Monday, February 25, 2008

Dodd to Keynote DWC Awards

The Vermont Democrats announced today that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) will headline this year's David W. Curtis Awards dinner on April 25th at the Hilton in Burlington. The annual fundraising event is Vermont Democrats' premier event and the biggest fundraiser of the year.

Quick, name three things you know about Chris Dodd! Well, you probably know he's a Senator for Connecticut. You probably know he was a recent presidential candidate; and you may even know he was widely supported by the firefighter's unions during that contest. All of the above are widely reported and were fairly recently in the news.

Here are three cool things about Dodd that maybe you didn't know:

1) He worked to ensure passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act ensuring that working families don't have to choose between their job and their family (he's now working to try to encourage that time off be paid time-off according to his Senate website) - as my wife and I recently had a baby I can attest to the importance of this federal protection;

2) He helped establish the "pay as you go" rules back in 1983 which ensured that any programs requiring budget increases enacted were disciplined by accompanying tax increases or budget cuts. It was this kind of fiscal discipline that enabled the Democrats and Bill Clinton to finally balance the federal budget, and later to begin an unprecedented era of budget surpluses (until the Bush Administration took a wrecking ball to their handiwork), and sound fiscal management. His work on this has helped to ensure that Democrats are now more trusted to handle economic matters than Republicans.

3) He served his Peace Corps stint in the Dominican Republic in Moncion, a tiny hamlet in the northwest part of the country. I traveled extensively in the D.R., living there between 1998 and 2000 and teaching 5th grade in Santo Domingo. But, I also lived in Santiago for awhile (the second largest city in the heart of the country), and traveled to that area up near Monte Cristi and Dajabon (the northwest crossing into Haiti). It's a fantastic, rugged country. Most folks associate it with the fine beaches, but I associate it more with the interior: miles of friendly people, rugged mountains (the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte - Just over 7,000 feet and named for the father of the country), and backpacking everywhere. It's a wonderful travel destination if you enjoy getting off the beaten path.

You can find out more about Sen. Dodd at his Senate website.
Should be a great night for Vermont Democrats. My dad would be delighted.

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