John Fund on CD 10.

Hat Tip to a reader. From yesterday’s “Political Diary” at OpinionJournal.com

An early indication of just how potent the immigration issue could be in the GOP presidential primaries will come on June 19, when voters in Georgia go to the polls to fill the Congressional seat vacated by the death of Rep. Charlie Norwood. Jim Whitehead, a state legislator and the apparent front-runner in the heavily GOP district (which includes the cities of Augusta and Athens), is bearing the brunt of criticism from other Republicans that he isn’t a sufficiently stalwart opponent of illegal immigration. Bill Greene, a conservative activist backed by the Minuteman border patrol group, is running an Internet ad showing footage of Mr. Whitehead saying: “I will never vote for amnesty” but adding that “deportation is not the answer — we need them,” referring to illegal immigrants.

Mr. Whitehead insists he is an opponent of the Senate immigration bill, but immigration critics seem to be flocking to other candidates in the race. Look for the contest in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District to be an early test of just how much passion the issue really generates among voters.

4 comments

  1. Kepper says:

    It would be nice if the press and bloggers heard Jim Whitehead’s WHOLE statement on illegal immigration. He sent out an e-mail recently addressing those issues and attacks on him. He is very clear on what he thinks needs to be done. I am posting it here:

    Dear Friend,

    Recently, my opponents have taken to the blogs and your email boxes trying to paint me as a flip-flopper on the illegal immigration issue. Their shoddy work uses only portions of my quotes to try to convince you that I waffle on the issue. I want to set the record straight.

    This past week, I was outraged as the U.S. Senate voted to approve provision-after-provision of what I consider the worst bill to come before that body in our lifetimes, and I believe one of the worst in our nation’s 231 year history.

    The Senate’s so-called “comprehensive immigration reform” bill would grant instant amnesty to all 20 million (and some say there’s more than that) illegal aliens in our country. It allows tens of millions more to pour across our borders – legally – to join them. It allows all these new low-wage, poorly educated immigrants to immediately qualify for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the very same programs we are desperately trying to keep solvent for our retiring baby boomers.

    It gives congressional approval to a pseudo-treaty between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, which will allow the building of a new superhighway straight through the heart of America linking Canada and Mexico, allowing Mexican trucks to come through our borders at 70 miles an hour with no inspections, and will gradually eliminate those borders altogether.

    This monstrosity is estimated to have a net cost to taxpayers of $2.3 trillion dollars in new federal spending, with no offsetting revenue to compensate, absolutely destroying our ability to balance the federal budget for years to come.

    Unfortunately, I believe this devastating bill will pass the Senate. I can’t control what happens in the Senate. But if I am your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, I can tell you what I will do if this bill comes there.

    I will vote against it. No ifs, ands, or buts. No qualifications. It is a national horror, and I will fight tooth and nail to defeat it. If it passes before or after I am elected I will work to repeal it.

    One vote could make the difference when and if this bill is brought before the House. I am opposed to amnesty, and I do not believe we should continue playing games with the definition. Amnesty allows those who are here illegally now to stay legally. I believe that all who are here illegally should have to leave.

    Now that doesn’t mean I support mass deportations. I don’t, because it would be unnecessary, outrageously expensive, and incredibly disruptive for all involved. I’m not interested in having federal agents raid trailer parks and terrify small children. I also believe that violates the Golden Rule, which I believe trumps everything else.

    There are better and very practical ways of handling the illegal aliens in our country. Many of you recall our great late Congressman Charlie Norwood had a plan he called his “Ellis Island” plan that would have allowed illegal aliens to come forward, turn themselves in at federal centers in all 50 states, and undergo a criminal background and health check, like our previous wave of immigrants did at Ellis Island.

    For those who passed the checks, Charlie wanted to give them a two-year permit to finish up their job and then go home, with no guarantee they could ever come back. He figured that would get the majority of illegal aliens out of the U.S. within a couple years, with very little federal expense, no more trailer park raids, without totally disrupting the workplace, and with no amnesty that allowed those illegal aliens to stay permanently and apply for citizenship.

    But before we did any of that, Charlie wanted to put a minimum 36,000 troops on the border to guarantee the spigot was off before we started mopping up the mess.

    I sure do miss that guy.

    At that time, I thought Charlie’s Ellis Island plan provided a very good and reasonable alternative to the awful 2006 Kennedy-McCain amnesty plan. But I think we’ve now reached a point we need to send an absolutely unmistakable message to current and future illegal aliens, that there is no reward for breaking our laws.

    That’s why I support the plan of Georgia’s Dustin Inman Society, Numbers USA, and Americans for Immigration Control that would provide no new legal status for illegal aliens, but would also not call for cruel trailer park and workplace raids.

    It’s called Attrition through Enforcement. We should require all employers to use the free U.S. Department of Homeland Security instant online check for their employees, eliminating the job draw for many illegal aliens. We should check for immigration status in routine law enforcement activities, and then actually deport illegal aliens when caught, rather than put them back on the street. If we start consistently doing these things, the majority of illegal aliens will go home on their own, when it is no longer so profitable and risk-free for them to violate our laws. In an estimated five years, we can reduce our illegal alien population by half or even more, then determine how best to finish the job once the problem is contained.

    The real tragedy is that none of this is necessary. If our past three Presidents had simply done their job by enforcing existing workplace law and securing our borders, we wouldn’t have this problem. This is something we all need to keep in mind in choosing a new President next year.

    If you will allow me to represent the 10th Congressional District, I will vote against the Senate Amnesty Bill. My major Democrat opponent has already publicly pledged to support it. Your vote in this race could determine the outcome of this issue.

    Please vote on June 19. This country’s future is in the balance.
    There you have it. That is the straight story on me and where I stand. I look forward to continuing to meet as many of you as I can as I travel the 10th Congressional District over the next few weeks. As always, you can contact me at 706-651-9350 or learn more about us at http://www.whiteheadforcongress.com.

    May God Bless America,

    Jim Whitehead

    Candidate, 10th Congressional District of Georgia

    PS: I also support 36,000 troops on the border, but think it might need to be 48,000. I’ll settle for either if I get the chance to vote on it.

  2. patriot says:

    Wow!!

    I wish our Senators in DC could read this, ponder it, and have the courage to propose and lead with this kind of reasoning.

    I got to hear Jim and candidate Underwood on Tues. 100+ people came out to hear them in Madison. Greene didn’t show – sent a well-spoken “activist” to speak for him.

    I wish I could vote in the 10th. We all will benefit from having J.W. in Washington.

  3. bowersville says:

    “Bill Greene, a conservative activist backed by the Minuteman…group.”

    In November of 2006, Republican Jim Kolbe didn’t seek re-election in Arizona’s 8th district , a district considered Republican.

    Randy Graf campaigned on a “get tough” message on illegal immigration, a hot button issue. Graf, endorsed by the Minuteman org of Tombstone, Arizona failed to carry Cochise County, a border area the Minuteman org. was active in.

    Randy Graf, the Republican candidate, lost to Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, 52%-42%.

    HELLO, a vote for Greene is a vote for the 10th going to the Democrats.

  4. Overincorporated Fulton says:

    Anyone who reads my posts knows I’ll be voting for Marlow in this race. However, is there any R out there who gives Whitehead credit for demonstrating nuanced conservative thought rather than knee-jerking into an immigrant-bashing coma?

    Not that I’m discouraging votes for Greene or Broun… 😀

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