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]

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