Yesterday I spoke of our own John Mica, the one who the GOP has entrusted with OUR airport security, and how he downplayed the lax security at our own airport and was positively flippant about past victims of airport bombings. Even asking how many people will really be killed by a bomb going off in an airport. But while his unattended bags comments "And does that really pose a risk?" "What kind of damage is it gonna do?" is shocking enough, it is, for those of us like me who live in District 7, just a long line in a string of failures that we expect from our Congressman.
Even before his "who cares" attitude about airport terror, Mica acted as a classic rubber-stamp republican. He has failed us with outrageous deficit spending, rejecting stem cell research, allowing drug companies to write our prescription drug law and oil companies to write our energy policy, failed education reform, refusing to stop election fraud, and supporting Bush's "stay the course" strategy in Iraq. Just to name a few.
However, with the exception of Iraq, you won't find ANY of those questions on the Orlando Sentinel Voter Guide. The very first question it asks is this:
Should any of the 11 to 12 million illegal residents in the US be able to stay and eventually apply for citizenship? What sort of requirements should they meet? Do you favor Mel Martinez's approach - that those who can show they have been here 5 years or more get a break compared to those less than 5 years? Do you support the House bill that would criminalize undocumented workers and those who help them? Do you support President Bush's program for guest workers who could work here 3-6 years and then have to return?
As Chagnon correctly points out, most Hispanics in our District are natural-born U.S. Citizens of Puerto Rican heritage (a U.S. territory). Immigration reform is important, but there are more relevant issues facing our District. And when Chagnon pointed out Mica's failings on what Mica wanted to be his signature issue, this was the response he received:
Dear John F. Chagnon,
We're sorry, there was a problem with your responses to the Orlando
Sentinel Voter Guide questionnaire that you recently submitted.
Generally, in the Voter Guide, candidates talk about their platforms
and do not make allegations about their opponents. When there are
specific assertions about their opponent, we ask for documentation.
So, in first answer, you say: "Mica sent voters a Push Poll on
illegals AFTER he voted on the House bill." Would you provide
documentation for that assertion.
Please make changes
Mr Chagnon's campaign responded:
Dear Mr. Cutter, Orlando Sentinel: Thanks again for offering to publish your voter guide. In order to make sure our side sees the light of day, we have gone on line to delete the sentence cited -- since it would be infeasible within the notice given to get you a copy one of the 300,000+ Mica summer mailings in time to meet your deadline. We had contacted your assistant on this matter several weeks ago, and she said there was no problem with what we wrote. We also registered our concern that the first question on your list referred to an issue of little relevance to Central Florida voters, and also used the emotionally-charged label created by the GOP during this election: illegal "residents." We have also officially contacted you repeatedly about publishing dozens of press-releases from John Mica's office during this election season while not once contacting his opponent for comment. During the remaining few weeks of the campaign, we would insist that your publication make every effort to make up for the 40 article shortfall that currently exists. We know that the Sentinel would want to assign a political reporter to cover Jack Chagnon's campaign for the the last five weeks so that your paper will become more familiar with his stances in advance of his arrival in Congress.
Now Chagnon has a plan to reform the FCAT, a project plan to wean us off of terrorist oil, an intelligent 6-month strategy for Iraq, and, unlike his opponent, is on the right side of the issues (ethics reform, stem cell research, environment, fiscal responsibility, etc). It was obvious that the Sentinel was trying to beef up its predetermined endorsement of the 7th's incumbent. But the Sentinel has been wrong before, as it had to admit when it endorsed W. Bush in 2000. It is wrong now.
Help Jack Chagnon send John Mica home. Contact Chagnon4Congress@aol.com and volunteer. We CAN win this!!!