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I have lived in South Georgia for many years. I have never written a letter to the editor. Even though I am not a politician, nor politically inclined, it is not difficult to see that politics is affecting our state and county in ways that should concern all of our citizens. People, such as myself, who are concerned that we are heading in the wrong direction in our state are faced with two options, say nothing or saying something and run the risk of criticism, being ostracized, or even possibly retaliation. After a lot of thought and soul-searching, I have chosen to say something and, in doing so, simply ask my fellow citizens of Coffee County to understand it is because of legitimate concern that I write this letter and because of the conduct of one candidate which I consider to be beyond the bounds of common decency. Because there is, in my opinion, much that needs to be said, additional letters may follow.
We are in the midst of political campaigning. I have tried to research and weigh the positions of all the candidates. I encourage everyone to do the same. In today's world, elections are too important to vote party lines or because some media source embraces a particular candidate or ideology. One of the offices that will be filled this cycle is that of U.S. Senator for the State of Georgia. Ms. Michelle Nunn and Mr. David Perdue are seeking this very important office. I see considerable support for Mr. Perdue in our area, so I have tried to learn more about him.
Sometimes political ads tell us more about the person responsible for the ads than about the person featured in the ads. They actually give us a window into the type of person the ad maker really is. Such is the case in two recent ads of U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue.
Mr. Perdue, within the last few weeks, has featured two ads in which he makes the claim that The Points of Light Foundation supported terrorists organizations during the time Ms. Michelle Nunn , his opponent, was the CEO of the non-profit company. Points of Light was formed by President George H.W. Bush and is run by his son, Neil. Mr. Neil Bush, along with the media, have made it clear the ad is not true. The ad smears, either directly or indirectly, Ms. Nunn and her family, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, and The Points of Light Foundation.
The ads of Mr. Perdue ran after he made a trip to Maine to have his picture taken with President Bush and receive his endorsement. The endorsement was fully expected. What was not expected were the ads which reflect adversely on all connected with Points of Light including the President who just did Mr. Perdue a political favor. The irony in seeking President Bush's endorsement is that he sought the endorsement from the very person responsible for Points of Light and whose family is in charge of the company that he claims contributed to terrorists. If the foundation did what Perdue claims, why seek an endorsement from such a tainted family?
After the ad appeared, Neil Bush, who now runs Points of Light Foundation, called on Mr. Perdue to renounce the ad. Mr. Bush, referring to the ad, stated, "That's ridiculous. It really makes my blood boil to think that someone would make that kind of allegation, whether it's an independent political group or a candidate for office.... Neither Points of Light nor Michelle Nunn have had anything to do with funnelling money from our organization to terrorists organizations....If these allegations are being made, it's symptomatic of what I consider to be one our country's growing problems....To have a blemish on the great work that's being done by Points of Light,...it's hurtful to our cause."
When asked what his father thought of Mrs. Nunn, he stated, "I think he would say very glowing things about her....I think he has great respect for her and her family."
Despite the fact that it was pointed out to Mr. Perdue that the ads are untrue and despite him being urged to withdraw the ads, he refused. After the first ad, he doubled down and ran a second.
The ads of Mr. Perdue are false and do a disservice to two well-respected families and to an organization that does good things. While the ads do not tell anything about Ms. Nunn, they tell a lot about Mr. Perdue. The ads and his failure to take action to correct them reflects adversely upon his integrity and overall character. They also demonstrate a mentality that regardless of whether something is wrong, he is going to do the thing that is in his own best interest and the consequences to innocent people be damned.
The ads and Mr. Perdue's conduct in connection with them give us a glimpse into the real David Perdue. A person elected to the U.S. Senate, in addition to many other qualifications, should be a person of the highest integrity and unimpeachable character. He should be sensitive to the idea of right and wrong and not a person that enters public service for his and his family's personal enrichment. Conduct such as Mr. Perdue has exhibited should not be tolerated and should not be overlooked as "just politics." His actions in which he has impugned the character of innocent people and portrays them as un-American, knowing such allegations to be false, exceeds the bounds of decency, even for politicians. I leave it to the readers to decide if Mr. Perdue will be looking out for all Georgians, if elected; and, whether he reflects the integrity, values, and character of a person we want to serve as our U.S. Senator.
James D. Hudson, Sr.