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Senator Max Cleland Of Georgia
October 4, 2002
By James M. Kehl

Max Cleland is the senator from Georgia who was elected to Sam Nunn's senate seat after Senator Nunn retired from politics. He is seeking reelection in 2002. His opponent is Saxby Chambliss, a repugnant Republican (as most of them seem to be). You can find out more about Max at www.maxcleland2002.com. Max is a man who deserves our support. Max lost both of his legs and his right arm in a grenade explosion while serving in Vietnam. After recovering from his wounds, Max was elected to Georgia's state senate. He subsequently became Georgia's Secretary of State before being elected to the U. S. Senate.

I was first introduced to Max when I received a letter from Martin Sheen asking for my support. I mailed Max a contribution because I was very impressed with him. I continued to send him small contributions. I then received a letter from Tommy Thompson, Max's campaign manager. The contents of that letter greatly angered me. Saxby Chambliss accused Senator Cleland of violating his senate oath because Chambliss disagreed with one of Senator Cleland's votes. Chambliss came very close to accusing Sen. Cleland of treason. This was around the time the Republicans were accusing almost everyone who disagreed with them of being unpatriotic. Here is a man who received the Bronze Star and the Silver Star for his service. To my knowledge, Chambliss never served in the military and is a "chickenhawk." This incident still angers me today.

There's more. That idol of the Christian Right, Ralph Reed, is helping in the campaign against Max. He doesn't sound like a great Christian to me. And, of course, our old friends, Bush and Cheney, are raising money to be used against Max. His opponent could have been a quality individual who would have conducted a clean campaign. But that is not how the GOP works. Today's GOP is against programs and people. They appeal to people's fears and prejudices. They never seem to be for anything. All too often, I have witnessed them destroy people. I am tired of it.

Chambliss voted against a real Patients Bill Of Rights. He voted for a prescription drugs bill that was essentially an insurance policy in favor of the insurance companies. Both Families USA and AARP condemned this bill. I am very familiar with it because GOP congressman from Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, voted in the exact same manner as Chambliss. Ehrlich and one of his minions tried to tell Marylanders that this bill would provide prescription drug benefits to 600,000 seniors in Maryland. Ehrlich's minion actually gave Ehrlich credit for his work on the bill! I disproved it by putting them to the truth test. They failed miserably. Chambliss would also have failed. He and Bob are possibly good buddies since they have so much in common. Fortunately, this bill did not pass in the Senate.

Senator Cleland sent Chambliss a letter asking Chambliss to set forth his program for serving the citizens of Georgia in the Senate. Senator Cleland wanted to learn about Chambliss' positions so that they could debate them. Sounds reasonable. What did Chambliss do? He promptly launched an attack ad against Senator Cleland. A television station in Macon, Georgia decided to test this ad for veracity. Oh, Oh. A political reporter tried to verify the claims made in the ad. Guess what the results were? The ad turned out to be false because it " failed the truth test."

Meanwhile, I sat in Maryland taking all of this in because I visit Senator Cleland's website regularly and also receive MaxMail. I wanted to do something. So I came up with a crazy idea and decided to express it here at the Democratic Underground. There is one thing that can effectively counteract the GOP - money. If 500,000 people each sent $10 to Senator Cleland's campaign, he and Tommy Thompson would have $5,000,000 to use against Chambliss. If Senator Cleland is given enough money to effectively campaign, I think he would win by a landslide.

How can any Georgian not vote for one of America's greatest heroes who has a positive agenda for the people of Georgia? Especially when his opponent is a chickenhawk who has no agenda and can't even get his rotten negative attack ads right. A landslide victory by Senator Cleland would be the worst thing for the GOP. They might even stop calling war heroes unpatriotic. This would be a victory not just for Georgia and Senator Cleland, but for all of America. It will be a nice feeling when this victory is announced on November 6 to know that we contributed to it. It will be a great blow to the GOP. Once Senator Cleland is done with them, Chambliss and Ralph Reed's own mothers will have a hard time voting for Chambliss. I know all mothers love their sons, but these guys really make it tough to love them.

For these reasons, I am inviting all of you to visit the website mentioned above. The website will contain all of the information you need to send $10 or more to the Friends of Max Cleland. You will be helping a good man. You will also be taking effective action against ideas that all of us detest. $10 is a cheap price for this and may be the most satisfying $10 you have ever spent.

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