On September 27 in Evans, the Democratic Party and Republic Party nominees for the November 2014 General Election to the position of Representative to the United States Congress of Georgia’s 12th District, John Barrow and Rick Allen, respectively, answered questions posed by moderator Steve Crawford of the Columbia County News Times. They discussed defense spending, government surveillance, resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other issues. Continue reading
Updated Sep 30: A video recording of the debate is available on YouTube, courtesy of Alan Wood of Georgia Macon Watch.
Updated Sep 29: I submitted a column to the Urban Pro Weekly, and the sources I used are at the bottom:
This is a low res vid you can download directly.
Sources used in the Urban Pro Weekly column.
- GOP ‘alternative’ to ObamaCare is an empty bill by Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Dec 19, 2013
- Tom Price (GA-6): Price Health Care Bill Saves $2.35 Trillion, December 5, 2013
- Christ Community Health Services receives funds under the Affordable Care Act: Grants allow clinics to do more primary care by Tom Corwin, Augusta Chronicle, September 12, 2014
- U.S. Foreign Assistance to Mexico – Foreign aid is part of the solution to the Central American border crisis by Zach Silberman, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition website, August 8, 2014
- American Civil Liberties Union, The 10 Big Problems with E-Verify, May 3, 2013
Georgia District 12 Representative John Barrow met with constituents at the Columbia County Library on February 23, 2013. This is an unofficial recording of the Q&A.
I hope to make some comments on this later. While I disagree with John Barrow’s comments on guns, immigration and health care, I thank him for meeting with the constituents and explaining some things about how the government works and details of the administration of policies. At the end of the recording, it is I thanking him for this.
I’ve already voted for John Barrow because he is less evil than Lee Anderson, his Republican opponent for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia District 12. I explained my position on voting in a previous blog entry, Should I Bother to Vote?.
If Anderson wins, it’s a catastrophe. If Barrow wins, we must recognize that his victory is still a disaster for the people of District 12. Part of the reason is that Barrow’s own rhetoric to win his campaign means that his opponent in the next election cycle will become even more reactionary, and Barrow will have to vote in the next two years to match the reactionary district he’s helping to shape.
What broke the camel’s back for me was a Barrow ad I saw last night on TV entitled Good News.
Note the common reactionary themes: Arts and science are a waste of money. The budget deficit is caused by “waste”, not explicit political choices such as tax cuts for the wealthy or military spending to maintain our empire or refusing to lower health care costs through adoption of a single-payer system. If Governor Palin or Representative Bachman or Senator Santorum or any of the pantheon of Republican buffoons whom liberals love to lampoon produced this ad, it’d be the stuff of late-night comedy shows.
A particularly hypocritical line in this ad is that Georgia taxpayers should not pay for New York City’s ballet. The largest city in the 12th District of Georgia, my home town Augusta, is firmly attached to the federal and state governments’ teats. Our economy depends on Fort Gordon, the Savannah River Site, Plant Vogtle and Georgia Health Sciences University. Needless to say, I believe New York taxpayers are sending to Georgia many times the amount of money Georgia taxpayers send to New York.
So while the district may elect a Democrat, it’s representative will vote like a reactionary and the rhetoric of the election adds to the district’s reactionary drift.
Finally, why does he affect a folksy accent in his ads? It’s damn condescending.
Yes, yes, yes.
Let’s start off with the mechanics of voting. If transportation or health or schedule or laziness is a problem, use an absentee ballot. I sent off for my absentee ballot yesterday, and I also requested them for my parents.
Now let’s talk about whether voting does any good. I’d say I’m in line with Professor Noam Chomsky says on this.
Assuming that Georgia is not in doubt for the Presidential election, I’ll write in Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala. If Georgia is close and Georgia’s electoral votes matter, I’d vote for Obama/Biden.
When I don’t know anything about a position or the candidates, I vote for the Democrat, i.e. Evita Paschall for D.A.
For voters who support the Libertarian Party, there are several Libertarian candidates.
If I am proactive, I will learn about the position of Columbia County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor and the 3 candidates running for the three positions. Obviously, this means that, mathematically, your vote cannot make a difference in who gets elected. But, let’s say you discover that two candidates are qualified and one is not. You can vote for the two and not vote for the third and/or write-in “Not John Doe” or “Bugs Bunny” or the name of the person you think is qualified. Then you can find out the next time the office is up for election and try to do something about it.
Finally, there are two statewide proposed constitutional amendments and one county referendum. If you don’t know anything about the issue, vote no, since it could have only gotten on the ballot if our current politicians approved it. I’m voting against allowing the state to override local school boards in charter school approval. For the issues I don’t know anything about, I use social media and e-mail knowledgeable friends to find out.
I also vote to honor those people who suffered so that I could vote.
Now all this is assuming that a person can overcome couch inertia. The other litmus test for those who don’t vote out of principle is the extent of their activities. Do you attend demonstrations for causes you support? Do you donate money or time to help advocacy organizations? If you’re not doing that, then don’t tell me you’re not voting out of some principle.
Listen to the Chomsky interview. It really covers this topic well.
P.S. I’ve voting NO on Amendment 2.
P.P.S. If you still don’t know how to vote, vote opposite of every Augusta Chronicle Editorial Page endorsement.
P.P.P.S. If you don’t vote in every election, people who seek to suppress voting may succeed in suppressing your right to vote. Support measures which may provide voters with better choices.