Susan Jones | Morning Editor | Friday, July 23, 2004
McKinney beat five other Democrats on Tuesday, with enough votes to avoid a runoff, and as CAIR noted, she is favored to win her old seat back in November.
CAIR calls McKinney "a consistent friend of the American Muslim community and a strong advocate for issues of concern to Muslims, particularly the promotion of social justice and the defense of civil liberties."
Her pro-Palestinian views have not gone over well with Jewish voters, however.
McKinney made national headlines in October 2001 for pursuing a $10 million charitable contribution from a Saudi prince -- money intended to help victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani angrily returned the check, after Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal suggested that U.S. Middle East policy contributed to the terrorist attacks. The prince urged the U.S. to "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."
Then in March 2002, McKinney suggested the Bush administration had failed to act on prior warnings of the Sept. 11 attacks.
In an interview with a Berkeley radio station, McKinney said, "We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide? Persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war," she charged.
First elected to Congress in 1992, McKinney served five terms until her primary defeat in 2002. Although she drew heavy support from the Muslim community, she could not overcome a determined Republican bid to oust her.
Thousands of Republicans crossed over and voted for Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary, adding to Majette's considerable support from Jewish voters.
Following her defeat, McKinney vowed she'd be back, and it looks like she was right.
CAIR this week hailed McKinney's "promotion of balanced and forward-looking policies."