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Congressional candidate comes to the mountains

September 12, 2010

By Holly Meyer, Staff Writer

Georgia congressional candidate Russell Edwards for the U.S. congress, was invited to the home of Louisa Franklin, director of the Academic Success Center and professor of English  on Thursday night. It was a small gathering consisting of Louisa, her husband and a few of their close friends. They discussed some of the issues that Edwards will be addressing if he win the election against his opposing candidate Republican Paul Broun Jr.

One of the first things mentioned was the lack of involvement that Young Harris College students have in an active democratic party on campus.

Jo Bearse, a local resident of  Young Harris for over 50 years believes that this is because most of the students at Young Harris are either of the republican party or do not have interest in political issues. The area is highly conservative, which may also contribute to the uneven balance of Republicans vs. Democrats. Bearse showed concern that not enough of the younger population is encouraged to make their own decisions about what their own views are on politics and what issues are important to them.

“I know when I was 18 I didn’t have a clue what I believed,” said Bearse.

Another issue that was discussed was the possibility of an interstate exit being brought closer to the Young Harris area. Edwards’vote for the matter is “nay” to the potential interstate exit.

“The beauty of this land should be preserved for the generations,” said Edwards.

“There wouldn’t be  mountains anymore,” said Bearse.

“It would become a land of cheap motels and mini-marts,” added Franklin.

Also discussed were what Edwards believes to be the main issues in the upcoming political race.

“The main issues in this race are: how we can create jobs for those in our community and ensure that our children are getting good education,” said Edwards.

Edwards also stated that an important issue he wants to address in congress is the loss of funding to the school systems, and the amount of jobs lost to teachers, firefighters, policeman and other government employees, that now do not have enough money to put food on the table.

Knowing the issues that Georgia citizens are facing, Edwards expressed his opinion that Broun would not be the most suitable candidate for the position of congressman for the state of Georgia.

He explains that Broun once owned a small chain of banks, which due to poor management,required a special interest bail-out from the government. However, before the banks were forced to close, Broun made a statement that he was against government bail-outs.

This coupled with his intentions to repeal parts of the 14th amendment, which guarantees birth-right citizenship, Broun also feels that .Broun indirectly influences hate crimes, and paranoia.

Edwards remembers a quote of Broun’s that says, “We have domestic enemies of the Constitution,” Broun said.

“I find it appalling that our own congressman is saying things like this,” said Edwards.

Edwards also feels that, the media also has a big influence on what the people see and learn of the congressional candidates. He finds that media can be somewhat biased to a particular political party, and will besmirch the names and careers of the party they are not corporately funded by. Edwards and guests feel that on a local level, newspapers in the area do not cover much of the political happenings in the state of Georgia, and that could be a contributing factor to why so many people are oblivious to what is going on in their government.

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