Take the Fight to the Progressives and the Enemies Within!
• Party – Democrat
• State – Maryland
• Location – Maryland Senate
• First Elected – 1987
• Candidates in 2014: None
Barbara Mikulski is the Senior Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Maryland.
Growing up in the Highlandtown neighborhood of East Baltimore, Mikulski trained as a social worker, earning her Bachelor’s Degree at Mount St. Agnes College in Baltimore and then continuing her studies at the University of Maryland. She graduated in 1965 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work.
Mikulski first worked for the Associated Catholic Charities and then the Baltimore Department of Social Services. By 1966, she was an Assistant Chief of Community Organizing for the City Social Services Department.
Mikulski expressed many of her concerns in an essay entitled, “Who Speaks for Ethnic America?” for the New York Times in September of 1970. Ethnic immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the century, she wrote, “Constructed the skyscrapers, operated the railroads, worked on the docks, factories, steel mills and in the mines. Though our labor was in demand, we were not accepted. Our names, language, food and cultural customers were the subject of ridicule. We were discriminated against by banks, institutions of higher learning and other organizations controlled by the Yankee Patricians. There were no protective mechanisms for safety, wages and tenure.” Mikulski maintained that it was smarter for these groups to organize than to fight, “to form an alliance based on mutual issues, interdependence and respect.”
Mikulski got her start in politics in 1968 with the organization of a coalition of black, Polish, Greek, Lithuanian and Ukrainian Americans to block construction of a 16-lane highway that would have destroyed areas of East Baltimore. Called SCAR (Southeast Council Against the Road), the neighborhood group fought against an entrenched Democratic political organization at City Hall that supported the highway project. Despite the strength of the opposition, SCAR, led by Mikulski, was successful in blocking the highway proposal.
Mikulski’s first election was a successful run for Baltimore City Council in 1971, where she served for 5 years. In 1976, she ran for Congress and won, representing Maryland’s 3rd District for 10 years. In 1986, she ran for the Senate and won, becoming the first Democratic woman Senator elected in her own right. She was re-elected with large majorities in 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010.
A leader in the Senate, Mikulski is the Dean of the Women – serving as a mentor to other women Senators when they first take office.
Mikulski is the first Marylander and the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Committee’s role is defined by the U.S. Constitution, which requires “appropriations made by law” prior to the expenditure of any money from the Federal Treasury. The Committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to the numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis.
She is also the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. The CJS Subcommittee oversees funding for several key federal departments, agencies and programs, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of Census, the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Mikulski also serves on the following Appropriations Subcommittees which are tasked with drafting legislation to allocate funds to government agencies within their jurisdictions. These Subcommittees are responsible for reviewing the President’s budget requests, hearing testimony from government officials and drafting the spending plans for the coming fiscal year: the Subcommittee on Defense, the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
She is a senior member of the HELP Committee, which oversees issues such as education, labor, health care for seniors, long-term care, women’s health, services for seniors including social, nutritional, information and referrals, individuals with disabilities and Social Security. This includes the Subcommittee on Children and Families and the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.
Finally, Mikulski is a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees all intelligence activities of the United States government. The panel monitors the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other U.S. intelligence operations “in order to safeguard American interests abroad.”
Barbara Mikulski has a long history with Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC)/Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
More than 1,200 people attended the DSOC-initiated Democratic Agenda conference held on November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on “corporate power” as the key barrier to “economic and political democracy,” concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as “socialism.”
The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading up to the July 1980, Democratic National Convention in New York.
The opening speaker was U.S. Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who set the stage for the DA conference with the proclamation, “I come to you with a message of hype – hope – well, it is hype.” The Baltimore Congresswoman proceeded with a speech that was a collection of slogans such as “change comes from the bottom!” and “people power!” which were “received with warm applause.”
“Knows About DSOC”
Nancy Lieber, International Committee Chair of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, wrote a June 30, 1981 letter to Danielle Page, a staffer for Canadian Member of Parliament, Ian Waddell:
Dear Danielle Page,
I’m sending along a list of Congress people and senators who know about us, democratic socialism, and — perhaps Canada.
Only the first one is an open socialist, but the others are sympathetic in varying degrees.
The list was:
• Congressman Ron Dellums (a member of Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee/Democratic Socialists of America)
• Congressman Byron Dorgan (later a U.S. Senator for North Dakota)
• Congressman Steven Solarz (D-NY)
• Congressman Ted Weiss (D-NY)
• Congressman Barney Frank (D-NY)
• Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA)
• Congressman Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI)
• Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)
• Congressman Harold Washington (later Democratic Socialists of America affiliated Mayor of Chicago)
• Congressman David Obey (D-WI)
• Congressman Les Aspin (later Clinton Secretary of Defense)
• Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski
• Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Hope this is of help and you recruit them to the cause!
Chair, Intl. Committee
Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski was invited as a speaker to the DSOC organized Democratic Agenda conference, scheduled for 1982 in Newark, New Jersey. Other invited speakers included New York City Councilor Ruth Messinger, SEIU President John Sweeney, Coalition of Labor Union Women President Joyce Miller and Americans for Democratic Action President Robert Drinan.
Homage to Harrington
In 1988, 600 activists gathered in the Roseland Hotel in New York to pay homage to Democratic Socialists of America leader Michael Harrington, then age 60 and undergoing treatment for cancer.
Co-Chairs of the event were DSA members William Winpisinger, Gloria Steinem, Jack Sheinkman and Stanley Sheinbaum.
Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski was listed among the prominent attendees.
Working with Pappas
Dean Pappas is a Baltimore activist whose strong antiwar views were formed during the Vietnam War era, when he stood, often shoulder to shoulder, with the late Philip Berrigan, the “Dissenter Emeritus,” in “opposing the evils of the American Empire.” Pappas said: “I have actually known [Sen.] Barbara Mikulski for over 40 years. We worked together. I was really proud of what she did in standing up to U.S. imperialism in Central America.”
Pappas was, for many years, a leading Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America activist.
Foreign Policy/National Security
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The anti-U.S. military Council for a Livable World supported Barbara Mikulski in her successful Senate run as candidate for Maryland.
Tour to Nicaragua
In January 1981, three Congressional Democrats (all connected to DSA), Gerry Studds of Massachusetts, Bob Edgar of Pennsylvania and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, toured Nicaragua and met with Sandinista leaders.
A follow-up report by Studds claimed that the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista’s main “accomplishment has been to create within Nicaragua a universal commitment to social equity, and a concern for the country’s multitude of poor, ill clothed, ill fed and sick people. There is a fully shared sense that the revolution is necessary and just.”
After her February 1981 visit to Nicaragua and other countries in Central America, Mikulski “provided further evidence of atrocities committed by right-wing forces.”
Mikulski reported that, “In each and every conversation [with Salvadoran civilian refugees], it was verified that the military aid from the United States was aiding and abetting the killing and torture of innocent people.”
Mikulski, took the communist propaganda line so far that she even claimed that children were used as target practice, “and macheted up to be eaten by dogs” and “rape is used as a systematic form of social control.” She also said terrorists “disemwombed” pregnant women.
Opposed Aid to El Salvador
On February 6, 1990, Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry introduced a Bill to cut off all aid to El Salvador for its fight against communist guerillas, just a few days after EI Salvador’s President Cristiani had come to Washington to discuss the need for such support.
This bill was backed by four other far left Democratic Senators: Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Paul Simon of Illinois, Alan Cranston of California and Brock Adams of Washington State.
The Senators and Congressmen who voted against providing aid to the government of El Salvador were effectively handicapping the democratically-elected government in that area and paralleling the Communist Party line of the time.
The Communist Party USA newspaper, the People’s Daily World of January 30, 1990, stated:
Last weekend’s meeting of the Communist Party, USA resolved to Mobilize to build the March 24 demonstration in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to military aid to El Salvador and intervention in Central America.
This research is part of KeyWiki.org’s ongoing efforts to expose Progressives throughout our political system. Funding for KeyWiki furthers our efforts to bring true transparency to American politics and hold our leaders responsible for their past actions. Donations can be made at Trevor Loudon’s site: New Zeal – http://www.trevorloudon.com/. More information on the Enemies Within can be found in Trevor Loudon’s latest book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” Trevor’s books can be purchased at http://www.pacificfreedomfoundation.com.
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