Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Warner Says Senate Candidate Ford Is The Bolder Choice

At a Monday afternoon campaign stop for U.S. Senate hopeful Harold Ford Jr., a playful Head Start preschooler inside the V.O. Dobbins Center dangled a toy snake in front of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and shouted "Hey, want to come over here?"

Warner's short playtime with the preschooler happened while he was in the region to ask Tennesseans to come over to Ford's Senate candidacy.

The first leg of Ford's "New Generation of Leadership" bus tour culminated with talks from Warner and Ford at an Army Reserve Center rally on Stone Drive.

Tour campaign events included Ford's talk with about 450 students at Blountville Middle School, his visit to the AFG Glass Plant in Church Hill, and the two Democrats taking a spin around Bristol Motor Speedway's fabled half-mile track.

"Being here for Harold Ford Jr. was a no-brainer. ... He is a choice between partisan politics and shaking things up a bit. ... He is the bolder choice," Warner told Rotarians at a luncheon inside Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith's suite at BMS.

Warner, who is pondering a 2008 presidential bid while campaigning for Democrats, said Ford should communicate a plan about how he would make people's lives better.

"Five or six years ago, when I asked for the votes of the people of Southwest Virginia, I said I wouldn't forget this part of the state. I believe I honored that," Warner said.

But Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis indicated Warner's endorsement of Ford won't capture votes for him.

"People in Tennessee don't care what a former Virginia governor, who is known for raising taxes, has to say in Tennessee," Davis said in an e-mailed response. "Mark Warner doesn't vote here and most importantly does not share our Tennessee values. An endorsement by Mark Warner means nothing other than Harold Ford must agree with his tax-and-spend agenda."

Ford told Rotarians at BMS that he is the candidate more in favor of Congress balancing a budget.

"We've borrowed from our grandkids and great-grandkids who aren't even born yet to pay off debts we started accumulating years ago," said Ford, a congressman from Memphis. "Government is bigger than it's ever been. Middle-class people pay more of a share of their income than most millionaires do."

At the rally and at BMS, Warner insisted Tennessee needs a results-riented U.S. senator and said Ford is someone who has taken heat from both Democrats and Republicans for his views.

"In a world that's changing at Internet speed, it's not the left versus the right, but it's more of the future versus the past. We have got to be more about the future," Warner said at the rally.

In his talks, Ford said his future includes Congress debating military action in Iran and whether to pull troops out of Iraq.

"Four and a half years after 9/11, we buy more oil from the people who did harm to us and we spend more for it," Ford said at the rally. "You have to ask the basic question: Who's getting the last laugh? It's not the veterans. ... All they ask us to do is get the policy right. ... If the Iraqis don't form a government soon, I don't know how much longer we can stay."

Ford is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who isn't seeking re-election and is pondering a 2008 presidential bid.

Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, and former congressmen Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant are the main GOP challengers seeking the seat. August primary winners will face off in the November general election.

Source: Kingsport Times News

Related: Read about Congressman Ford's campaign kickoff tour!

97 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!