APN Announces 2008 Primary Endorsements for US House and Senate

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(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta Progressive News’s Board of Directors have endorsed the following candidates in the Democratic Primary Elections in Georgia:

US SENATE: RAND KNIGHT

APN had the opportunity to request interviews from all major candidates in the US Senate Primary. Candidates Vernon Jones and Jim Martin did not respond to repeated interview requests.

Dale Cardwell participated in an interview but resembled a Republican on many issues.

Mr. Knight, a progressive Democrat, in his interview announced his support for single-payer universal health care, stated his support for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, opposed electronic voting without a paper trail, said he preferred not to have nuclear energy, opposed funding for more nuclear weapons, said he did not have a problem with same-sex marriage, and offered solutions to combat global warming.

Knight, who is the youngest candidate, also seemed vibrant and fresh in his approach to issues. Not uncoincidentally, his campaign has embraced Internet-based outreach strategies.

Incidentally, APN endorsed Knight’s challenger, Jim Martin, for Lt. Governor in 2006; but is endorsing Rand Knight for US Senate this year.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 5: STATE REP. “ABLE” MABLE THOMAS

“Able” Mable Thomas is the real deal. State Rep. Thomas has been an outspoken activist in the community, particularly on issues related to homeless people. She has spoken out against the Gateway Center for evicting homeless women in the winter, spoken against the demolition of public housing, and spoken against the panhandling ordinance.

Thomas was also a strong advocate for police reform after Atlanta Police murdered a 92 year-old woman, Kathryn Johnston, who they later falsely accused of being a drug dealer.

Thomas was also a strong opponent of the privatization of Grady Hospital.

Thomas also has lived in a poor community in Vine City for years and holds her campaign headquarters there, demonstrating her close ties to some of the least advantaged constituents who need a voice the most.

US Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) supported the demolition of public housing in Atlanta, and fast-tracked the privatization of Grady by pushing for an expedited Internal Revenue Service review of tax-exempt status for the new Grady corporation.

US Rep. Lewis did not support the impeachment of President George Bush after stating in a radio interview with WAOK in late 2005 that if an impeachment bill came across his desk, he would sign it.

US Rep. Lewis also did not support former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney for reelection in 2006, despite her having been one of the most progressive and activism-oriented Members of US Congress at the time.

US Rep. Lewis also supported US Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT; erstwhile, D-CT) against progressive Democratic Primary challenger, Ned Lamont, in 2006. Lieberman, a staunch supporter of the US Invasion of Iraq, left the Democratic Party and won in the 2006 General Election as an Independent.

Also, US Rep. Lewis has backtracked on a number of issues, and has a history of reneging press statements with the Associated Press, WAOK, and Atlanta Progressive News, ranging from issues like McKinney’s reelection challenge, to his endorsement of US Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for President in 2008, to the impeachment of President Bush.

Unlike in the 12th and 13th Districts (below), APN does not take issue with US Rep. Lewis’s voting record for the most part, but has been disappointed with Lewis’s leadership, or lack thereof, involving Atlanta issues, and believes “Able” Mable Thomas provides a stronger choice for working families and progressive advocates alike.

APN endorsed Lewis for this seat in 2006.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 12: STATE SEN. REGINA THOMAS

US Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), who has voted time and time again with Republicans on issues ranging from taxes to Iraq to civil liberties, is ready to go.

State Sen. Regina Thomas provides a progressive alternative to Barrow. In an interview with Atlanta Progressive News, she fleshed out her platform.

On nuclear power: “I don’t agree with it. With the drought especially this year and with the water the plants have to generate and use, the portion that comes back into the system is not enough,” Thomas said. “We can’t afford to have it, anything can happen.”

On the US Invasion of Iraq: “I don’t think we should have. We need to bring our troops home immediately,” Thomas said, adding she would not have voted for funding without a timetable for withdrawal.

Thomas also supports universal health care and opposes electronic voting as currently conducted in Georgia without a paper trail. “I don’t have a problem with electronic voting if we can get a receipt. We need a paper trail. You know they be stealing these elections around here. This will validate each time a person goes in to vote,” Thomas said.

Thomas is also a strong supporter of equal rights for homosexuals. “That’s their business. I don’t go dipping in nobody else’s business. Whatever anybody wants to do, that’s their business and God’s. The ban on same sex marriages in Georgia, I voted against that. God created all of us. If he didn’t, I can’t verify that. I’m not in the business to legislate morality. Jesus tried to get us to do the right thing and we didn’t do it. And we killed him and he came back,” Thomas said.

Thomas’s District has been closely divided between Democrats and Republicans in recent General Elections; however, Thomas believes that’s because “people didn’t have a choice.”

APN did not endorse in this race in 2006.

US HOUSE DISTRICT 13: FMR. STATE SEN. DONZELLA JAMES

As previously reported in Atlanta Progressive News, US Rep. David Scott’s (D-GA) voting record is unacceptable and he is currently entangled in controversy over his tax debt and his campaign finances.

US Rep. Scott supports nuclear power, funding the US Invasion of Iraq without a timetable for withdrawal, abolishing the estate tax, making it harder to file bankruptcy, making it harder to file class action lawsuits, and holding tribunals without due process for detainees allegedly suspected of terrorism.

James has completely opposite positions from Scott on each of these issues and supports the impeachment of President Bush. James also has taken a strong position against electronic voting and is a Plaintiff in the VoterGA lawsuit against the State of Georgia. She also has a strong record of introducing and getting passed legislation that helps working families in the State Senate.

Electing Donzella James to Congress should be a top priority of progressives in Georgia.

APN endorsed James for this seat in 2006.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for The Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

Revised syndication policy:

Our syndication policy was updated June 2007. For more information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive News content, please visit: http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html

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