State Sen. John Douglas, head of the Georgia Republican Party veterans outreach program, is on a mission to bring military voters into the GOP fold.
Douglas, one of the guest speakers at the Sept. 20 meeting of the Barrow County Republican Party, said the military and the Democratic Party have not had a good relationship over the past several decades.
“Over the past 50 years, there has been a lot of animosity between the Democratic Party and the military,” Douglas said. “[The Democrats] don’t like the military because it is a traditional established entity and it stands for something. It stands for hard work. It stands for morality. It stands for advancement by your own good work and that’s something the Democrats don’t really believe in any more.”
Douglas criticized the Democratic Party for attempting to “destroy” the military by tacking on multiple amendments to the defense authorization bill which went before the Senate on Tuesday.
Douglas said Harry Reid and the Democrats added at least three items to the bill to threaten its passage. Among the more controversial additions was the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) which would provide amnesty for certain undocumented immigrant minors. Though some defense officials support the bill as a way to boost military recruitment, Republicans opposed the measure.
Another point of controversy was the proposed repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Douglas said 1,167 retired flag officers have signed a letter asking that it not be repealed. Defense department officials have also asked that it not be repealed, Douglas said.
“All of that has fallen on deaf ears with Harry Reid,” Douglas said. “Harry Reid doesn’t care about military readiness. Harry Reid only cares about social experimentation.”
Douglas said Republicans did not want to address the issue until the military has had time to complete an internal study on the matter. The Defense Department’s final report is due in December.
A third controversial amendment for Republicans would legalize abortions at all military facilities. Douglas said the addition of the amendments to the spending bill show the true nature of the relationship between the military and the Democratic Party.
“I just don’t think the Democrats care a whole lot about the military,” he said.
Tuesday afternoon, Republicans successfully filibustered a motion to bring the amendment-laden defense authorization bill to the floor. Democrats needed 60 votes to move the bill forward. The measure was defeated 56-43. Vote on the bill will now likely be delayed until after the midterm elections.
TROUBLE AT THE TOP
Both Douglas and insurance commissioner candidate Ralph Hudgens, the other guest speaker at Monday night’s GOP meeting, took time to offer words of support for the head of Georgia’s Republican Party ticket.
Douglas said it is critical that Republicans rally behind Nathan Deal.
Deal has been accused of improperly lobbying state officials in order to secure a favorable arrangement for an auto salvage company he co-owns. Deal is also facing heavy criticism for his failure to disclose several million dollars in loans — $2.3 million of which went to back a failed sporting goods store started by his daughter and son-in-law in 2005.
“Nathan is an average Joe like the rest of us,” Douglas said. “This recession has kicked him in the backside.”
Hudgens said Deal went “out on a limb” to help his daughter and is now dealing with the consequences.
“I understand his motivation to try to help his children,” Hudgens said.
Despite the issues plaguing the Deal campaign, Hudgens said he was optimistic about the upcoming election. Still, he urged those in attendance to support the party.
“It is of paramount importance when you head to the poll on Nov. 2 … don’t stop at the top of that ticket,” he said. “We’ve got to have a Republican sweep in November in Georgia.”
Hudgens will face Democrat Mary Squires and Libertarian Shane Bruce in the upcoming election.
The next meeting of the Barrow County Republican Party will be Monday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Rob Woodall, Republican nominee for the 7th U.S. Congressional District and state GOP chair Sue Everhart are scheduled to speak at the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Winder Woman’s Club located at 15 West Midland Avenue in Winder. For more information visit www.barrowgop. com or join the Barrow County Republican Party on Facebook.