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have a re­al­is­tic chance of winning from the Democrats this year is de­mon­stra­tive of their rel­a­tively poor fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion this elec­tion sea­son. God­dard in his cam­paign has tried to tie Mar­shall, per­haps one of the most con­ser­va­tive Democrats in Congress, with lib­eral Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other mem­bers of the House’s Demo­cratic lead­er­ship. By giv­ing his sup­port to Pelosi, God­dard said Mar­shall has given his sup­port to “a very, very lib­eral agenda that I don’t think is even close to what most Ge­or­gians be­lieve in.” How­ever Mar­shall, who is en­dorsed by the NRA, says that he has one of the most bi-par­ti­san vot­ing records in Congress. “Lately, 57 per­cent of the time I’ve been vot­ing with the Repub­li­can lead­er­ship but 43 per­cent of the time I haven’t,” said Mar­shall on Mon­day when he stopped by Cov­ing­ton to be en­dorsed by the Ge­or­gia Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars. “Rick is one of those folks who’s just go­ing to do ba­si­cally what the Repub­li­can lead­er­ship says to do and if you’re vot­ing 100 per­cent or 90 per­cent or 95 per­cent with the lead­er­ship of ei­ther side of the aisle, you’re re­ally part of the par­ti­san prob­lem.” Ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post’s Con­gres­sional Votes Data­base, dur­ing the cur­rent Congress, Mar­shall has voted with the ma­jor­ity of Demo­cratic mem­bers 86 per­cent of the time. God­dard has also sharply crit­i­cized Mar­shall for his two votes in sup­port of the $700 bil­lion eco­nomic res­cue pack­age for Wall Street. “I think it was pre­ma­ture,” said God­dard of the bailout. “We had a whole bunch of peo­ple vote for this bill. Al­most ev­ery one of them said this is not a good bill. And yet they voted for it any­way.” God­dard said he did not be­lieve enough de­bate and re­search had taken place of other pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tives such as invit­ing all Amer­i­can for­eign cor­po­ra­tions with as­sets in­vested over­seas to bring them back to the United States in ex­change for dras­ti­cally low­ered cor­po­rate taxes. “I just think that the Congress was in too big of a hurry. I think it was reck­less. There are just a lot of things that could have been done in the mar­ket­place, in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try to block and pre­vent this freefall that every­one wor­ried so much about,” said God­dard. “What was the plan? There wasn’t a plan. Just $700 bil­lion and we’ll fig­ure it out.” Mar­shall, who was the only Ge­or­gia rep­re­sen­ta­tive to vote in fa­vor of the res­cue plan, said of his vote “That wasn’t a close call at all. No­body wanted to be in the cir­cum­stances that we were in but we had the lead­er­ship on both sides of the aisle … all say­ing this has to be done.” He said his back­ground in fi­nance (Mar­shall has taught bank­ing, com­mer­cial, hous­ing and busi­ness law as a fac­ulty mem­ber at Mercer Uni­ver­sity Law School) led him to be­lieve that some­thing had to be done be­fore the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion wors­ened. “This was just go­ing to be ab­so­lute mis­ery for an aw­ful lot of Amer­i­cans,” he said. “As I was cam­paign­ing [in the House] to get peo­ple to vote ‘yes’, one of the points that I made to the en­tire Demo­cratic cau­cus was that I would give up my seat rather than have this fail. That’s how im­por­tant it is.” In ad­di­tion to im­prov­ing the econ­omy, Mar­shall said he be­lieves re­form­ing health care is a key chal­lenge that needs to be ad­dressed. “ We’re spending a huge por­tion of the big­gest econ­omy of the world for health care, and we’re get­ting a pretty av­er­age prod­uct,” he said. “ I’m hop­ing that we get some real good pres­i­den­tial lead­er­ship from the next pres­i­dent to make some ma­jor re­forms where health care is con­cerned.” God­dard said he thinks strength­en­ing Ge­or­gia’s agri­cul­ture in­dus­try will be a key is­sue for the state in the fu­ture. “ Ge­or­gia is very de­pen­dent on agri­cul­ture,” God­dard said. “Agri­cul­ture is vi­tal to us and we’ve got to make sure that we pro­tect the farm­ers to the de­gree that they can con­tinue to farm and make a liv­ing and bring in the crops that feed our coun­try.”

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