One of the worst election smears in US history occurred in Georgia's Senate race in 2002. Democrat Max Cleland, A decorated and combat wounded veteran who sustained injuries in Vietnam that caused him to have amputations of three of his limbs had his patriotism attacked by Republican Saxby Chambliss. These attacks enabled Chambliss to win the race to become Georgia's new senator.
What was Chambliss' claim on patriotism such that he could attack a triple amputee veteran? During the Vietnam War, Saxby Chambliss was given five student deferments finally receiving a medical deferment for having bad knees because of a football injury.
If a non-veteran is going to attack the patriotism of a veteran, particularly a combat-wounded veteran, they better have audio tapes and video of the veteran committing treason, not the trumped up nonsense spouted by Chambliss and his campaign in 2002. It is an unacceptable stain on the US Senate and a slap in the face to every veteran in the country to have Chambliss in the Senate. Incidentally, Senator John McCain called the ads Chambliss ran against Cleland's patriotism "Disgraceful" and "Reprehensible" and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said the ads were "beyond offensive to me". The statements of these two Republicans show that criticism of what Chambliss did in 2002 is not partisan based criticism.
As far as I am concerned, nothing more is needed to justify Georgians voting Chambliss out on his rear end, but there IS more.
Chambliss was one of several elected officials who had accepted gifts from Jack Abramoff, the disgraced former lobbyist who pled guilty to federal corruption charges. It wasn't a lot of money, but Abramoff clearly expected to get things from the money he gave. Abramoff didn't give money just to give it.
Chambliss also seems to spend a lot of his time at expensive resorts around the country instead of serving his constituents. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a video showing how Chambliss spends his time. (If the video embed doesn’t work, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX2Qr4I1f_Q )
“The taxpayers of Georgia didn’t send Saxby Chambliss to Washington so that he could use his position to pal around with lobbyists at cushy resorts in California and Florida,” said Martin for Senate Spokesperson Kate Hansen. “No wonder he is so out of touch with the concerns of middle class families in Georgia.”
And where was Chambliss while Wall Street pursued the polices that eventually sent the financial markets and the rest of the American economy off a cliff? Chambliss was happily taking money from them, of course. Chambliss’ PAC Took Over $500,000 In Special Interest Money Including Lobbyists and Wall Street Interests. According to FEC records, the Republican Majority fund has taken over $500,000 in contributions from special interest PACs including lobbyists and Wall Street interests.
Georgian's have a real opportunity to strike a blow against those who would defame veterans and recklessly speculate with the American people's money. Georgians should vote for Jim Martin for Senate.