Monica Potts

Monica Potts is a freelance writer, and former staff member of The American Prospect. A fellow with the New America Foundation Asset Building Program, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. She also blogs at PostBourgie.

Recent Articles

Talking Taxes in Connecticut

The state's current governor, Dannel Malloy, has taken it upon himself to make Connecticut's taxes more progressive.

The state's current governor, Dannel Malloy, has taken it upon himself to make Connecticut's taxes more progressive.
There are two Connecticuts. One is made up of port cities and working-class burgs so decimated by deindustrialization they could be mistaken for parts of the Rust Belt. The other is the one that more commonly springs to mind: the old-money land of yachts, weekend homes, luxury cars, and faux-quaint small towns. In the battle for resources, the old money (or just plain big money) usually wins. The state didn't have an income tax at all until 1991, when one-term Gov. Lowell Weicker fulfilled a campaign promise by establishing one. But even that tax provided a loophole for wealthy denizens of the state's southwestern corner, from which many residents commute to banking and other high-paying jobs in New York City. So, it may seem surprising that Connecticut's current governor, Dannel Malloy, has taken it upon himself to make the state's taxes more progressive. As mayor for 14 years of the suburban city of Stamford in the wealthiest corner of lower Fairfield County, home to some of the...

Ever the Accused

Few cases start off as clear-cut as the one against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the newly resigned International Monetary Fund chief who is now facing rape charges in Manhattan. A cleaning woman told police that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her when she walked into his hotel suite at Sofitel New York on the afternoon of May 14. She fled and told fellow employees, who called 911. But the clarity was quickly muddied. Strauss-Kahn's attorney indicated that his client would claim any sex act was consensual. The press began to question the accuser's honesty: Strauss-Kahn, who was the front-runner for the Socialist Party's nomination for president in his home country of France, floated the idea that there was a plot to bring him down, and the press here and in France happily ran with it. Indeed, the French treated the whole case with a dismissive attitude. Jack Lang, former French President Francois Mitterrand's minister of culture, called it "overblown": "Really, nobody died in that hotel...

A Change in the Pecking Order

The Department of Justice's lawsuit against a Shenandoah Valley chicken company fulfills half a government promise.

Adult chickens at a farm in Missoula, Montana. Flickr/Katie Brady.
Mike Weaver, a chicken farmer who runs a local farmers' association in West Virginia, knows about 120 chicken farmers in the Shenandoah Valley who could lose their farms. Earlier this month, the Big Ag company they contract with, Tyson, sold its chicken processing-plant to George's Family Farms, Incorporated, bringing the number of chicken processing plants there down from three to two. To smooth the deal, George's offered an extended contract to all of Tyson's farmers, but the sale leaves George's with control over nearly half the area's chicken market. Six months from now, George's could decide to slash costs and sever contracts with farmers. It could cut farmers' pay, demand higher productivity, or change the terms of the contracts. Since George's is now one of only two plants in the valley, and the other, Pilgrim's Pride in West Virginia, is operating at full capacity, the farmers would be out of luck. That scenario is what prompted the Department of Justice to file an antitrust...

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead; Obama Addresses Nation

President: "Justice has been done."

Tonight, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. troops killed Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan. Addressing the nation at a last-minute press conference, Obama reminded the country that he had made it a priority to capture or kill bin Laden, "a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of men, women, and children." Obama said he had first received intelligence on bin Laden's location in August and last week had determined that there was enough information to take action. Today, troops went into the compound, and bin Laden died in a firefight. The United States took custody of his body. Catching bin Laden was, of course, the rallying cry that took us to Afghanistan. The nation's fear led us, with scant evidence, into an extended war in Iraq. Ten years after the attacks and eight years to the day after Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, the president scorned by Bush's supporters accomplished at least one goal in the"war on terror." Sometimes it seems...

Where Are Religious Conservatives When You Need Them?

Religious conservatives profess to care about the poor, but when the poor need help most, they're nowhere in sight.

(Former Congressman Tony Hall/The Alliance to End Hunger)
In 1993, when Tony Hall was serving as a congressman from Ohio, he fasted for 22 days to protest the elimination of the House Select Committee on Hunger. That effort led to the establishment of the Congressional Hunger Center, an advocacy organization that educates members of Congress on hunger issues, and an increase in aid to the United Nations World Food Programme. So, when Republicans began threatening to cut $32 billion from the federal budget, with the cuts hitting anti-poverty programs the hardest, Hall decided to fast again. Hall is now executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger, a nonprofit anti-hunger advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. The group and its parent organization, Bread for the World, are leading a fast that includes about 4,000 people to bring attention to the plight of poor and working-class families struggling during the continuing economic downturn. Hall has committed to fast on a liquid-only diet for as long as the budget fight continues...