Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Daily Citizen: Hadley says Georgians want government that works

When banks needed a bailout, Washington could do that, says R.J. Hadley. And when other big companies needed a bailout, the federal government was there, too. But when ordinary people and small business owners need help, Hadley says, it suddenly becomes hard to do.

Hadley, the former chief of staff for Rockdale County, is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Johnny Isakson. Hadley is running as a Democrat, but he says he has been crisscrossing the state talking to Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Party groups and others.

“I go where they invite me. I don’t mind going somewhere where people disagree with me,” he said. “Ultimately, all the groups are talking about government that works, and they all want a government that works for us. And I think we can all agree we don’t have that now.”

Hadley notes that Georgia ranks near the top of the nation in foreclosures and bankruptcies and has a high proportion of its population living below the poverty line. He calls that “unacceptable.”

He said his campaign will focus on jobs, education and small business, which he says are all related.

He says education is key to attracting companies and good jobs. He says he’d like to see stronger math and science education, but he acknowledges that education is primarily a local and state issue. He says he’d like the federal government to encourage states to compete to find innovative ways to educate children by offering them funding for practices that are shown to work.

He says the government must find ways to help small businesses create more jobs by getting them the credit they need to expand. He says he isn’t sure exactly what needs to be done to do that but he’ll work with community banks to get credit flowing.

Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Hadley graduated from Dartmouth College and was a social worker before getting involved in software development. He served as a Barack Obama delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He and his wife have five children.

Charles Oliver, Dalton Daily Citizen

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