GOP congressman warns of U.S. welfare state

GOP congressman warns of U.S. welfare state

May 23rd, 2010 by Dan Whisenhunt and Larry Henry in Politics Local

In a conference call with 3rd Congressional District Republican candidate Robin Smith last week, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the Obama administration is attempting to "sustain a welfare state" that could make the country as financially unstable as Greece by 2015.

Rep. McCarthy, chief deputy whip for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the GOP on Tuesday will unveil to tout the party's conservative agenda, which he said includes fiscal responsibility and repealing the "Obamacare" health care reform law.

The California congressman, whose 22nd District north of Los Angeles includes the Bakersfield area, said he endorses Mrs. Smith's candidacy and called the Hixson resident a "fighter." Rep. Cantor also has endorsed Mrs. Smith.

Eleven Republicans, four Democrats and six independents are vying in the 11-county 3rd District to replace U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who is running for governor.

Pachyderm hosts 3rd District Candidate

The Hamilton County Pachyderm Club on Monday featured Republican 3rd District candidate Chuck Fleischmann.

Mr. Fleischmann, a Chattanooga attorney whose campaign has sparred with Mrs. Smith's, spoke of the Republicans as a family, and said, "It's a lot of fun to run for Congress."

He said the country "took a turn for the worse" when it elected Barack Obama president and promised to help repeal the new health care reform law.

Miller endorses Smith

On Wednesday, Mrs. Smith received the endorsement of Oak Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, according to a news release.

"Over the past several months, I have closely watched all of the candidates who are asking for our support," Ms. Miller said. "I can say without question, Robin Smith has stood apart as the lone candidate showing unwavering commitment to all 11 counties of the 3rd District."

Fleischmann comments on Tuesday PRIMARIES

Reacting to election results from around the country, Mr. Fleischmann compared himself to Rand Paul, who won the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky against a candidate backed by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I have never run for, or held, political office before, and I look forward to joining men just like Dr. Paul in Washington this November as we work to bring conservative, common-sense ideas back into our government," he said in a news release.

Kernea writes letter to Obama

Republican Rick Kernea, a former Air Force captain seeking the open 3rd District seat, wrote an open letter to President Obama on Tuesday, asking him to recognize the threat posed by "radical Islam."

"It goes without saying that Islam, as a religion, does not condone utilizing violence to advance a political ideology - so it seems prudent to label those that hold a radical set of views based on Islam as Radical Islamists to differentiate the two groups," he wrote.

He said he did not write his letter as a congressional candidate but as a "concerned citizen of the United States."

East Ridge Mayor Endorses Fleischmann

East Ridge Mayor Mike Steele has endorsed Mr. Fleischmann, according to a campaign press release.

"Chuck will work hard for Tennessee and our Tennessee values," Mr. Steele said, adding he will serve as chairman of "Mayors for Chuck."

Labor group endorses Barnes

In Georgia the AFL-CIO has endorsed Democrat Roy Barnes in the race for the governor's office.

Richard Ray, Georgia AFL-CIO president, said the organization is "proud" to support Mr. Barnes.

"We are confident that he can bring prosperity and jobs back to Georgia," Mr. Ray said.

Mr. Barnes, a 62-year-old Marietta attorney who served as the Peach State's 80th governor from 1999-2003, said if elected, his first priority would be to advance "economic opportunity in every corner of our state."

Seven Democrats and seven Republicans are seeking to replace Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, who cannot seek re-election this year because of term limits.