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What’s the matter with Georgia?


There was a whole lot of inaugural celebrating in D.C. – Balls and all!

The question is: What have we got to celebrate on the state level given the re-election of Republican congressmen here in Georgia?

Saxby Chambliss won once again in spite of whistleblower reports of election fraud in the previous election against Max Cleland. Word has it that a Diebold computer expert was hired to add a device to computers in heavily populated Atlanta areas to fix the vote.

Even if Chambliss supporters happened to miss the news of election fraud, there was still plenty to question over the blatant smear tactics used against Max, a paraplegic war veteran, even associating him with terrorism and Osama bin Laden.

Chambliss’ smear campaign continued in this recent election, too, with more vicious lies spread about Jim Martin. Jim was attacked over his treatment of children. Yet more shameless smearing by Saxby since Jim has a stellar reputation as a social worker.

Chambliss has announced his re-election based on Georgians wanting a “balanced” government. How ironic coming from someone as unbalanced and unfair as Saxby “Shameless” Chambliss.

Then there’s “way-over-term-limit” Jack Kingston: he won handily in spite of his consistently voting against the middle class. Kingston solidly aligned himself with ex-president (and thank God for “ex” finally) Bush, the most unpopular president in our history.

(Note: for those who still support Bush on the grounds of keeping America safe from terrorism for 8 years, let’s not forget that 9/11 happened on his watch.)

I wish Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?, would follow up that study on Kansans voting Republican against their best interests with a book on Georgians falling into the same trap. Maybe it’s the pro-life issue. Or the “anti-liberal Democrat” mindset. Or Dixiecrats joining up with the country club crowd.

Whatever the basis for Georgians’ vote shifting from Democrat to Republican, save for the Atlanta/Savannah urban vote, it certainly is discouraging to be left with the likes of Chambliss, Isakson and Kingston to voice concerns to, especially if you’re a progressive. Letter writing and calling in to such conservatives are exercises in futility.

So there’s not much to celebrate politically on the local level here in Georgia. Those who rushed out to vote for Obama should learn from this that it’s important to vote not just for the top candidate but also for others on the Democratic ticket. Some poll workers told me that quite a few people were in and out of the voting booths, apparently only voting for one candidate.

If enough voters finally wake up to the fact that they need to support candidates who in turn support the majority of people, not those determined to cater to the wealthy elite in order to make themselves in turn wealthy, then we would have cause for celebration, not just on the national but also on the local level.

William Strong

What’s the matter with Wayne?


In response to Wayne Conley’s “words of enlightenment” in last week’s letters, concerning George Bush and how the world needs him now more than ever:


Wayne Conley probably loves Jesus even though He was a “peace-loving nut”.

Also, where can I find these “books not written by history-changers”? I’m sure they’re very entertaining.

Seriously, though, I thought your letter was spectaculous.

Anthony Nelligan


A congressman gave me a hand up. After finishing the ninth grade I quit school, I was in and out of jail and had a serious drug problem. On top of that I was in an auto accident that left one person dead and myself permanently disabled.

Because of the extent of my injuries no charges were filed against me. I lived off disability for about four years but I knew that if I did not make a change my chances of living the American dream were over.

I asked the government for help to go back to school but because of my past I was turned down. In fact my case worker told me to just live off disability and I should be glad I was getting that.

One Sunday I read an article about Senator Jesse Helms in the local paper. I decided to make the four hour drive to his home.I knocked on his door at about 8:30 that night. I expected him to slam the door in my face instead his wife invited me in.

I told him my story and asked for help. His secretary contacted me the next day and said he would help me if I promised not to waste any help he could arrange. I was then given the funds to attend school.

That two years of community college has resulted in me owning my own business. My income is in the top ninety percent of Americans, I am married and have three children.

I recently wrote two books,one titled A Life Worth Saving an autobiography. I use the profit from these books to donate books to prisons and halfway houses. So far I have donated books to all the prisons in Florida and I am now working on the state of North Carolina.

Senator Helms has passed away but I would like to meet one of his children and give them a copy of my book.

Leonard Schmitt