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The End of an Era: Farewell, Chris Dodd!

By       Message Eugene Elander     Permalink
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My dear friend, United States Senator Chris Dodd, is scheduled to announce that he will not run for a sixth term in the United States Senate. It is indeed the end of an era, the Dodd Era in Connecticut, and he will be sorely missed.

I volunteered in Chris Dodd's early campaigns for the United States House of Representatives, when both of us were young and full of, to use JFK's term, "vigor." While we may no longer be young, that vigor is still there.

As chair of the Senate Banking Committee, Chris was the architect of the major banking reforms which may well have saved the American financial system in our recent time of dire distress. I am proud to have provided some input to those efforts, but perhaps proudest of supporting the passage of the Family Leave Act which allows parents time off from work upon the birth of children. That federal legislation was the brainchild of Senator Chris Dodd.

Early in the primary season for the 2008 elections, Chris Dodd announced a bid for the presidency, and once again I volunteered in a Dodd campaign. This time, however, that campaign was fated for failure, as first Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama proved to be stronger candidates. After Chris dropped out of the race, I sent him a message stating: "While I know you and I are both disappointed with the outcome of your presidential bid, the compensation is the vital work you will be able to continue by chairing the Senate Banking Committee. Please know, Chris, that many of your old friends share your disappointment, but look forward to your future efforts."

I look forward to one of those efforts being a full investigation of ongoing abuses of mortgage borrowers by several of the lending industry giants, and will be providing the necessary data for a full Congressional investigation of key lenders who are abusing the public trust and the trust of their borrowers.

Chris Dodd's Senate committee will be reviewing those issues this Spring.

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Chris Dodd's father, United States Senator Tom Dodd of Connecticut, had been the lead prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials of key Nazi leaders immediately after the end of World War II. Chris used to say that he learned about justice and injustice daily, at the breakfast table at home.

Tom Dodd truly believed that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing when that evil first appears. Ultimately, that is the lesson the world should have learned from the Nazis. Today, in the face of the evils of terrorism, much of the world still needs to learn that lesson. Our learning curve about ultimate evils remains quite insufficient.

Farewell and Godspeed, Chris Dodd please accept our thanks for all you have done, for all of us. May your future, with your wife and girls, be bright and fruitful. Connecticut, and America, are better and stronger thanks to your long and tireless efforts on our behalf. It is said that it is better to light a single candle than to curse the dark. You have lit many candles, Chris!

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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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