July 17, 2007, the date of the run-off election for the 10th Congressional District seat of the deceased Charlie Norwood, is almost on us. Which of the two candidates should we vote for? Jim Whitehead of the Augusta area, or Paul Broun of the Athens area?
Two reporters writing in The Chronicle have stated the two candidates have claimed virtually identical positions on most issues. On only one, to me, extremely important issue have they not been so forthright. This is the issue of returning at least a major portion of illegal aliens to their homelands.
Broun seemingly has said nothing. Whitehead, on the other hand, in the Athens Banner-Herald was quoted by The Chronicle's City Ink column (May 20) as saying "First of all, I do support aliens or having immigrants in here. We need them. We need them for our people. Shipping them back is not the answer." I'm still waiting for him to tell us what is The Answer. I now wonder if he hopes to permit this statement to be forgotten, before the runoff.
Broun, if he has said anything about the subject (which I doubt), I have yet to see it publicized. If his position remains unchanged, are we "buying a pig-in-a-poke" if we vote for him?
So there we are! Who should Columbia County vote for? Place of residence or claimed long-term friendship with the deceased Norwood seems a mighty poor basis for a vote! But telling the voters nothing about your position on returning illegal aliens back home certainly is no better. Maybe worse?
Up to now I have been under the impression the proposed move or at least addition to the Medical College of Georgia at Athens rather than Augusta is strictly a matter for state determination. Therefore I was more than a little surprised to see in a Chronicle article that Whitehead seems to be inserting the federal government's 10th District as an active participant in this decision. One of Whitehead's four items of importance to Augusta is MCG.
Among other things quoted in the article is, "... plans for a satellite medical school campus at the University of Georgia has been a wake-up call." I've assumed some federal funding will be used to build whatever additions are made, but I still believe state not federal legislators will be the location decision-makers.
I believe, if he has any sense at all, the new 10th District representative will be attentive to the desires of Columbia County voters because, if I'm correct, we are the largest and strongest Republican voting bloc in the district. A congressman, representing this district, wherever he resides, would be a fool to slight Columbia County's desires for the benefit of a smaller voting bloc in the district. He most probably would find himself in his final, or only, term in office after such a risky act.
Columbia County needs both candidates to spell out in detail their straight-forward promises on returning many if not all illegal aliens to their homes. And maybe how, if at all, Norwood's successor will influence the location of any expansion of the Medical College of Georgia.
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