Why I Support John Edwards for President

Although I have mentioned it before…
I am Supporting John Edwards for President.

In the 2004 presidential campaign in California I supported Howard Dean.  I had been selected as a Dean delegate for the national convention.  When Governor Dean dropped out of the race John Edwards became my favorite.  Edwards placed well in the California Primary and won 15% of the vote in my congressional district.  Since there had been no local caucus to select delegates to the convention for Senator Edwards prior to the primary, a special caucus was held and I was selected to be a Delegate for John Edwards to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

I believe that Senator Edwards is the best of the long list of qualified democratic candidates for President this time around. Senator Edwards has the experience of fighting for the little guy as a trial attorney fighting large corporations to get justice for people they had screwed over.  Senator Edwards has proven that he is up to the tasks of standing up for the American people against the corporate lobbyists.

Senator Edwards has the ideas, and he has the well thought out proposals offering real solutions rather than sound bites.

Universal Health Care Through Shared Responsibility

Senator Edwards is the candidate who has the most comprehensive plan to deliver affordable and universal health care to all americans.  His plan is detailed, yet relatively simple.

The Edwards Health Care Plan Will:

  • Require businesses and other employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance.
  • Make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.
  • Create regional Health Care Markets purchasing pools to give every American the bargaining power to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance.
  • Once these steps have been taken, require all American residents to get insurance.

Under the Edwards Health Care Plan:

  • Families without insurance will get coverage at an affordable price.
  • Families with insurance will pay less and get more security and choices.
  • Businesses and other employers will find it cheaper and easier to insure their workers.

End Poverty Within 30 Years 

“Restoring our moral authority means leading by example and making clear that the hard challenges don’t frighten us. There is no better opportunity than the challenge of poverty – the great moral issue of our time.” – John Edwards  

Photo by Matt KlaberSenator Edwards is the only presidential candidate to proactively address the issue of poverty in America.  The response from critics who don’t want to talk about poverty has been swift.  They say that because Senator Edwards has been successful in his work as a attorney he is too wealthy, and therefore unqualified, to talk about poverty.  All of the major presidential candidates are wealthy and personal wealth is not a measure of a persons qualifications to address poverty in America.  Personal courage and commitment to helping lift up the 37 million Americans who live in poverty is.

End Poverty by 2036: Edwards believes that ending poverty should be a goal our nation actively pursues. A national goal will rally support for the cause and help us measure our progress. In 1999, Tony Blair announced a 20-year goal to end child poverty in Great Britain and he has already reduced child poverty by 17 percent. Today, Edwards called for a national effort to:

  • Cut poverty by one third within a decade, lifting 12 million Americans out of poverty by 2016.
  • End poverty within 30 years, lifting 37 million Americans out of poverty by 2036. [Census Bureau, 2007]

A Strategy To Fight Terrorism

As we approach the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Senator Edwards on September 7th announced his plan for A New Strategy Against Terrorism.  Speaking before a capacity crowd at Pace University, Senator John Edwards called for a smart, tough and targeted approach that will unite the world against violent extremism and use the power of combined intelligence and cooperative security actions to root out and shut down terrorist cells. Rather than joining Clinton and Obama in discussing the hypothetical question of whether to use nuclear weapons to kill Osama Bin-Laden, John Edwards has outlined a bold new strategy to shut down terrorism and make America safer.

“Instead of Cold War institutions designed to win traditional wars against large, fixed enemies and protect traditional borders, we need new institutions designed to share intelligence, cooperate across borders and take out small, hostile groups,” Edwards explained. “CITO will allow members to voluntarily share financial, police, customs and immigration intelligence. Together, nations will be able to track the way terrorists travel, communicate, recruit, train and finance their operations. And they will be able to take action through international teams of intelligence and national security professionals who will launch targeted missions to root out and shut down terrorist cells.” – John Edwards

The CITO proposal is part of a comprehensive set of proposals intended to move beyond the failed “war on terror” approach. These proposals include:

  • Improving human intelligence capacity
  • Strengthening multilateral efforts to shut down the global sale and transport of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction
  • Working to launch comprehensive strategies to support intelligence agencies in other countries
  • Escalating efforts against homegrown radical extremism by engaging and collaborating with the American Muslim community and
  • Reducing American dependence on foreign oil. Edwards also outlined his proposals for combating the emergence of terrorist cells and the support for terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Standing Up For Working Families

“I believe we cannot go on as Two Americas—one favored, the other forgotten—if we plan to stay productive, competitive and secure. I want to live in an America where we value work as well as wealth. I know that together we can build One America – a place where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream.” – John Edwards

John Edwards believes we have to build One American Economy—where everyone has the opportunity to work hard and build a better life. He will restore respect for work to our tax code and cut taxes for working families. He will overhaul our weak labor laws to give workers a real right to organize.

  • Strengthen Labor Laws: Unions made manufacturing jobs the foundation of our middle class, and they can do the same for our service economy. That’s why Edwards has helped more than 20 national unions organize thousands of workers over the last few years. Union membership can be the difference between a poverty-wage job and middle-class security. Federal law promises workers the right to choose a union, but the law is poorly enforced, full of loopholes, and routinely violated by employers. Edwards supports the Employee Free Choice Act to give workers a real choice in whether to form a union, and making penalties for breaking labor laws tougher and faster, so unions can compete on a level playing field and the right to join a union means something. Edwards also supports banning the permanent replacement of strikers so unions can negotiate fairly. 
  • Enact Smarter Trade Policies: Trade deals need to make sense for American workers, not just corporations. Edwards will make sure any new trade agreements include strong labor and environmental standards and will vigorously enforce American workers’ rights in existing agreements. He will also expand trade adjustment assistance to do much more for the workers and communities that are hurt by global competition and reform our international tax code to remove incentives for companies to move overseas.
  • Make Work Pay: Edwards will increase the reward for working by raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2012, tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for adults without children and cutting the EITC marriage penalty. In 2001, a $1 increase in the minimum wage alone would have lifted an estimated 900,000 people out of poverty. [Sawhill and Thomas, 2001]
  • Protect Prevailing Wages: Edwards pledges to protect the Davis Bacon Act, which ensures that workers on federal construction projects receive the local prevailing wage. The Act prevents contractors from slashing wages in order to win federal contracts with low-ball bids. It was shocking when President Bush intervened to keep workers from earning a decent wage after Hurricane Katrina, but we must be vigilant every day against abuses.
  • Help Families Save and Get Ahead: Half of American families say they are living paycheck to paycheck, and three out of 10 American workers have not been able to save a dime for their retirement. Edwards will crack down on abusive lenders by creating a new Families Savings and Credit Commission to protect families and with strong national laws against abusive and predatory credit cards, payday loans and mortgages. Edwards will create Work Bonds to help families save and invest, providing financial safety nets for hard times. Work Bonds, a new tax credit of up to $500, would help low and moderate-income, working Americans save for the future. [MetLife, 2003; Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2006]

Senator Edwards is racking up the endorsements of major labor unions representing workers across America and in the critical early primary and caucus states. While other candidates have and will continue to gain some endorsements, it is expected that the trend will continue and John Edwards will receive the majority of labor endorsements.  This success is a testament to John Edwards’s long record of support for the interests of working men and women.  To date, Senator Edwards has picked up the Edwards has received endorsements from the Carpenters, who represent 520,000 active members, the Steelworkers with 1.2 million active members and retirees, and the Mine Workers with 105,000 active members and retirees.

In addition to the policy reasons, my strongest reason for supporting Senator John Edwards for President is his lead in the match-ups against potential Republican Presidential opponents.

Senator John Edwards now holds solid leads over the two leading Republican Presidential hopefuls. The most recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows Edwards leading former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani 49% to 41%. Edwards dominates former Senator Fred Thompson 49% to 35%. Edwards also leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain in Rasmussen Reports polls.

I want the Democratic Presidential Candidate for 2008 to win.  I believe that Senator John Edwards not only has the vision, the ideas, and the courage to lead, he has the best chance of leading us to victory over any potential Republican rival in 2008.

Senator John Edwards will be the Keynote Speaker at this years Democratic Party of Orange County Harry S. Truman Awards Dinner on Friday, October 19th.

To find out more about John Edwards for President, visit www.johnedwards.com.

  2 comments for “Why I Support John Edwards for President

  1. rs1139
    September 10, 2007 at 8:07 am

    did you see edwards’ interview with josh marshall on veracifier? veracifier dot com it’s pretty cool.

  2. Margaret
    September 10, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Hi Chris. Thank you for you post. How do you feel about Edwards not supporting gay marriage? I know that is a core issue for you as you have been upset with Senator Lou Correa not supporting it either.

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