Wednesday, August 30, 2006



There are primaries in every almost state and they are certainly important to the participants and sometimes to the other citizens of the states or at least the districts. Rarely do they rise to the level of being important to the whole country. Unfortunately.

Primaries are often the only time grassroots activists get a chance to hold legislators accountable. If I hate Henry Waxman-- I don't-- because he voted for Bush's unwarranted attack on Iraq-- he did-- the only shot I'd get would be in the primary because his district is solidly Democratic in makeup and the winner of the Democratic primary is, in effect, the winner of the whole ball of wax. With the technological advances in the science of gerrymandering, this is the rule across the country now, not the exception.

The Senate race in Connecticut, you probably noticed, was a race of great national importance. Ned Lamont is certainly an excellent and worthy candidate but without the collective decision of grassroots activists in Connecticut to hold their faithless senator accountable for his execrable record, Lieberman would have hardly even noticed he had a challenge. Eventually the race got traction with the media-- Lieberman, after all, was something of a national figure and has never been shy about running towards any microphone he had ever seen-- and the race soon took on referendum status on Lieberman's patron, George Bush and the whole Bush Regime agenda, especially in Iraq. Lucky Lamont! And skillful Lamont!

There's one other race like that before the real national referendum in November. In about 2 weeks voters in Maryland's 4th congressional district go to the polls to decide whether or not Al Wynn, who was first elected in 1992, should be returned to office or if he should be replaced with a local activist Donna Edwards. Today The Washington Post explained in an editorial why Donna's the one.

The similarities between Lieberman and Wynn are undeniable, although Lieberman, driven by an oversized ego, has been more of a showboat, while Wynn, somewhat powermad, has been more surreptitious. Each man's voting record, in terms of help for the middle class, was rated a C by DMI. Lieberman's record has been slightly more reactionary than Wynn's but Wynn's district is a far deeper shade of blue than Lieberman's.

The Post points out that Wynn's "votes have been at odds with good government and the interests of his constituents. He has backed the estate tax repeal, a measure that benefits the richest Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class. He supported the Bush administration's energy bill in 2003, offering subsidies to oil and gas companies even as they were headed toward record profits. He has flip-flopped on fuel efficiency standards and opposed campaign finance reform."

Like disinterested party looking closely at the race, they strongly back Donna. "The 4th District, comprising parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, is heavily Democratic, a profile that meshes with Ms. Edward's long involvement in liberal causes. She has championed a higher minimum wage, campaign finance reform and an array of environmental issues, and she fought for legislation to curtail domestic violence. Locally, she was an ardent opponent of National Harbor, the multibillion-dollar development underway in Prince George's, but she came around to supporting it when she was satisfied that it would include a balance of commercial, entertainment and residential components. Her assent removed one of the project's last major hurdles-- a fact that testifies both to her skill as an advocate and her openness to reasonable compromise."

Yesterday Matt Stoller had an even more persuasive endorsement of Donna Edwards at MyDD and a great explanation of why this race has great national importance. "Wynn is not only a viciously reactionary Democrat who voted for the war and has aided Bush at nearly every turn, but he's also brutish in his local political work in a way that Lieberman is not... Once could argue that Wynn is actually worse than Lieberman, because while Lieberman panders to the right and has to answer to the press in some form or fashion, Wynn is owned by the right and flourishes in silence. While Lieberman spreads unseemly rumors about his opponent, Wynn's staffers have actually beaten up supporters of his opponent. With a much less transparent political culture than Connecticut, Maryland is harder to penetrate. And that makes Wynn even more entrenched than Lieberman was, and harder to understand. Unlike Lieberman, his power is predicated on being ignored as he channels corporate money to his political allies, as opposed to being high profile on Sunday shows. While Lieberman was the leader of the Bourbons, Wynn is the silent corruptor."

DWT readers already know how strongly we feel about what a great member of Congress Donna would be. As she enters the home stretch in this crucial campaign, the race hasn't caught the attention of the national media the way Lamont's challenge to the more high profile Lieberman did. Consequently, Donna hasn't gotten the kind of financial support Lamont got. And she needs it. And we need her. There's a symmetry there and today would be a nice day to express it here. If Donna wins September 12, the message to every faithless incumbent will be loud and clear-- and will help make the Democratic Party far more worthy of the power they are probably going to win in November.

Take a look at this video of Donna explaining why she's running against Al Wynn:


Even the right wing loons whose agenda Wynn has served so faithfully are happy to see him in electoral peril.

Labels: , , ,


At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donna Edwards is backed by the super rich her donors include a long list of Rockerfellers, Carnegies, Lehmans, Tabacco herists, CFR members, etc.

Any donors that aren't mega rich seem to be providing kick baacks for her funding their NGOs.

Donna has refused to even comment about the tyranny of the Bank monoloply that is currently foreclosing on the 4th District homeowners at record rates.

Please google the "Money as debt" video.


Post a Comment

<< Home