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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Everson, Cox take jabs at opponents

Camie Young

Camie Young

Ready for some hard-knuckle politics?

The season for swipes is upon us, as illustrated by the beginning of hotly contested state battles and the emerging congressional campaigns.

Last week, Rep. Melvin Everson took aim at Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, whom Everson is trying to unseat in November.

The Snellville Republican pointed out that while another set of deplorable unemployment numbers were released by the Georgia Department of Labor, Thurmond was "almost simultaneously enjoying photo opportunities with President Obama," while the commander in chief took a trip to Savannah.

"Obama's unreasonable and unworkable policies of national energy taxes and the federalization of our health care systems are contributing factors to Georgia's unemployment problems," Everson said. "The big-government mentality is helping to cripple all businesses -- large and small -- and it is costing us jobs and hurting families."

Seeking the post in the upcoming elections, Everson said he wants to change the focus and policies of the labor department to benefit Georgians, especially those out of work.

"We need to create an environment where small businesses and innovative companies locate and grow right here in Georgia," Everson said. "We need to work with all of our available economic development and education outlets to foster that entrepreneurial spirit statewide.

"Until we bring all of our necessary players to the table and end the failed policies that brought us to this point, I fear that we will only continue to reach new historic highs for unemployment."

Cox: Balfour wrong about tuition

In the race to replace John Linder in the 7th Congressional District, state Rep. Clay Cox took another swing at opponent state Sen. Don Balfour.

Cox, who came into the race taking jabs at Balfour, said he disagrees with his fellow Republican's statements that college tuition in Georgia is "embarrassingly cheap."

"Liberal politicians have spent our great nation into virtual bankruptcy, irresponsibly shifting trillions of dollars of spending onto the next generation," Cox said. "Jacking up tuition, as Sen. Balfour has urged the university system to do, will drive our next generation even deeper into debt. We need to look carefully at administrative expenses, not just shift the cost to our children."

He said lawmakers must make difficult decisions on cutting administrative expenses.

"In these tough political times, conservatives must fight the dangerous political whims of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid," Cox continued. "Congress, and Georgia specifically, cannot afford another politician whose opinion sways in the wind -- a congressman who claims to be a conservative but would increase taxes on our families."

No endorsements from Tea Party group

By the way, Debbie Dooley of the Tea Party Patriots sent out an e-mail clarifying Cox's statement that some consider him the Tea Party candidate.

The organization, she said, has no official candidate and cannot make endorsements.

"We are a bottom-up organization and we would have to have consensus among the grassroots tea party activists in order to make an endorsement even if we could make one. One or two people can not make that decision," she said. "When you have multiple conservative candidates, you would not get that consensus. Tea party activists are very independent."

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.