We speak with former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She defeated five opponents in a Democratic primary Tuesday and is set to win back her Congressional seat in Georgia. [includes rush transcript]
Former Georgia Congressmember Cynthia McKinney appears set to make a triumphant return to Congress. She lost her re-election bid two years ago after coming under fierce attack for her support for Palestinian rights, and her early call for a 9/11 investigation of the Bush Administration.
McKinney won 51 percent of the vote in a Democratic primary Tuesday, defeating five opponents and avoiding a runoff election in August. She will face Republican Catherine Davis in November in a heavily Democratic district and is considered a shoo-in to win back her seat.
- Cynthia McKinney, former Congress member from Georgia who won her district’s Democratic primary this week in an effort to regain her seat.
AMY GOODMAN: As we turn now to former Georgia Congress member Cynthia McKinney who appears set to make a triumphant return to Congress. She lost her re-election bid two years ago after coming under fierce attack for her early call for a 9/11 investigation of the Bush administration. Cynthia McKinney won 51% of vote in a Democratic primary here on Tuesday, defeating five opponents and avoiding a runoff election in August. She’ll now face Republican Catherine Davis in November, in a heavily democratic district. She is considered a shoe-in to win back her seat. We spoke to her earlier this week when she faced the primary. Now she has won. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Cynthia McKinney.
CYNHIA MCKINNEY: Thank you, Amy, for inviting me to be with you again this morning. Of course, we’re not taking anything for granted. We understand that the people spoke and the people spoke with a unified voice on July 20th at the election. That was the Democratic party of the district. Now we’re moving forward so that we can represent the entire district. That means that the energy of the campaign will be sustained until November. AMY GOODMAY: It’s interesting to be talking to you today considering the controversy around you calling early on for a 9/11 investigation. Today the report coming out. Your thoughts?
CYNHIA MCKINNEY: Well, I’m pleased — I anticipate the publication of the report. I am pleased that they stepped away from the earlier floated idea of creating a department of domestic intelligence, because that is wholly unneeded and unnecessary. I do have some questions about the centralization of intelligence after having read the riley memo and understanding that exactly what she was complaining about in her memo was the centralization of decision-making in one place that hampered the ability of the field agents to do their job and to do their job well. So, you know, I’ll have to get a copy of the report and actually go through it to digest exactly what their recommendations are, and to counter that with the information that I have, and the opinions that I have about what needs to be done.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think — what do you think are the most important issues that need to be addressed now in Congress, and are they different from when you were there two years ago?
CYNHIA MCKINNEY: I’m sure the issues in some way are different, but more important — probably more important than anything, we have to get our economic house in order. We have got record deficits. We have record national debt. The Congress is trying to — the Republican congress is trying to figure out a way to raise the debt ceiling so no one will know. We have had an extension — an important expansion of the U.S.A. Patriot Act that needs to be dealt with. Civil liberties need to be dealt with, and this whole issue of security needs to be dealt with, but it needs to be dealt with in a way that actually resolves our problems and makes America more secure. Of course, we have got to deal with the war, and we have to bring our young men and women home. I saw today where Bush’s okay-ing arms sales to Iraq. The last thing we need to be doing is extending the — our own weapons of mass destruction, putting more into the hands of a government as yet untested. So, there ought to be economic assistance, if there’s going to be any assistance at all. Humanitarian assistance. We have yet to see — we have a legacy of the depleted uranium that’s still there. We need to stop using depleted uranium weapons. There’re so many issues that need to be dealt with. Of course, my area, when I was in Congress before, was the armed services committee, and the international relations committee. So, I will be looking at those issues, but I will also be looking at the economic issues, and how we can benefit truly small businesses, so that we can have a localized economy that is sustainable that makes sense and creates a quality of life for local people in their local areas.
AMY GOODMAN: Cynthia McKinney, I want to thank you very much for being with us, a former Congress member who could be back in congress this next year. Thanks for being with us.
CYNHIA MCKINNEY: Thank you, amy.