Today we add another incredible congresswoman, two-term Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland, to our Orange to Blue fundraising list.
Edwards was the first African American woman from Maryland in the U.S. congress. She was vice-chair of the progressive caucus last term, while this cycle she's at the forefront of the battle to retake the House as co-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue program (along with Jared Polis).
She's also someone who doesn't just vote the right way on virtually everything, but can be counted on to be a vocal leader and spokesperson for progressive values. I can't emphasize how important that is, and how rare it is within our Democratic caucus. It's so much easier to lay low and play the comity game.
Redistricting in Maryland reconfigured her district, so much so that she's facing a primary challenge from Prince George County state attorney Glenn Ivey. A big chunk of her political base in Montgomery County was stripped away from her. There is talk that Edwards was targeted by Maryland's Democratic political machine, that doesn't like her much.
[Edwards] is not closely aligned with party leaders such as state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who played a key role in redistricting.The problem here is that we need more Donna Edwards-style Democrats in Congress, not fewer. We have a real gem, and we need to fight to save one of the best Democrats in the entire caucus.
“It is clear that there have been conversations going on for quite a while about who is to run against Donna. It is no secret that others have been approached as well,” said Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring).
Like Darcy Burner, like Brad Miller, Donna Edwards is family. We cannot afford to lose her voice in Congress.
p.s. Her answers to the Daily Kos questionnaire are below the fold.
1. Do you support:
a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)?
b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?
YES. I was an original cosponsor of this important piece of legislation in the 111th Congress that would have made it possible for anyone who wanted it, to buy into Medicare. Medicare is a proven system - we know it works. I believe it was a good first step to getting to a public option.
2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:
a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship — one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement — for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;
b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and
c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?
3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
a) Raising the retirement age;
b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;
c) Directly reducing benefits;
d) Means-testing recipients; and
e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?
YES. I strongly oppose the privatization of Social Security since such a proposal will provide lower benefits, unless the beneficiary is willing to select risky investments and happens to select stocks that perform well. This proposal would also divert funding from the system, thus endangering current and future beneficiaries. It would be irresponsible to replace the guaranteed benefit with such a gamble.
4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?
YES. Not only do I support it, I was an original cosponsor of this critical bill in the 111th Congress. The Employee Free Choice Act is about workers choosing how they want to organize, either by signing up or casting a ballot – either way, it would be the workers’ choice and not the boss’.
5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?
6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?
YES. I have been a Member of Congress since 2008 and I have and will not join the Blue Dog Coalition.