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Rep. Doug Collins -- Off to a Very Bad Start!

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Newly-elected Republican Congressman Doug Collins, from the Ninth District of Georgia, is off to a very bad start.   Shortly after he took office in early January, 2013, we were among many other residents of his district who received robo-calls made directly from his Gainesville, GA office, whose phone number came up on our phone system.  Because most of what I heard on this call was aimed at demeaning President Barack Obama, I did not listen to the entire call.  However, I heard enough to consider this call from a federal official to be an abuse of power, regardless of whether or not it is within those broad legal limits which Congress has set for its own conduct.

Doug Collins' call pointedly attacked our President for trying to take away the rights of gun owners.  While there may be room to debate exactly what those rights are, and whether or not they include the right to own high-powered semi-automatic weapons which can fire dozens of bullets in less than a minute, there is no debate that in truth the President supports the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, commonly called "the right to bear arms."  Indeed, he would have to support it, as his Oath of Office swears to support the Constitution, without any exceptions.

So the Collins call was misleading as to our President's stance on gun control -- but it undoubtedly played well to Collins' core audience in North Georgia, which is probably all that matters to him.  Sensitivity to nuances is not a hallmark of the start of his first term in Congress.  For example, he was among those members of Congress who voted for an amendment to the recent Hurricane Sandy relief bill, known as H AMDT 4, which was overwhelmingly defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This amendment required: Offsets to the Cost of Disaster Relief Appropriations Through Discretionary Budget Cuts.  In other words, each and every federal dollar used to help those whose lives and property were damaged by Hurricane Sandy (and presumably future hurricanes and other disasters as well) would end up being taken from some other needed federal program.  Talk about "robbing Peter to pay Paul!"  Luckily, this improper and mean-spirited amendment failed overwhelmingly -- but with no thanks to Rep. Doug Collins, who voted for it.

Speaking of his conduct during a disaster, Rep. Collins posted a statement on a major website right after the disastrous late-January tornadoes in North Georgia which devastated such towns as Adairsville, killing at least one person, that his "thoughts and prayers" are with the "affected" tornado victims.  Thoughts and prayers are all well and good, but judging from his vote on H AMDT 4, that is all disaster victims are likely to get from Rep. Collins.  He is not off to a good start in the United States Congress, and my own "thoughts and prayers" are for him to be a one-term Congressman.  Amen.
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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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