February 02, 2008

Progressive Democratic Challengers

Progressive Democratic Challengers
by JOHN NICHOLS | The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080211/nichols

Maryland Congressional candidate Donna Edwards did not need a memo from
a pollster to tell her the subprime mortgage crisis would be an issue in
her 2008 race. Campaigning on the doorsteps and at Metro stops of her
racially and economically diverse suburban Washington district, she
heard women talking last summer about how a credit crunch might cost
them their homes. Edwards, one of a new breed of savvy policy wonks and
strategists who are leaving the public-interest community to bid for
major elected office, knew how to respond. Months before Hillary Clinton
and Barack Obama began promising to fight to keep middle-class families
in their homes–and with an urgency that is still missing from the
response of House and Senate Democratic leaders–Edwards called for
radically revising the 2005 bankruptcy bill as part of a plan to protect
homeowners from financial ruin.

It didn't hurt that the incumbent Democrat she's challenging in
Maryland's February 12 primary, eight-term Congressman Albert Wynn,
voted for the bankruptcy bill, favored by commercial banks, which have
contributed $185,917 to his campaign. But for Edwards, this was about
more than political positioning. "Prince Georges County has the highest
rate of foreclosures in Maryland, and my ZIP code has the highest rate
of foreclosures in the county," says Edwards, a veteran activist on
issues of concern to women and working families. "When I talk about why
we need a different kind of Democrat in Congress–someone who sides with
consumers, not corporate interests–people understand exactly what I'm
talking about." [read more: http://blog.pdamerica.org/?p=1686]

January 29, 2008

Voting Protection in MD + Update from Progressive Neighbors of SS and TP

Contents: Voting Protection in MD + Update from Progressive Neighbors of
Silver Spring and Takoma Park

1. Town Hall Meeting 8:00 p.m. AFI Theater, Silver Spring Wednesday Jan. 30

2. ACTION ALERT: Your Emails are Needed for Campaign Finance Reform in
Montgomery County - Bill Has Been Introduced

3. PDA's Clean and Fair Elections Conference Call tonight: Maryland is
on the agenda
Time: 9:00 pm EST - Conference Call #: (712) 775-7100 Code: 936487#

4. PDA / DFA / MCPA Meeting 7:30 February 5th in Wheaton - Gearing up
for the Primary


Wednesday Jan. 30 Mont. County Council Town Hall Meeting

8:00 p.m. AFI Theater, Silver Spring. Progressive Neighbors will focus
on the issues of affordable housing and progressive taxation.

Affordable Housing: The County Council needs to pass legislation to
prevent excessive rent increases and the resultant loss of existing
affordable housing in MC. A rent stabilization law combined with
limitations on condo conversions is necessary if we are to maintain
affordable housing and economic diversity in our County. County
Executive Leggett said he would sign rent stabilization legislation if
passed by the Council.

Progressive Taxation: The County Executive has announced that the County
will have a $400 million deficit next year. Unless the Council finds
ways to raise additional revenue, there will be serious cuts in services
(including education which accounts for 1/2 of the County's budget). We
support progressive taxation - those who can afford to pay the most,
should pay their fair share which means a higher rate for wealthy
residents. Where do the Council members stand?

Endorsements: In addition, to endorsing Donna Edwards in the 4th
Congressional Feb. 12th Primary, Progressive Neighbors has endorsed
Alies Muskin for Montgomery County Board of Education in the Primary.

More information, contact: malakoff@starpower.net


ACTION ALERT: Your Emails are Needed for Campaign Finance Reform in
Montgomery County - Bill Has Been Introduced

State Bill MC 803-08 will be voted on by the County Affairs Committee of
the Mont. County State Delegation this Thursday morning, Jan. 31st. The
bill would allow Montgomery County to enact its own campaign finance
reform rules for County elections which could include public financing.
Progressive Neighbors has endorsed the legislation as has Common Cause
Maryland, the MD League of Women Voters, the Washington Post (!) and
other groups. Delegate Susan Lee of District 16 is leading the effort
for the bill at the state level.

Here's What You Can Do Right Now to Make a Difference: Email your
delegates and senator in Annapolis to let them know that you strongly
support this bill for clean elections and improving democratic
participation at the County level. (Again, it's Bill MC 803-08) Key
representatives who have not committed themselves to supporting the bill
and need to hear from us are District 20 Delegate Sheila Hixson
(sheila.hixson@house.state.md.us), Dist.15 Delegate Brian Feldman
(brian.feldman@house.state.md.us), and Dist.17 Delegate Jim Gilchrist
(jim.gilchrist@house.state.md.us) We could really make a difference here
so please send emails on Tues or Wed. of this week (Jan 29 and 30) in
support of the bill. (Email addresses of other representatives are
listed at http://mlis.state.md.us )

If the committee votes out the bill, it goes to the full Montgomery
County Delegation and then to the floor of the State House and Senate.
Further information on the bill can be found at:



Please join our PDA Issue Organizing Team for Clean, Fair, Transparent
Elections Issue Organizing Team conference call today!

TODAY, Tuesday, January 29 9:00 pm EST
Conference Call #: (712) 775-7100 Code: 936487#

Topics: State initiatives and pro-active strategies in anticipation of
2008 electoral challenges and shenanigans!
Challenges in New Hampshire, Optical Scan option taken up in New York,
Electoral Integrity victories in Maryland!

Join this IOT's Google discussion group.
Questions, comments or concerns, please call Diane at 845-661-3754 or
email diane@pdmerica.org.


PDA / DFA / MCPA February Meeting - Gearing up for the Primary (open to all)
Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008, 7:30 PM in Wheaton

Join our big push to the primary elections February 12 and much more!

SaigonESE Restaurant, 11232 Grandview Ave Wheaton, MD 20902
Google Map: http://tinyurl.com/2fbdso
Short walk from the Wheaton Metro / Red Line: http://tinyurl.com/3836uy
Parking in the huge municipal lot across the street.


January 28, 2008

Stop Telecom Immunity: Call Sen. Mikulski and Sen. Cardin now!


Stop Telecom Immunity: Call Sen. Mikulski and Sen. Cardin
at the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 now!

Despite Reid's recent pledge to oppose immunity for the telecom industry, he has brought forward one of two bills, both amended by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which contains… immunity!

Reid didn't have to do this. He could have championed the other bill, which eliminated immunity for the telecom industry.

So today, the Senate will vote to grant immunity to the telecom industry for their illegal spying on Americans, or they will protect our rights and the Constitution and vote no.

Call your Senators NOW at the Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote no on the FISA Amendment to allow immunity for the telecom industry.

We've let Bush trample on our civil rights long enough, without letting him-and the Democratic enablers Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein—give a break to those corporations who willingly break the law. And don't let poor AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth tell you that they didn't know warrant-less wiretapping is illegal, or that they couldn't refuse; Qwest Communications saw it for what is was, and said, “No, thanks.”

The New York Times editorialized, just this past Saturday: “The Senate (reportedly still under Democratic control) seems determined to help President Bush violate Americans' civil liberties and undermine the constitutional separation of powers. Majority Leader Harry Reid is supporting White House-backed legislation that would expand the administration's ability to spy on Americans without court supervision and ensure that the country never learns the full extent of Mr. Bush's illegal wiretapping program.”

To learn more about the terrible cost of this immunity for those who helped break the law, read the ACLU's opinion.

Dial 202-224-3121 now--and tell your Senators to vote against any bill containing immunity for the telecom companies that are illegally spying on Americans.

In Solidarity,

Tim Carpenter
National Director

P.S. Since a Democrat is poised to become the next leader of the “free” world, and Edwards has already come out strongly opposed to telecom immunity, it will be interesting to see if Clinton and Obama assume the mantle of leadership and stand up for our rights by actually casting a vote to uphold the Constitution.

Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works
both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for
peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive
majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members
of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden,
Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.
More info: http://pdamerica.org