Monday, October 18, 2010

HD 153: Tibbetts, McBrayer debate the issues at Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce last friday morning

Down in Tifton, candidates for HD 153 John Tibbetts & Tony McBrayer debated the issues at a forum hosted by the Tiftin-Tift County Chamber of Commerce last fridat morning at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Also on hand was 8th District candidate Austin Scott, (Jim Marshall didn't attend)

McBrayer, Tibbetts and Scott agreed that the economy and jobs are the top issues facing the state.

McBrayer said that he would support cutting corporate income tax, lowering the capital gains tax and eliminating inventory tax and energy tax on businesses as ways to assist current Georgia businesses and those that would consider setting up businesses in the state.“Georgia is one of 11 states that charge sales tax on energy use,” McBrayer said. “That’s a huge negative for Georgia.

”Tibbetts said that the district is “located in a magical location” for business opportunities and noted that the new inland port at Cordele is a plus for job creation and the economy.“We can be an innovation center with green energy here,” Tibbetts said.

Tibbetts said he did favor placing a “fiscal note to indicate the impact” of tax exemptions to ensure those exemptions are working.“I want to put jobs in Tift and Turner counties,” Tibbetts said, adding “I’ll leave the jobs in Cook County to Tony.”

McBrayer founded and operates TMM Enterprises, Inc., located in Adel. The company is a wholesale grocery distributor of foods, including Hispanic foods. Tibbetts' comment during a Wednesday night forum at Spring Hill Country Club during a discussion of illegal immigrants was, “My opponent feeds them...I’m not sure where that goes.”During a discussion of the illegal immigrant situation Friday, McBrayer responded to Tibbetts’ remark about his business.“

I guess if you eat Mexican food, you are an illegal immigrant,” McBrayer said.McBrayer said that the flow of illegal immigrants to the country had to be stopped but that farmers need the labor pool they provide in order to carry out their business.

He said that Georgia has passed tough immigration laws that Republicans support and added that Democrats haven’t sponsored tough immigration laws in years.Tibbetts said “illegal is illegal” when discussing immigration and added that those who enter the country illegally are following the jobs.

He said he has no problem with guest workers and urged legislators to be careful when considering arresting illegal immigrants.“We can arrest illegal immigrants but we can’t deport them,” Tibbetts said.He said the federal government is responsible for deportation and that the states can “round them up” but then the states have to pay to house them in jails.“It must be addressed on the federal level,” Tibbetts said.Scott said he believes the illegal immigration issue should have been resolved years ago by the federal government and the borders should have been sealed.“

The cheapest way to address the issue is to stop the influx at the border,” Scott said.Scott said he believed that voters are going to give Republicans “the privilege of governing on Election Day” and that the party would be able to pass legislation that will deal with mandates, such as the president’s health care reform.“I think Americans know that spending in Washington is out of control,” Scott said. “

Those habits are wreaking havoc on our families, businesses and industries.”Tibbetts said he believes that every Georgian should have access to health care and that he favors allowing small business owners to form co-ops so that they and their employees can afford health insurance policies. McBrayer said that he believes allowing more competition between insurance companies would drive the price down.

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