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Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 6:38pm

Debates Contentious and Lonely

The candidates for Georgia’s 8th and 12th congressional districts debated last night on GPB. The 8th district around Macon has been hotly contested and the debate between incumbent Democrat Jim Marshall and Republican Austin Scott got contentious at times. Scott accused Marshall of supporting the federal stimulus bill.

“You voted for the 700 billion dollars bailout and the fact is you’re simply not honest when you say that you’re for a balanced budget and you look at the Georgia voters and tell them that on the TV," Scott said.

Marshall cited economists who say if the federal government had done nothing; the country would be in a second great depression right now. The 8th district is considered conservative and Marshall who voted against the Healthcare bill said he votes with Republicans about 60 percent of the time. He says few Democrats are bipartisan.

“There’s only about 40 or 50 of us. And it’s because there’s such discipline on the Republican side that they don’t vary from what their leadership wants on substantive issue and on the democratic side too many save seats to many extreme views on both sides. It’s a real problem for the country.”

Austin Scott said he wants to cut the size of the federal government and his first order of business would be mandatory drug testing for people receiving unemployment.

The debate for the 12th Congressional District debate had one lonely candidate, Republican Ray McKinney. Incumbent Democrat John Barrow declined the invitation by the The Atlanta Press Club. That left McKinney to address an empty podium when he got the chance to ask a question of his opponent.

“John, you took money from Charley Rangel, You voted for Nancy Pelosi, Georgia lost 50 thousand jobs in the first year. Where are you?" he asked.

Barrow cited prior engagements for missing the debate. He was also not present for a debate during the primary.

McKinney is a nuclear engineer who is in favor of more nuclear power rather than alternative energy development.

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