Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ed Case Letting Patsy Mink's Democrats Down

When Ed Case ran for Congress on the Democratic ticket he pledged to carry on the tradition of our beloved Patsy Mink. Congresswoman Mink, dedicated her life to helping the citizens of Hawaii. Why then is Case supporting the efforts of the credit card companies to deprive those who are overwhelmed by debt of the right to start over with a clean slate through debt discharge in bankruptcy?

The majority who need bankruptcy protection are folks who have been hit by a serious illness which created large medical bills. Sometimes the same illness also caused them to lose their jobs. Many of us in Hawaii are living from pay check to pay check. A serious illness or a job loss can generate bills way beyond one's ability to pay.

Under the old Bankruptcy law, people in this situation could discharge all their debts and start over. The new law will mean that most people cannot get out from under their debts. The credit card companies are making enormous profits from their exorbitant interest rates and high collateral fees, but they don't want their customers to be able to discharge their debts, so they've made millions of dollars in contributions to persuade our politicians to vote for their "No Credit Card Company Left Behind" bill.

It is disheartening to see Ed Case supporting a bill which will hurt those who need help from overwhelming debt. It is a slap in the face to those who voted for him because he said he would carry on the great work of Patsy Mink. Mink worked for laws to help her constituents. She would never have voted for a bill which would injure poor and working people in Hawaii. If Ed Case is going to vote with the Republicans, we need to find a real Democrat to run against him in the 2006 primary.

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