Edwards, Fragile X, and Special Interests

Greetings friends.
Some time ago, I went searching for the early Senate record of John Edwards. My reason was simple, I wanted to find out what this man, who was elected to the Senate in 1998, stood for. Here in North Carolina, we have recently been treated to Senators that, when elected, fail to do the people's work because they know they have 6 years to make up for screwing the good folks of North Carolina. Even among Democrats, often the first couple years are spent making up favors to special interests. Don't believe me? Go check out the bills SPONSORED by your local Senators in their first couple years.
So, I did that. I wanted to see, who was it that John Edwards considered his "special interest". I'll admit that I, in particular, was shocked by what I found.


I should back up a step and introduce a few things about myself. I work in the DD (developmental delay) field, and I have friends and family that fall under the broad MRDD (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability) umbrella. Because of this, at one time, I used to blog purely about Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I have tried and succeeded in getting more NC representatives to sponsor "Fully Funding the IDEA Act". So, imagine my surprise when I saw that one of John Edwards VERY FIRST bills was....

S.1131
Title: A bill to promote research into, and the development of an ultimate cure for, the disease known as Fragile X.
Sponsor: Sen Edwards, John [NC] (introduced 5/26/1999)

Well, color me surprised. For those of you who follow this sort of thing, this was somewhat similar to the Combating Autism Bill that recently passed, only 7 years ahead of its time. and about $900,000,000 less in sticker price. The bill provided for:
1) Expand, intensify, and coordinate the Institute's activities respecting research on the disease known as Fragile X ($10,000,000 chuckles1)
2) Make grants to, and enter into contracts with, public or nonprofit private entities for the development and operation of at least three centers to conduct research for improving the diagnosis and treatment of, and finding the cure for, Fragile X.
3) Requires each such center assisted to conduct basic and clinical research, which may include clinical trials of new or improved diagnostic methods and drugs or other treatment approaches.
4) Allows such centers to use grant funds provided under this Act to provide fees to individuals serving as subjects in clinical trials.
5) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a program under which the Federal Government enters into contracts with qualified health professionals who agree to conduct research on Fragile X in consideration of the Government's agreement to repay, for each year of such service, no more than $35,000 of the principal and interest of the educational loans owed by such health professionals.

Wow. You might be wondering what kind of support such a pie-in-the-sky bill would have in those heady days of the Clinton impeachment, when Republicans and Democrats were at each others throats.

Sen Bayh, Evan [IN]
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA]
Sen Breaux, John B. [LA]
Sen Chafee, John H. [RI]
Sen Chafee, Lincoln [RI]

Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA]
Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE]
Sen Helms, Jesse [NC]

Sen Hollings, Ernest F. [SC]
Sen Kerrey, J. Robert [NE]
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA]
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA]
Sen Lugar, Richard G. [IN]
Sen Reed, Jack [RI]
Sen Robb, Charles S. [VA]
Sen Shelby, Richard C. [AL]

First, isn't it odd that two Chafee's were able to cosponsor this? Second, that is Helms, with an H. As in "Who needs a zoo, just put a fence around Chapel Hill" Jesse Helms. Although I am largely against "bipartisanship" in this day and age, this is the kind of bill that could have made a difference, the kind of bill that could draw together Dianne Feinstein and Jesse Helms. Indeed, a half decade later when the Combating Autism bill was passed, Rick Santorum was hand-in-hand with Chris Dodd as Sponsors.

So, John Edwards, upon entering the Senate set his sights on helping the developmentally disabled among us. That's nice and all that, but what about all his "other" bills?

S.975 : A bill to amend chapter 30 of title 39, United States Code, to provide for a uniform notification system under which individuals may elect not to receive mailings relating to skill contests or sweepstakes, and for other purposes.

S.1018 : A bill to provide for the appointment of additional Federal district judges in the State of North Carolina, and for other purposes.

S.1131 : A bill to promote research into, and the development of an ultimate cure for, the disease known as Fragile X.

S.1424 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide the same tax treatment for special pay as for combat pay.

S.1610 : A bill to authorize additional emergency disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Dennis and Hurricane Floyd.

S.1850 : A bill to amend section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 to modify the requirements relating to the use and disclosure of customer proprietary network information, and for other purposes.

S.2064 : A bill to amend the Missing Children's Assistance Act, to expand the purpose of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to cover individuals who are at least 18 but have not yet attained the age of 22.

S.2065 : A bill to authorize the Attorney General to provide grants for organizations to find missing adults.

S.2100 : A bill to provide for fire sprinkler systems in public and private college and university housing and dormitories, including fraternity and sorority housing and dormitories.

S.3180 : A bill to provide for the disclosure of the collection of information through computer software, and for other purposes.

S.3221 : A bill to provide grants to law enforcement agencies that ensure that law enforcement officers employed by such agencies are afforded due process when involved in a case that may lead to dismissal, demotion, suspension, or tranfer.

S.3228 : A bill to promote the development of affordable, quality rental housing in rural areas for low-income households.

Take a look at those bills. Affordable housing, hurricane relief, Fragile X, "special pay" tax relief for soldiers, heck even junk mail protection, and spyware protection. All of them are aimed at helping people. There are other bills he Sponsored, you can go see them, most are import tariff exemptions for our FORMER textile mills, the ones that are now gone to foreign countries. Again, all his bills are aimed at helping people like us, workers, citizens, voters. They aren't aimed ONLY at the business community, they ARE handouts to his special interest group - people.

Caring about people. It isn't new, it isn't something he is doing for his Presidential race, it is something he has always done, even when the heat WASN'T on him. I like that.

Comments

A peek...

into what drives Senator Edwards. Even when the heat is off, he focuses on issues for the people.

I like that.

Your obligatory Daily Kos link.


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

This should serve as a big FU to all those

who say he never did anything for NC. We have to remember the climate that existed in the Senate while he was there.

Excellent, Robert.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yeah.

Depose Monica, fight Republicans, sponsor excellent legislation. All in a day's work.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Quickly made it to rec list

Keep it up. This really is solid, basic information we need at our fingertips.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

great work, Robert

I didn't know much about John Edwards when I campaigned for his '98 Senate run, but I knew he was a breathe of fresh air, especially compared to Lauch Faircloth, cheerleader for the Clinton Impeachment.

Edwards is still a breath of fresh air.

I have two past regrets when it comes to politics.

The first is that in 1992 I didn't spend the year campaigning for Clinton, as I was too involved with college, graduating, finding a grad school.
The second is that in 1998, when I moved to North Carolina, I didn't get involved with the Senator's campaign, once again, because I was too involved with paying the bills, finding a house to live (slept on many couches), starting my new job, etc.


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

fragile x research

There is some of that being done at UNC Med School. I know because my son was in an autism study when he was a toddler. He is a normally developing kid, in the regular group, and the same folks have been doing some Fragile X work too.

Great piece and informative...

Two things to mention here.

1. Being a retird Marine living in Jacksonville (a Marine town)many of my Retired Marine brothers often ask me why I support John Edwards. I am once again, in this piece, validated.

2. My eldest grandson Anthony Adame is Autistic. John Edwards already had my vote. Now he has my thanks as well..

MARSHALL ADAME

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Make sure if you run, you run on this.

People care, and they need to know others care as well.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

MY eldest grandson, Alex is also Autistic

When my daughter moved to the state after her divorce, she had trouble getting him into the program "TEACH" for Autistic children. She called Edwards office and explained her problems to him, hard time keeping him in classes because the school said they could not handle him and she needed to medicate him. Within one week after contacting the Edwards office, TEACH called and set up an appointment to see him. It a great program, but underfunded, like every good program in the US, all suffering because funds are diverted to this "war".

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

TEACCH

(Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children) is a sad story. A wonderful program, with regional offices throughout the state, TEACCH has helped thousands of kids cope better with their surroundings and become better integrated into society.

Do a Google search for TEACCH and you will find programs in many states and countries, workshops in even more states and countries, and praise upon praise heaped upon this program begun and still continuing right here at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Yet, every two years they must go begging the state legislature for more money to keep their program chugging along, never growing, never blossoming, just chugging. Here is something that North Carolina INVENTED, and is the BEST at, and we allow it to sit and rot.

Don't we want to be the best at anything? Must mediocrity always be our lodestar?

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me