2008-12-03 / Editorials

Maloney Is Best Choice For Senate

On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama nominated United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to the cabinet level post of Secretary of State. We congratulate Clinton on the nomination and Obama for making a wise choice.

There seems little doubt that the Senate will advise and consent that Clinton be named Secretary of State. However, New York Governor David Paterson, like the governors of most of the 50 states, will then have the responsibility of choosing Clinton's successor in office to complete her term and then, possibly, run for re-election to the junior of New York's two Senate seats. Paterson has already announced that he will not exercise a time-honored prerogative and resign from office so that his successor in the governor's chair can appoint him to the Senate. He is, instead, looking among the state's legislators at all levels of government.

From where we sit, the strongest candidate— and the one best qualified—is Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat, who represents the 14th Senate District, encompassing Western Queens and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Maloney introduced more bills than any other member of the House of Representatives in the 110th Congress. In the past two months alone, Maloney secured passage through the House of three important measures that she authored and introduced: the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights; a bill establishing a database to better monitor all federal contracts with the private sector that was incorporated into the Defense Authorization Act, and the reauthorization of her landmark "Debbie Smith" bill, expected to jail 50,000 rapists with the help of DNA.

Maloney has written and secured passage of bills that provide annual mammograms for women on Medicare; helped curb the demand for sex trafficking (the "End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act", signed into law in 2006); created a human rights commission in Afghanistan and provided funding for Afghan women's programs and education to combat the Taliban's oppression.

A former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues, Maloney wrote the critically acclaimed Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Why Women's Lives Aren't Getting Any Easier- and How We Can Make Real Progress for Ourselves and Our Daughters, which offers detailed policy prescriptions for advancing the stalled progress of women's efforts to achieve true equality in American society. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York's 14th Congressional District, the first woman to represent the city's 7th Councilmanic district, and the first woman vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation's most pressing economic issues. She was also the first woman to give birth while serving on the New York City Council.

Maloney also has been an outspoken authority against the persistent problem of sexual assault in the military, a vigorous advocate to restore U.S. aid to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and a leader who has highlighted the persistent social and financial inequalities between men and women that still exist in America. Maloney also is the chief sponsor in Congress of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Maloney continues to lead the effort to secure federal support for the Second Avenue Subway, the largest mass transit project under construction anywhere in the nation. The second largest mass transit project in the country, the East Side Connector, is also almost entirely located in her 14th Congressional District.

After the "Dubai Ports" fiasco, Maloney wrote and secured passage of her bill to reform the federal inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Her work on securing adequate healthcare monitoring and treatment of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers has also been widely praised.

In the 435 House Members' power rankings posted by Congress.org this year, Maloney jumped to 57th place from the Number 80 slot she occupied in 2007. She is ranked seventh in the New York delegation; 53rd among House Democrats overall, and 57th among all House Members. We note that such a rapid rise can come about only on merit.

Maloney's continued efforts to pass legislation benefiting the district she represents and all American citizens clearly indicates her overwhelming fitness to become the junior Senator from New York. We ask our readers to join us in calling on Governor Paterson to choose the best person to fill out Clinton's term, Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney.

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