Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ford Fighting For Tennessee; Republicans...Not So Much

As demonstrated by their latest attack on Congressman Ford, the Republicans are desperate to divert attention from their own shortcomings.

But honestly, who can blame them?

Their House Majority Leader has been indicted. A key member of the White House staff has been indicted. Their Senate Majority Leader is under investigation by the SEC. One of their Supreme Court nominees flopped. And who could forget their catastrophic failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? The list of dysfunction just keeps on going.

However, their dysfunction is not the only problem that they face in this Senate race.

It is becoming more and more evident with each passing day that the Republicans have no vision or new ideas to put forth in this campaign. They have demonstrated that they would rather sit back and issue baseless attack after baseless attack and fight over fundraising, polls, and who is more conservative out of the three, rather than actually putting forth ideas and inititaves that could benefit our state and nation.

For example, where does Ed Bryant, Van Hilleary, and Bob Corker stand on the war in Iraq? How about education? Energy independence? Job creation? Disaster preparedness? Fiscal responsibility?

These are all important issues that the people of Tennessee care about, but ones Bryant, Hilleary, and Corker do not care to address.

Congressman Ford on the other hand is a man of the issues.

For example, in June, Congressman Ford released a letter to the President upon returning from Iraq to give him a personal assessment of how things are going in Iraq. Then in July, the Congressman laid out his own plan for what should be done in Iraq, calling for new ideas and new strategies to ensure success. Since that time, he has been steadfast in his efforts to make sure our nation is successful in its efforts in Iraq.

Another issue in which the Congressman has been proactive in is education. Back in July, Ford released a comprehensive education plan entitled the "21st Century Education Plan." The plan carefully details the steps the government must take in order to get our education system on track and for the United States to once again compete globally with countries such as India and China.

Also in July, Congressman Ford passed legislation that would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, while increasing the use of conservation through the production of hybrid and advanced diesel vehicles. Ford also wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist encouraging him to support America's independce from foreign oil by supporting incentives for hybrid automobile production and use in the energy bill.

In August, Ford released a television ad that laid out key initiatives that he believes will help the American workforce compete better in the global community. They included having a better educational system (read the Congressman's education plan), on the job re-training, fair trade policies (read the Congressman's comments on CAFTA), and supporting small businesses. Also in the ad, Ford eluded that it will take a joint effort by government and business to get a grip on America's economic future and to make "America work, and keep Americans working."

Congressman Ford has also stepped up to the plate and took the lead on the issue of disaster preparedness in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Congressman made sure the local, state, and federal governments all had joint response plans in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. He then took his efforts to Congress where he succeed in helping obtain $20 million for disaster response planning.

Another issue in which Ford has been proactive in is fiscal responsibility. The Congressman has proposed that we balance the budget, pass a constitutional amendment to do so, and also look at every spending decision Congress has made in the last 2-3 years for potential areas to cut to reduce the deficit.

Harold Ford Jr. has also taken the lead on other important issues such as saving the 118th Air Lift Wing, relieving the pain at the pump, and childhood savings accounts.

Demonstrated by both his words and actions, Congressman Ford had made it abundantly clear that he cares about the critical issues that face our state and nation.

Simply put, he has demonstrated the leadership worthy of a U.S. Senator.

Lets make sure we give Congressman Harold Ford Jr. the opportunity to make Tennessee as proud of him as he is proud of Tennessee.