Last week, the Edwardses received some high profile press. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., was on the cover of Men’s Vogue, and his wife Elizabeth was profiled in Vogue. The two also appeared on Monday’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Leno focused on Elizabeth’s continued fight with cancer and highlighted the couple’s split on gay marriage: she’s in favor, he won’t go that far
John Edwards returned to his “two Americas” theme June 21 in a speech at New York’s Cooper Union. He laid out a series of policy steps he would take if elected to reduce debt in the middle and lower classes. His major policy points included:
— creating a Family Savings and Credit Commission to review all financial services products marketed to families, from mortgages to $30 bank overdraft charges. It is meant to ensure that terms are reasonable and fairly disclosed and to oversee all types of financial institutions, whether chartered under federal or state law. To reduce excess regulatory bureaucracy, Edwards said he would eliminate the Office of Thrift Supervision.
— developing a law, the Borrowers’ Security Act, to require credit card companies to disclose the true cost of making only minimum payments, restore a 10-day grace period before imposing late fees and penalty rates, apply interest rate increases to future balances only, and end the practice of universal default, where a creditor can change borrowers’ terms based on their debt and payments to other creditors.
— helping nonprofits and states administer low- or no-interest emergency loans directly to taxpayers. States could choose to use state tax refunds as collateral. Because neighbors have a stake in one another, Edwards said he would help community groups establish local revolving loan funds.
— creating “work bonds” to help low-income workers save up to $500 a year by subsidizing banks to offer free savings accounts to the nearly 28 million Americans without them, giving them a way to save and avoid exorbitant check-cashing fees. He said he would give taxpayers the option of directly depositing their tax refunds into a retirement account.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth Edwards made a surprise call into “Hardball with Chris Matthews” to challenge right-wing political commentator Anne Coulter to stop personal attacks.
John Edwards plans to hold a “Small Change” fund raiser at Goode’s Armadillo Place in Houston on Wednesday, during which supporters can throw “Party for Change” events across the country. Thursday, he intends to participate in the All American Presidential Forum at Howard University, moderated by Tavis Smiley on PBS.
Elizabeth Edwards plans to hold a Small Change event in Lexington, Ky., on Friday. John Edwards then heads to Tampa, Fla. on Saturday for a Small Change event at Saunders Pavilion. And on Sunday at 2 p.m., John plans to speak before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Annual Conference. Last week, an angry group of Venezuelan-Americans sent a letter chiding Edwards for campaigning with Danny Glover, who has supported Venezuelan leftist leader Hugo Chavez. “We are saddened by the fact that you have proudly showed yourself, in the same manner Mr. Chavez showed himself next to Mr. Glover, as if both of you were holding a trophy,” they wrote.
Edwards also launched his “first TV ad in New Hampshire.