Sunday, November 11, 2007

Special Guest Post from Michael Miller

Since I'm in a New York frame of mind....
Volunteering on a presidential campaign has it's perks, and one of the best is getting to meet great, committed people from all over the country. I met Michael Miller, an attorney from New York City, and his lovely daughter Danielle when a group of us traveled to Iowa for John Edwards in August. It turns out that Michael is quite a good writer and often sends updates on the campaign from his NYC perspective. He's agreed to allow me to repost his reflections here. Here's today's post, followed by a brief, but impressive bio of Miller:


Sen. John Edwards speaking to supporters after getting the endorsement of Caucus for Priorities, Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Charlie Neibergall - AP)

Probably the sweetest endorsement yet, on Friday November 9, 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa, John Edwards received the endorsement of Caucus for Priorities, a 10,000-member strong grassroots organization of Iowa caucus-goers launched by Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen. The group praised Edwards for his plans to root out wasteful Pentagon spending while investing in priorities like universal health care and education. Executive Director Peggy Huppert explained why the group chose Edwards over Senator Clinton: "She didn't answer any questions 'yes' or 'no,'" said Huppert. "She has a refusal to commit to anything."

Cohen, chairman of the Iowa organization and founder of the national Priorities Action Fund, joined Edwards at a news conference to announce his endorsement.
Cohen said nearly all of the Democratic candidates had courted support from the group. Members of the organization have become a fixture at campaign events, where they hand out brightly colored pens, frosted cookies and stickers, all featuring a pie chart that details Washington spending.

Peggy Huppert, Caucus for Priorities director, said that over the past two years the group's staff and volunteers attended 550 campaign events and asked more than 250 questions of the candidates.

"Now we plan to turn our persuasion and education efforts toward making caucus night a victory for John Edwards," she said. "10,000 caucus-goers can tip the scales in a tight contest."
Feel the love!

Brief Bio:

Michael Miller is a leading figure in the New York legal community, with a New York City law practice. Among his many activities, Mr. Miller has served as president of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, was a member of the American Bar Association (ABA)’s House of Delegates, and, is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Miller’s professional life is committed to public service and pro bono work, which includes diverse activities both locally and in the international arena. He has developed award-winning pro bono programs to assist children and families in distress in New York. He has served in very challenging circumstances as an Election Supervisor in war-torn Bosnia shortly after the Dayton Accords. Under the auspices of the Central and Eastern Europe Legal Initiative, Mr. Miller interviewed Kosovar refugees for evidence of war crimes, evidence which assisted the work of the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.
Mr. Miller was also a leading figure in the legal relief effort in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He personally interviewed, counseled and consoled numerous victims’ grieving family members and assisted with their legal needs – which included securing death certificates and entitlements to which issuance of a death certificate was an essential prerequisite. He supervised other volunteers, coordinated daily de-briefings with mental health professionals and helped refine the program to better serve the victims’ families.

Mr. Miller also developed an Adopt-A-Family Program to assist the families of firefighters, police officers and other uniformed service personnel who perished on September 11.

Among his many awards for this work, Mr. Miller received the ABA’s 2002 Pro Bono Award, a 2001 Pro Bono Award from the National Law Journal, and a 2002 Hero of the Profession Award from the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.


Vic said...

The First Presidential Candidate to get endorsed by Eliot Spitzer gets my vote:

Remember last year when i had to tell you who Eliot Spitzer was?
New Yorker? New Yorker?

Until we get Wall Street out of the Health Insurance and Newspaper Business, nothing of substance is going to happen.

Cousin Eliot has been effectively fighting the Billionaire Acquisitor Club in N.Y. for years...

If you ever see cousin John Oxendine choking on prime rib at Natalias, tell him that Eliot is coming to Georgia and you won't have to do the heimlich.

Amy Morton said...

It was Mike Miller who went to NOLA after Katrina and kicked some corporate you-know-what in order to get the Feds to allow local workers and craftmen to do repair work rather than contracting out of state. So, I like Mike.

Isn't it Spitzer who came up with the idea of given illegal immigrants a drivers license in NY? You know, the question HRC struggled with in the last debate?

Vic said...

I don't know no Nola or HRC. But i do know some mid-ga contractors that got kicked out of post Katrina Kansas, not for lack of credentials but for lack of being born in the region.

If everyone driving in America had to have a driver's license to drive, that would be absolutley horrible. Think of all the revenue it would generate for the Automobile Insurance Industry and Cousin John's 2012 Gubenatorial war chest and for Dinners at Natalia's with Erick Estrada!!!

Amy Morton said...

How about presidential candidates who will simply take a position on an issue? The problem with Clinton's reponse was not that she gave the wrong answer-it's that she really did not respond directly. I'd like to actually hear what her opinion is on the issue. I have now heard her talk about it three times, and, alas, I still don't know what she thinks.