SAVANNAH, Ga. — Democratic contender for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Lesli R. Messinger has received the official endorsement of Savannah “progressive” Democrat Bill Gillespie, a 23-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and retired in 2007 as a Lt. Colonel.
Gillespie offered Messinger his endorsement on Wednesday, June 13th, by a telephone call to her campaign manager. Gillespie ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket in 2008 against Kingston, winning 83,444 or 33.5 percent of the vote in the general election.
“We are extremely grateful, and proud, to have Bill Gillespie’s official endorsement for Georgia’s District 1 Congressional seat,” Messinger said. “We have a great deal of work to do, but are confident the tide of public concern over the way in which a Republican-dominated Congress has handled key issues that affect ordinary Americans will usher in a watershed moment in this election year for Democrats.”
Messinger cited the continuing erosion of the American middle class and harsh struggles working families face in the most difficult economy since the Great Depression will extinguish the American dream.
“This dream is now out of reach of millions,” she charges, “due to a Republican-dominated Congress putting up roadblocks to recovery, catering to special and corporate interests, and neglecting the needs of working people, U.S. veterans, families and other disenfranchised groups — from the longterm jobless to those who live in fear of losing the Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare benefits they paid into over a working lifetime.”
Messinger, among only a handful of women to ever run for Congress in Georgia, or the state’s1st Congressional District, is a Savannah area businesswoman who pledges to fight for jobs, working families, veterans facing difficulties reintegrating into civilian life, and wants to prioritize economic expansion. Her ideas include empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses, which, like the now eroding American middle class, she feels are “backbone elements” of a healthy socio-economy.
“The biggest issue this district, and this country, faces, is the economic downturn and lack of jobs. Veterans face an unemployment rate almost five percent higher than the national average, and new college graduates face a disastrous situation in a 30 percent unemployment rate. We can turn this around by providing real incentives for businesses that retain jobs in the U.S., and revitalizing communities by empowering local businesses, new businesses and entrepreneurial activities.
“This is how you empower people who have been disempowered. Republican Congressman Jack Kingston has had 27 years to serve the corporate and special interests that his record shows he prioritizes, especially in the last four years.
“He has not only voted consistently for measures favored by his largest campaign contributors, including foreign interests, he has a decisive record voting against working families, the unemployed, veterans and servicemen still on active duty, but also against those on fixed incomes. His record also shows that even when his Republican colleagues voted in favor of certain relief measures, Kingston took extreme positions and repeatedly rejected measures to give disenfranchised American citizens relief.
“We will go over Kingston’s lack of commitment to his constituents, and his ongoing allegiance to corporate interests in the coming weeks,” Messinger allowed. “We will demonstrate to Democratic voters that his record has become a case study in why Congress needs to enact legislation imposing term limits. Kingston’s observance of a three-day Congressional work week, in itself, of which he has been a public proponent, comes at the expense of the 1st District’s taxpayers, and is an insult to common sense.”
If the district sends Kingston to Congress for an 11th term, we’ve voted to keep corporate interests on the high-priority lists, and ordinary Americans whose children will not be able to afford to attend college, buy a home or even have children of their own. We will have robbed them of any semblance of a future, and ushered the American dream closer to its death.”
As for local issues, Messinger favors deepening the Port of Savannah, an issue that Kingston remained mute concerning for an untenable amount of time as federal money to fund the Port of Savannah Expansion Project was being proposed.