Delaware's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Coons is backing a moratorium on foreclosures, joining a growing number of national Democrats calling for a freeze.
"We've got almost 3,000 Delawarians facing foreclosure, and as someone who's had personal experience with the difficulty, the pain, the dislocation of losing a home, we need to make sure the process is as fair and as transparent as possible," he told The Huffington Post in an interview on Thursday.
"I support a national month-long moratorium in the foreclosure process, so we can assess how broad the problem is, how deep the problem is, and make sure that we're protecting our markets and protecting the process. ... We need to make sure the foreclosure process is fair and that the banks aren't inappropriately or without cause foreclosing on people," Coons added.
The issue of a foreclosure moratorium or investigations is something that national Democrats have been tackling aggressively, with lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Reps. Alan Grayson (Fla.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Fla.), and John Conyers (Mich.), among others, calling for a moratorium. But as The Huffington Post has reported, Republican lawmakers have largely stayed silent on the issue, with the exception of a few, such as Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.). The Obama administration is also opposed to a moratorium and facing increasing heat from progressives.
Support for investigations and/or a moratorium have been much more bipartisan on the state level, with all 50 attorneys general joining together in a coordinated effort to investigate mortgage fraud. The issue has begun making waves on the campaign trail, with several Democratic candidates speaking out.
Coons wasn't ready to commit to joining a theoretical Progressive Caucus in the Senate, which Illinois' Alexi Giannoulias has said he would like to create if he goes to Washington. Coons said that he considers himself "solidly progressive" on many issues, adding, "I think that folks would consider me strongly in the progressive tradition in my position on civil rights, and tolerance, diversity, and inclusion." But without having a firmer idea of what a progressive caucus would be, he wasn't ready to give a definitive answer.
In Wednesday night's debate with Republican Christine O'Donnell, Coons said he strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. "Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and in politics, it is best for us to disclose as fully and as broadly as possible, who is making contributions," he said. When asked by The Huffington Post on Thursday whether he would be open to public financing of campaigns, Coons indicated an openness to exploring other options.
"I think if we can find a way to provide an alternative mechanism for financing campaigns at the state level or the federal that's fair, that's transparent, that levels the playing field between folks with access to lots of resources and folks that are strong candidates but don't want to spend all their time chasing money -- that would be a good thing and that would move our politics forward," said Coons.
Tuesday night's debate was the first face-off between Coons and O'Donnell, but it wasn't supposed to be. Delaware's federal candidates met for an hour-long forum on health care at a major hospital in the state on Wednesday, but O'Donnell did not show up because her staff was reportedly "not aware of the invitation to participate." "[I]t was an interesting conversation debating health care largely with myself," Coons said.
Coons and O'Donnell met for a second debate Thursday afternoon, and they now have three more scheduled before the election.
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