The Times invited chairmen of the Hall County Democratic and Republican parties to make a case for their slate of candidates in Tuesday’s election. Read commentary from Republican Chairman Kris Yardley HERE.
By the close of the polls on Tuesday, voters in Hall County will have helped to elect candidates to public office across the state of Georgia.
Our country is desperately in need of public servants, not career politicians. The responsibility of anyone serving in public office is to enact legislation designed to solve problems faced by the citizens, maintain public safety and ensure the ability of citizens to prosper.
Our state and country face many challenges. On a national level, these include decisions that must be made on foreign policy, immigration, public education, economic policy, national defense, health care and environmental issues.
In Georgia, pressing problems include the economy, health care issues, public education, unemployment, environmental concerns, immigration and racial equality.
The voters in Georgia need to consider carefully when choosing candidates who will address these issues. When campaigning for office, Republican candidates rarely propose solutions to problems. More often than not, they discuss what they think is wrong with solutions proposed by Democratic Party candidates.
Compare campaign finance information for Georgia Republican Party candidates with Democratic Party candidates, and you find that Republican campaigns are extravagantly funded compared to Democratic candidates. The campaigns of many Georgia Republican Party candidates are funded by donors and organizations from outside the state.
The website opensecrets.org reports that since 1989 the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat has collected 51 percent of his campaign donations from Political Action Committees. This represents more than $350,000. What access and consideration will that candidate provide to those donors, should he be elected?
Perhaps the most fundamental disagreement possible between parties is over control of OUR government. The debate over the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United makes it clear that Republicans favor control by corporations and moneyed interests while Democrats favor control by ordinary citizens.
Citizens United is the decision that says that, if you’re on the board of directors of a corporation, you can spend as much as you want on elections. You can spend as much of your stockholders’ money as you want on elections, and you don’t even have to tell them about it. You can even be on the board of directors of the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign corporation and still spend as much as you want on American elections.
Democrats in the Senate recently tried to pass a Constitutional amendment proposal that would allow Congress to get the money out of politics. Voting strictly along party lines, Republicans prevented the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill.
The excess of out-of-state spending on our elections is easily seen in the 9th District. As stated earlier, the Republican candidate has received 51 percent of his funding from PACs. The Democrat has received 5 percent of his modest funding from a PAC.
The 2014 Georgia Democratic Party slate of candidates is made up of people with extensive practical experience in the areas for which they will be responsible when elected. They will act as public servants, and avoid letting outside interests influence their problem solving and decision making.
Hall County voters will serve themselves well by electing Democrats to administer OUR government so that it functions well for us.
Frank Lock is chairman of the Hall County Democrats.