For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jim Martin and I'm running for Senate against Saxby Chambliss in Georgia. It's been a tough fought campaign, and despite November 4 coming and going, it isn't over yet. We have a runoff election on December 2, and another opportunity to fight for the middle class and against the failed policies that Saxby has supported in Washington for a decade and a half.
Barack Obama has laid out an ambitious agenda, but with politicians like Saxby working against him at every turn, it's going to be hard to create real change for America.
I'm sure you remember Saxby from his 2002 campaign against Max Cleland in which he infamously aired one of the most shameful ads I've ever seen. Saxby's ad tried to link Max, a heroic war veteran and triple amputee, to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. John McCain said this on those attacks:
I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible.
But time has a way of making people forget, and John McCain is coming down to Georgia tomorrow to campaign for my opponent. Maybe John McCain has forgotten Saxby's "worse than disgraceful" behavior, but we sure haven't.
And while Saxby's campaign tactics of smearing a war veteran are indeed "reprehensible," his record on veterans' issues in the Senate may be even worse. Saxby voted to send our troops to war without proper body armor, voted 23 times to cut their healthcare when they return home, and even opposed a tax cut for our veterans while they serve in the line of duty. Saxby voted twice against Jim Webb's dwell time amendment to give our troops more time with their families between tours of duties and opposed funding for traumatic brain injury research, the "signature wound" of the War in Iraq. It's no wonder that so many veterans' organizations have given Saxby poor and failing grades for his record on veterans' issues – Saxby has failed America's veterans.
As a veteran myself, vets issues have always been one of my top priorities. I'm not a war hero, I just served my country like so many Americans. But because of that experience I know the importance of giving back to our veterans and I will work with President-elect Obama to give our men and women in uniform the resources they need and the respect they deserve.
The netroots, and particularly the DailyKos community, have been extremely supportive of my campaign so far, and for that I thank you. But today I ask for your help again. The issues that we're dealing with in this campaign are the most vital of our day, but groups like Karl Rove's Freedom's Watch are already running negative attacks against me and you can be sure the hits will only get more vicious and more personal as December 2 approaches.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your help, and I'll be around for a little while to take questions in the comments below.