Maria Cantwell, MVP

By:  Eli Sanders
Source: The Stranger

All you lefties who have been holding grudges against Sen. Maria Cantwell since her Iraq war dance--check out The Nation, which last month called Cantwell the Most Valuable Senator of 2009 for her tough, nuanced, and Feingold/Sanders-esque response to the financial crisis.

Here's the glowing citation:

The Washington State Democrat, like previous honorees Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold, has always taken on complicated issues. As a tech-savvy Congresswoman in 1993, for instance, Cantwell battled to assure that new technologies were not used to secretly expand government surveillance. She has come into her own, however, as Congress has wrestled with an internecine financial crisis. In October 2008 she was one of a handful of Democrats to oppose Wall Street bailout legislation, which she identified as fiscally unsound and lacking in accountability. "I am not for...turning the keys to the Treasury over to the private sector," said Cantwell. Since then, the senator has doggedly challenged fellow Democrats--in Congress and the Obama administration--to get serious about financial services reform. She has attacked the Treasury Department for defending loopholes favored by Wall Street and declared in November that she was not sure why Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner still had his job. Cantwell condemned House Financial Services Committee "reforms" that failed to crack down on derivatives trading. And she joined Sanders in proposing to use state gambling laws to regulate the $600 trillion derivatives market. The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner calls Cantwell "the best informed and most relentless crusader" for reform of the financial system. Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission official Michael Greenberger says she is "going for the jugular" in her fight to end abuses that could cause a new financial crisis. They're both right.