Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Elijah Cummings Will Not Be Running For Senate In Maryland


In the last couple of days Republicans Reid Ribble or Wisconsin and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee have announced they won't be running for reelection. No loss-- in either case-- although, the corrupt, incompetent, basically moribund DCCC has no candidates in either district. For more interesting was an announcement from a far more accomplished congressman, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), filed to run again which is a big deal because it was thought he might run for the U.S. Senate, which would have been scary for Donna Edwards. Two black progressives against a white establishment Big Money candidate would have been tough. Now it will just be Donna vs Van Hollen, no Cummings.

Today Donna issued the following statement regarding President Obama's announcement that he's including $1.1 billion in new funding in his fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget to address prescription opioid abuse and heroin use.
“I applaud President Obama’s proposal to include $1.1 billion in new funding to combat prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. With more people now dying from drug overdose than car crashes every year, this crisis is an epidemic that is devastating families and communities in Maryland and across the country.

“Last summer I hosted a roundtable discussion where stakeholders in law enforcement, higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, and local government highlighted the importance of a coordinated effort that includes treatment, prevention, and increasing the availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. Thankfully, the proposal announced today provides additional funding in each of these areas.

“Over six years ago, I first introduced the Stop Overdose Stat (S.O.S.) Act that would provide federal support for expanding the awareness and use of naloxone, improving epidemiological surveillance of overdose occurrences, and establishing a coordinated federal plan of action. It would do so in part by establishing a grant program that funds efforts to educate and train the public, first responders, and caregivers of those at risk of overdose on how to administer naloxone. We know that it works, as Baltimore police officers now carrying naloxone have already saved at least thirteen lives. I am grateful that a portion of approximately $500 million in funding would be used to increase the availability of naloxone and help save even more lives.”
As you may have heard, Ryan's crackpot Republican conference celebrated Ground Hog today by trying to defund Planned Parenthood and voting to kick 14 million people off health insurance again. The only Democrat to go along with them was Minnesota Blue Dog Collin Peterson who isn't really a Democrat at all, although the DCCC spent $4 million on his reelection efforts last cycle. Donna didn't mention Peterson but she told her constituents that "House Republican’s irresponsible governing continued today with the 63rd attempt to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, and the 12th attempt to attack women’s health care. With today’s Republican attempt to override President Obama’s veto, the American people are stuck in Groundhog Day, seeing numerous votes to further an ideological agenda instead of moving the country forward. It is ridiculous that Republicans continue to insist on wasting time on these harmful votes attacking women’s health and the health care of hard-working families, when Congress should be working to create jobs and grow opportunities for working families."

Polling shows them in a dead heat but Van Hollen's Wall Street allies are pouring massive amounts of money into his campaign. Van Hollen, the most catastrophic chairman of the DCCC-- losing dozens of seats during his disastrous tenure-- is the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and has taken $1,918,921 from the Financial Sector during his career. During the current campaign, the banksters have already put $323,857 into his campaign account, the 4th biggest haul for any non-incumbent running for the Senate. Blue America has endorsed Donna Edwards and you can contribute to her campaign here on the Blue America Senate ActBlue page.

Cummings re-filed to run for his House seat yesterday. Tomorrow is the last day to file for federal office in Maryland. Donna, like all real progressives running for office, is a strong proponent of expanding Social Security and Medicare. She worked hard to keep conservative Democrats like Van Hollen from reducing Social Security benefits.

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