POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Fincher: Billboard goes too far

Camie Young

Camie Young

Another congressional candidate has weighed in on the billboard debate, which has grown since Republican Jody Hice erected signs referring to President Barack Obama's "change" with a communist symbol in the word.

Jef Fincher, a fellow Republican in the upcoming primary, said the hammer and sickle went too far.

In a statement, the Duluth man said he saw firsthand the weight of the job of presidency when he visited the Oval Office in 2007.

"I understand just how difficult it is to lead, particularly when cynicism and divisiveness are used daily to marginalize the person who holds the office of the president," he said. "While I strongly disagree with the misguided policies being enacted by the Obama Administration, as a citizen under the U.S. Constitution, I believe we must respect the office and refrain from extremely divisive symbolism and rhetoric.

"The president is still the commander in chief of our armed forces, and by equating President Obama with a philosophy that is so contrary to the intent of the freedoms set forth in our Constitution, is to demean not only the person but the office of the president. This ultimately undermines the respect upon which all law and civil order flows."

Fincher, who was once Hice's neighbor, said he shares the man's concerns and also disagrees with the Obama administration, but, he said, "debate based on fear and emotion yields nothing constructive."

Later this week, Fincher will host a rally with radio talk show host Herman Cain.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the club house at Edgewater subdivision at 2300 Ashbourne Drive in Lawrenceville.

Marin gathers endorsements

State Rep. Pedro Marin has picked up support from the Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Federation of Teachers, Georgia Conservation Voters, Georgia AFL-CIO, Georgia Equality, Planned Parenthood, Georgia Liberal and Atlanta Stonewall Democrats.

"I am honored to have earned the trust and support of teachers, labor, environmentalists, reproductive health advocates, and the GLBTQ community," Marin said in a statement. "Over the past eight years I have worked diligently to represent the interests of all Georgians, especially those whose voices are consistently overlooked and underappreciated. My responsibility as a legislator and political leader is to find common ground where all ideas and beliefs can be seriously debated in a respectful manner. I look forward to the challenge of improving our economy, expanding opportunities and protecting the rights of citizens.'

Marin faces a July 20 challenge in the Democratic primary from Brian Mock.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.