak did.

SCHAPER: In her tidy hair salon called The Hair Zone in Stevenson, owner Jane Stroll(ph) says she wishes Stupak would have stuck to his guns.

STROLL: I just don't understand what changes your mind at the last minute.

SCHAPER: Republican Dan Benishek is one of those hoping to be that someone.

DAN BENISHEK: I think he's betrayed the district.

SCHAPER: Benishek is a surgeon from Crystal Falls who's never run for office before.

BENISHEK: I don't believe he represents the UP very well. He votes very far left on most of the issues. The two issues that hold him to the constituents have been his support of the Second Amendment and his pro-life stance. And now he bailed on the pro-life stance.

SCHAPER: Meantime, Michigan Right to Life and other anti-abortion groups are pulling their endorsements of Stupak. But not everyone sees Stupak as suddenly vulnerable.

BUD SARGENT: I don't believe in my heart of hearts that this vote was all that risky for him. I really don't.

SCHAPER: David Schaper, NPR News in Menominee, Michigan.

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