BLUE AMERICA: A Chat with Senator Chris Dodd
It has been the nature of Blue America to get to know challengers rather than incumbents, the only exceptions having been Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), a blog devotee, and then-Rep. Sherrod Brown, who was running for the U.S. Senate.
Today we are welcoming our very first sitting senator, Chris Dodd. And we're welcoming him, too as a challenger– for the office of president, also a first for Firedoglake. Senator Dodd, born in 1944, has been the Democratic senator from Connecticut since 1981. Before that he served in the U.S. Army and the Peace Corps (in the Dominican Republic; he is actually fluent in Spanish, not a faker like Bush). He was an attorney and a congressman before being elected to the Senate.
This community has been especially interested in Senator Dodd's firm stand against the Bush/McCain escalation plans in Iraq and in his alternative (S. 308) to the nonbinding symbolic resolutions that Bush has already announced he will ignore. But Senator Dodd has a long history of exemplary public service very much in line with the ideals of our community. One of his proudest achievements in the Senate was the long drawn-out passage of the Family Medical Leaves Act (1993).
Employers covered by this act must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
* for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
* for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
* to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
* to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
And now Senator Dodd is announcing the re-introduction of the Effective Terrorist Prosecution Act. I'm going to let him explain that one himself. It seems like an excellent place to start an on-going conversation between Chris Dodd and Blue America.