Johnson says he is not a Republican pawn and he started running his race before the "ABC" - "Anybody but Cynthia" - campaign began. He said that of the more than 1,400 individual contributions his campaign has received, most were donations of $100 or less. Johnson said his campaign has identified only three contributions from known Republicans. "I can guarantee the public my allegiance is to the voters," Johnson said. The candidates for the 4th Congressional District squared off in a live hour-long debate aired on WSB-TV. It was the last televised debate before Tuesday's runoff election. In the July 18th primary, Johnson, an attorney and former DeKalb County Commissioner, came within 1,700 votes of McKinney to force a runoff. During the debate, Johnson twice questioned McKinney about the March scuffle between the congresswoman and a Capitol Hill police officer, asking her to tell voters what really happened that day. McKinney said the grand jury had spoken on the issue and vindicated her. "What is a woman to do when she is grabbed from behind?" McKinney asked. "The grand jury knows everything about that incident. Mr. Johnson wasn't there and he doesn't know anything." Johnson seized upon the Capitol Hill incident as an example of what he has called McKinney's embarrassing leadership in office. While he has spent much of his campaign contrasting himself to McKinney's outspoken, confrontational style, Johnson says he thinks voters believe he is the best candidate for the job and not just an alternative to the controversial Congresswoman.Some of the highlights and lowlights of the debate today include, but are not limited to:
"I think the 'Anybody But Cynthia' campaign has turned into the 'We Love Hank' campaign," he quipped. McKinney called herself the "Number One critic of the Bush administration" and urged voters to send her back to Washington. "I stand in stark contrast to the Republican majority, and I'm proud of that," McKinney said. "I promise to go to Washington and never be quiet." When questioned about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and the need for an immediate cease-fire, McKinney said that every country has a right to self-defense, but that the U.S. should be doing more to encourage peace in the region and take more of a stand for human rights for Israeli and Lebanese civilians. Johnson said the U.S. should stand by Israel as its ally. "It's very difficult to call a cease-fire with a terrorist organization," Johnson said.
- Cynthia makes claims about putting 500 participants into the National Youth Apprenticeship Collaboration Program, but the panel even calls her on the carpet, reminding her that there are only 20 known participants of the program. - The only two supporters who McKinney claims have supported legislation she's proposed were John Kerry and John Murtha. 'Nuff said.
- Hank Johnson rightly reminds her that the only successful legislation she's passed was the re-naming of a U.S. Post Office (Lord knows which one this is, because I certainly can't find it).
- McKinney cited the Martin Luther King Records Release Act she introduced - but where was the mention of her Tupac Amaru Shakur act she introdoced? Didn't metion it.
- When repeatedly asked by the moderator, whether or not America should take a side in the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict, McKinney kept repeating the mantra "The United States should be an honest broker and it should respect human rights across the board." I believe she was asked this 3 times, and she had the same answer all three times; i.e., a non-answer.
- When asked what the United States should have done after the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah broke out, McKinney again said that we should be an "honest broker," should have called for peace, and an immediate cease-fire (I wonder does she think Hezbollah should also immediately "cease fire?").
- When asked by the moderator "should we take a side?" in the Middle East conflict, McKinney again repeated the mantra 'The United States should be an honest broker and it should respect human rights across the board." The moderator asked her 2 or 3 times to give him a straight answer, and she never once said 'yes' we should take a side, or 'no' we shouldn't.... so the moderator answered her FOR her! HA!
- McKinney keeps referring to Hank's contributions from developers of "high-density dwellings." What the hell else do you think the projects are going to be comprised of? Single-family homes that sell for $250K and up? Grow up, Cynthia.... you could buy a hundred of those "dwellings" with all of your cointributions from Arabs solely on 9/11/01! By the way...the opposite of high-density dwellings is single-family homes. Which, in her world, would include the evil rich. But Johnson must be villified for colluding with these very developers of the HDDs.
- Well, thank you Cynthia.. she tells the viewer audience adamantly that she is not asking for the Republican vote, nor is she asking for any Republican money. Apparently Republican money is very dirty. However, as noted in her FEC report, she WILL take $3,000 from the President of the American Muslim Foundation on - you guessed it - 9/11/01. Oh, by the way... she skewers Hank Johnson for having any Republican contributors. She reminds us that she is and remains a "peace-and-justice Democrat." You mean kinda like Mutha, Kerry, Dean, Kucinich, et. al? Yeah, what a nice club to belong to.
- Cynthia also rips Hank for supporting "big" business, and says it's actually small businesses that "are the key to economic growth," and gives the impression that "big business is bad." Oh, really, Cindy? Who's brought more business to more towns in America? Wal-Mart, or Bubba's Bait Shop?
- The subject of federal funding for the No Child Left Behind Act came up, and even though Hank talked about "unfunded initiatives," the moderator reminded him that "Federal funding has increased enormously during this (current) Administration."
- Speaking of the "No Child Left Behind Act," Cynthia accused Hank of selling out the children, decrying the fact that "children are learning in trailers because Mr. Johnson can't say 'no' to high-density developers." Excuse me? What is wrong with learning in trailers? In fact, I know of THOUSANDS of schools that have extended classrooms on the peripheries of their properties, and I don't think the children are learning any less. Besides, trailers are smaller, so the class size is probably smaller, and that's a better deal for the students. Wait... is Cindy disparaging people who live in trailers? How dare she! She's judging those who should not be judged! Oh, wait... I forgot... she's black so she's part of the liberal doctrine of infallability. So, you can't argue with her, because if you do, you're a racist. Get it now? And her answer to appropriately funding the "No Child Left Behind Act" if enacted? BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! Yes, this raving lunatic says that! Unbelievable. She needs some work on her segues and connection of coherent thoughts and ideas.
- Cynthia says she was the FIRST one to ask tough questions about 9/11, and it can be documented in a film she's pimping called "American Blackout."
- Johnson and the panel of interviewers call Cynthia on the carpet about her TRUE House record. She says she has the highest congressional efficiency rating of the Democrats in Georgia.Yes, Johnson rightly points out that if you put out one piece of legislation in 12 years, and it passes, that would give anybody a high "efficiency" rating. Example: If you have been driving for 20 years, and you have had only one accident in that time period and the other driver got the ticket, in this reference, you'll get the "accident forgiveness" deal with AllState.
- Then the moderator asks both McKinney and Johnson if they can name two uses of the U.S. Military in the past couple of decades that were a good thing, other than humanitarian efforts (tsunami, hurricanes, etc). Johnson names Afghanistan then draws a blank. Then, as usual, Cynthia answers with a non-answer, and is prompted by the moderator to please just answer the question - McKinney is the obvious loser in this argument as well.
- Both are then asked about Georgia National Guard troops going to the border to secure it and help cut down on illegal immigration. Johnson supports the effort, but as usual, Cynthia says the way to really enforce border security is to "improve our foreign policy" so that the "pull to America isn't there." What? So do you want us to go into countries to help form democracies or not, Cindy?
- She says that we should not "sacrifice the character of our country and who we are in the pursuit of our nation's security." Huh? Sorry... I really don't get it. Can someone please explain that to me?
Oh, and people... this was the ABSOLUTE kicker! Are we a force for good or ill will in the world? This last quesion is finally posed to both candidates: "Do you think the United States is a force for good or ill in the world?" The question was first asked to Johnson, and he was weak initially....but then when it was Cynthia's turn, she didn't disappoint. The moderator finally gave up asking "good or ill?" I swear people... I was going to transcribe this and was going to just edit out the "good" parts, but Holy Cow!... when you have fodder like this, how can it be edited or published without some degree of inaccuracy? I've captured the hour-long debate into 4 segments, which can be seen below. I'll edit/add more tomorrow from Cynthia's record from the House Armed Services Committee (yes, she is serving there). The pages on Cynthia are from 510-534 (large .pdf). It's from the "2007 Committee Report" from the House Armed Services Committee, and pgs. 510-534 contain her "dissenting opinion." Her claim to fame, again, is that she is the #1 biggest critic of Bush - she punctuates that point by prefacing and ending her podium time with that proclamation. You can see the four clips from today here, here, here and here. Cross-posted over at Expose the Left.