Wednesday, June 27, 2007

They Write Letters

Donna Edwards:

Dear Friend,

We know that this country faces very serious problems. We are bogged down in Iraq, gas prices are high and we're ruining the world's environment. Going to the doctor is a nightmare of paperwork and a lot of us cannot even afford to make an appointment. Our schools are rundown, our children are struggling, and our teachers do more testing than teaching. Meanwhile, the television is full of unimportant stories about Paris Hilton and celebrity mishaps.

There's a sickness in our country today, a slow, ill-at-ease feeling, a sense that the big things and the little things have gone wrong, an understanding that where we need big leadership and risk-taking, there isn't any, and where we need prudence and caution, we find only greed and a desire to take the easy way out.

Well, I'm not ready to give up. That's why I'm running for Congress again, and that's why I'm asking you to help me change the country. It's not enough to elect Democrats, we need to elect leaders. Please consider a $100 contribution to help us reach our campaign goal for the quarter ending June 30. I guarantee you that it will be the proudest investment you'll make this year. To reach our goal, we need 100 people to each make a $100 contribution. I'm asking you to be one of them, and for a very specific reason. Please contribute today -- and help us reach our 100 new donor goal!

Last year, I challenged Congressman Al Wynn for Maryland's 4th Congressional district. I'm a Democrat and I challenged him in a Democratic primary. I did it because he voted for the war, voted for Bush's energy bill, worked with oil, coal, and nuclear companies to further their interests, and voted with big banks and credit card companies against consumers. But most of all, I ran against this entrenched incumbent because he has a history in Congress of taking the easy way out, of not making tough decisions, of standing on the sidelines. He was afraid of corporate interests, so he consistently did what they wanted for fifteen years in Congress.

At a certain point, after watching what these groups did to the country, I had had enough. From my work with battered women to my fights with the pharmaceutical industry to my fight for meaningful campaign finance and ethics reform, I've stood up and led. Like many of us I feel that we need representation in Congress that does the same - leads. It wasn't an easy decision, but I decided to challenge Al Wynn for the Democratic nomination in 2006. Though I had almost no money and the political establishment wrote me off, I surprised everyone, most of all Al Wynn, by coming within a couple of thousand votes of winning. I didn't do any television, there was only one debate, and I didn't even have a campaign manager, but it turns out that Wynn had lost the confidence of voters in the district, and I was able to turn that frustration into hope - for change.

Your support and your confidence won't be wasted on me. I'm a single mother, a lawyer, involved in my community - I know what it takes to get up everyday, work hard and take care of my son. I won't match my opponent's war chest that's filled with corporate special interest money. That's why I need your help.

I'm asking you to help me finish the job we started in 2006 with a $100 contribution to my campaign for change in 2008. Help us reach our goal for June 30 . Please contribute today.

In case you haven't noticed, the problems in our country have not gone away. Though there's a Democratic Congress, the Iraq war drags on and going to the doctor hasn't gotten any easier. I think we've all realized that it's not enough to have a Democratic Congress; we need people in Congress who are leaders who are willing to take on the corporate special interests. And while Al Wynn was forced to change his tune because I nearly beat him, he is not a leader who will stand up to those interests. After nearly losing, Wynn is now signing on to everything: resolutions to impeach Dick Cheney, and calling peace groups before votes, trying to make sure that he won't offend anyone. But that's only one side of the new Al Wynn. He is still taking money from every corporate PAC he can, including AT&T, Wal-Mart, big banks and predatory lenders, and even the nuclear industry. If you don't believe me, just go to the nonpartisan site, which lists his contributions in all
their glory. In his campaign kickoff, Wynn had as the keynote Fox News commentator and financial services lobbyist Harold Ford Jr, a conservative Democrat and a supporter of the continued occupation of Iraq.

While Al Wynn is not a bad man, what's going on here is clear. He's been in Congress for fifteen years, and until last year, he never faced a real challenger. Now he's confused, and is doing what politicians often do - he's blowing with the wind, like a weathervane. He has been in Congress so long he has lost his moral core. Over the last eight years, we've seen the tragedy that results when we have politicians that take the easy way out. I see a different role for Congress and for myself as a leader. I think that it's time for leaders to emerge and go after the energy industry that keeps our gas and energy prices high without a plan for the future, the health care industry that kills our children and leaves most of us at its mercy, and the telecommunications industry that never seems to be able to show up on time to install cable TV or a new phone line but wants to raise your rates and control everything you see on television and every site you visit on the Internet. With your help, I will be a leader in Congress with a moral compass who shares your progressive values.

The reality of our political system is that the incumbent is backed by well-financed groups, and I'm going to need an alternative source of money to take them on. I am asking you to be that source, to help be the change this country needs. This country spends $20 billion a year on ice cream, it's up to us to spend a fraction of that considering matters of war and peace,
health care, education, energy independence, and the many challenges we face. Giving even a small contribution takes real commitment from you and I don't take that lightly - I will earn your trust and your confidence.

So please contribute $100 today so we can show them we mean business with a strong showing for the quarter ending June 30. Please contribute today -- an help us reach our 100 donors at $100.

I'm going to continue to ask for time, money and support, and for you to tell your friends about this campaign. Please forward this email to your family, friends and associates. Because while we'd all like our political problems to just go away, we also know that this country will not change until we the people stand up and make it happen. I stood up last year, I'm standing up now, and I hope that you'll stand up with me.

Donna Edwards
Candidate for Congress

100 donors? Not asking for too much.

More and better Democrats, please.