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Queens Chronicle

In the primary, vote Carolyn Maloney

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Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 12:00 am

The United States continues to face numerous challenges from all sides — an economy that’s still fragile as crystal, asymmetrical warfare on multiple fronts against a vile and unpredictable enemy, a divisive backlash against socially progressive measures like marriage equality, political splintering that seems to divide left and right as much as any time in history.

November is going to bring change to Washington and Albany, but just how much is difficult to predict.

Upstate, it’s a very safe bet that the Democrats will retain the statehouse, with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo easily defeating whichever Republican is nominated, Rick Lazio or longshot Carl Paladino, for the governorship. The Democratic Assembly majority will certainly remain intact. But the state Senate is up for grabs, as the result of just a few close races, like that between incumbent Republican Sen. Frank Padavan and Democratic former City Councilman Tony Avella, will determine which party has control in January.

In Washington, Republicans are certain to make significant gains in both the House and Senate. The idea that they’ll retake either chamber is probably more Tea Party fantasy than political reality, but there is a strong anti-incumbent atmosphere from coast to coast, and the voters could very well take out their anger more on Democrats just because they hold the current majorities.

But many seats are very unlikely to go GOP no matter how reactionary the electorate turns out to be. One of those is New York’s 14th Congressional District, held by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, which encompasses Astoria, Long Island City, much of Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, as well as Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s East Side.

Maloney faces a primary challenge from Reshma Saujani, an attorney and social activist who’s never held political office. Whoever wins the Sept. 14 primary will face GOP nominee Ryan Brumberg in November.

We urge Democratic voters to nominate Maloney.

Her accomplishments over 17 years in Congress are many — in fact she’s credited with writing more legislation than any current member of the House. The new credit card law protecting consumers is her bill. So is the yet-to-be-passed James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide healthcare to those affected by toxins from Ground Zero. So was the bill passed 11 years ago that requires banks to reveal ATM disclosure fees before you get charged. And the one requiring Medicare to provide annual mammograms to women 65 and older.

Those are just some of the measures Maloney is responsible for. She’s written laws to protect women, children and seniors from violence; laws to assist veterans; and many more, in areas from national security to government accountability.

Saujani has has a compelling personal story and some good ideas, and could make an excellent public servant. But experience is needed in DC. She’s shooting too high in her initial run and should first seek a city or state office — just as Maloney did, serving for 10 years in the City Council before winning her congressional seat.

We are glad to endorse Carolyn Maloney.

The only other House member in Queens facing a primary is Rep. Gary Ackerman, but his opposition is nominal. Next week: endorsements in select state primaries.

Welcome to the discussion.